Hudson Heals Hearts


I pulled into Willis Tucker Park looking for my pet portrait subjects. We'd never met but I knew to look for a golden retriever. It didn't take long. I spotted the most gorgeous dog with a red/gold coat glistening despite the overcast morning. Hudson and his proud owner Cassie were waiting for me. 
The three of us headed to the dog friendly area. This was my first visit to this dog park and I was impressed. It offers a wide variety of terrain. Hills, woods, and open areas. There is an enclosure for more shy dogs that has a wide, well-manicured dirt footpath that circled a small forest. 
As Cassie and I walked, Hudson got really excited. The leash came off and the ball came out. Throw, retrieve, throw, retrieve, throw, retrieve. Cassie carries multiple tennis balls. Hudson focuses in on one for a while and then shifts focus to another. New dogs bound up and Hudson interacts with ease. 
Cassie and Hudson are truly best friends. She gives him total love, and he is devoted to her. Hudson is a heart healer. A few years ago Cassie and her family lost their beloved Golden Retriever Cooper to cancer. Just four years old, his loss hit the whole family hard, especially her son Evan. 
Such a painful event hardens a heart.  No more dogs! It hurts too much. But the house was too quiet. They needed another dog!
Hudson joined the family three years ago as a pup.  In an email Cassie wrote "we wanted to honor Cooper's memory and Hudson from Day 1 seemed to know he was meant to mend broken hearts.  He is the most intelligent dog, we have ever owned".
Cassie told me about her most favorite weekend jaunt. She and Hudson go out early, catch the ferry to Whidbey Island and head to Double Bluff Beach dog park. They spend a few hours there then she and Hudson get back home as the rest of the family is just getting up. Cassie's eyes twinkled with delight as she recounted these precious trips. 
This dog is well loved.
We found some great spots to shoot a few portraits. As usual, getting Hudson to stand still for more then a fraction of a second was a challenge. But like I always say "all I need is 1/200 of a second". 
At the end of our shoot I think Hudson may have been slightly tired. He actually laid down for a minute. 




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