Photographer Ross Taylor has captured the heart-wrenching "Last Moments" of pets in a series of photographs. Inspired by a close friend's struggle with the death of her pet, Taylor wanted to capture the loving bond between animals and their owners during their last moments together. The photos were taken at the end of the pets' lives, either before or after they were euthanized at home with the assistance of Lap of Love, an at-home pet euthanasia service in Tampa Bay, Florida.
The series of photos, taken throughout 2017 and 2018, aims to depict the emotions and grief experienced by pet owners during this difficult time. In one photo, Olesya Lykovi breaks down after her dog, Sam, passes away. Another owner, Kiara Manrique, weeps as she laments her inability to do more for her beloved dog. Marquita Leibe is seen pacing the room before stroking her dog, Daisy, one last time, with her husband, Donald, providing support. After Daisy's passing, Donald steps outside to compose himself.
The photos also convey the emotions felt by pets' companions. In one poignant image, sibling Kai follows behind as Asia is taken out to be buried. The atmosphere during these moments is described as peaceful, with the smell of freshly turned earth creating a lasting memory for the owners.
Leigh Zahn is pictured tearfully sitting with her dog, Spencer, in his final moments. Rebecca Cassity and her husband, Drew, share a couch as they say goodbye to their faithful dog, Coco. Cindy and Bob are shown cuddling with their dog, Heidi, moments before she is euthanized. Their other dog, Winnie, looks on from behind a glass door.
One of the photos portrays 15-year-old Allie, who was experiencing balance issues due to cancer. Dr. Glassler provides a hospice visit and offers suggestions on how best to handle the situation. Photographer Ross Taylor expresses his admiration for the work of veterinarians like Dr. Glassler, who help with the painful transition but often go unnoticed.
The series also captures the moments of comfort and support between families. Vanessa Gangadyal comforts her son, Lan, while her husband strokes their dog, Ally, shortly after her passing. Wendy Lehr is pictured cuddling with her dog, Mimosa, surrounded by family members.
Taylor hopes that the series will evoke empathy and understanding for pet owners who have to make the difficult decision to euthanize their beloved pets. The photos serve as a tribute to the unconditional love and unwavering bond shared between pets and their owners.
These moving photographs serve as a reminder of the profound impact that pets have on our lives and the deep grief experienced when they pass away. The series captures the intensity of emotions during these last moments, creating a lasting tribute to the love shared between humans and their animal companions.