Life Lessons from a Dog ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

We were on our way home from Wisconsin yesterday afternoon after all of the following had happened…


1. James working a pm shift Thursday night (midnight) into Friday morning (8am) & sleeping a few hours before heading to a wedding

2. Shooting a wedding in the suburbs Friday until late

3. Sleeping for 4 hours

4. Driving 3.5 hours to Wisconsin

5. Dropping Chloe off with a client who has turned into a dear friend that offered to watch her for a full day/overnight

6. Driving 2 hours further into Wisconsin

7. Shooting a 10-hour wedding

8. Driving another hour back to my parent’s house

9. Sleeping

10. Driving another 2 hours to Madison to pick up Chloe

11. Driving another 2.5 hours back to Chicago


It was during this last leg of driving that James and I got into a bit of an argument. I was cranky and being a jerk… he was tired and had a short fuse. Not a promising combination.

I said something that set him off. He said something that set me off.


Then… silence.


We sat that way for a quite a while (or maybe it just felt like quite a while to me) and when we finally started talking through it you could cut the tension in the car with a knife.

It was at this point from her hatchback perch that Chloe started making noise at us. (Those of you that know Chloe know that she makes a strange noise reminiscent of Scooby Doo when she wants to “talk” to people… or maybe it is more reminiscent of the adult characters in Charlie Brown…?) Either way – James and I ignored her and continued with our ‘discussion’. But Chloe was not having it. She was not pleased that we were upset with one another, and so she started full-on BARKING. She barked and barked, and we continued talking over her. I may or may not have started crying. (No sleep & 2 weddings in a row will make you cry over anything… trust me.) And that was it – Chloe sensed I was truly upset and immediately jumped up in the front seat – standing on the middle console blocking James and I from each other’s view.

She licked my face and gave James a death stare that said, “Leave mommy alone!” And we couldn’t help but laugh.

Chloe was not okay with us not being okay and she made sure we knew it. She jumped up into the front seat and somehow made her 60 lb body fit on my lap. She draped her front paws over the middle console and laid her head on James’ arm.

She created a bridge between the two of us. Literally and figuratively. It was as if she said, “Life is short! Why are you fighting over something so silly?! We are family, we love each other, and that’s all that matters!”

And she was right. Just like that – Chloe had distracted us enough to end our argument. The rest of the ride went on like most of our car rides do… with good conversation mixed in with comfortable silence.

Once Chloe knew her job was done – she went ahead and took a little nap right between the two of us. Half on me, half on James. And I couldn’t help but look at the three of us and think – Life is short. We are family. We love each other. And that is all that matters.

Life lessons from a dog… Who knew a 1 year old puppy could be so smart.




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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!