/ by Whitney Hayward

I was covering someone else’s shift when I got this assignment. A pet taxidermist. I wasn’t even supposed to be working that day.

I had to shoot this the week after my family dog passed away from bone cancer. At the time, I was confident this wouldn’t bother me-I could still do my job and personal problems needed to be buried deep. Complete emotional removal and targeted focus was going to be the name of the game.

That’s ridiculous, though. Stupid, even. 

I watched the employees of Anthony Eddy’s work on people’s animals. Their cats, dogs, rodents, even a lizard.

I saw these animals, and yeah, I thought about my dog. My dog could be in here, if my family wanted her to be. Thinking about the way I felt about Cheyenne, and thinking about the way these people must have felt about their pets, it was heartbreaking. 

These people loved these things so much that they couldn’t bear being without them. Ever. 

I dont think I could ever do this, but having gone through the recent experience of losing a pet that I loved, I could see how someone could.