Photo Session: Ashley, Mike, Monkey, and Riley

The wait is over… It’s time to share photos from our session at the NCMA with Ashley, Mike, and their dogs, Monkey and Riley! Ashley and Mike are staples in the animal rescue community, so I was excited to photograph them and their adorable pups. Ashely co-founded Hope Animal Rescue (yeah, no big deal…) with her mom, Cathy, and she and Mike foster dogs and work on many other tasks to keep the organization running. In fact, it was Ashley’s mom who set up the session for them so they could get some cute portraits of their senior dogs. Side note, anyone who has a dog would love to have a photo session with them, so it really is the perfect gift (Hello, Mom? Are you reading this? Hint, hint…).

Ashley and Mike became pet parents together ten years ago, after only 2 months of dating! They fell in love with a chubby little pink and white puppy, and they knew he had to be theirs. His name is Riley and he is an adorable Chihuahua mix. In typical Chihuahua fashion, he was not that into me (a stranger he had just met), but his eyes light up any time he looks at Ashley and Mike.

Flash forward two years, and Riley loved being the only dog. Then late one night, Mike called for Ashley to come outside, where he found an emaciated pit bull. They brought him into the garage where Ashley and her mom proceeded to pick 300+ ticks off of his poor body. He was later diagnosed as heart worm positive and was severely dehydrated. This happened years before they were involved with rescue, but they knew enough that he would be euthanized if they took him to the shelter. So, they didn't, and that is how Monkey came into their lives!

Both pups are sweet and loyal, and their favorite part of the session was definitely being loved on by their pet parents (in case you couldn’t tell by Riley’s face).

Oh, and did I mention that Ashley and Mike are engaged?! They are just so cute together, I had to get some photos of just the two of them (sorry pups…).

Now both dogs are getting older and it is clear that they have formed a strong bond over the years. When Monkey first came into their lives, Riley wasn’t so sure about him. Sharing all the treats and kisses isn’t as fun as having them all for yourself. Having multiple pets in your home is sometimes a challenge, but thanks to Ashley and Mike’s love and patience, the two pups have been given the gift of not only having parents that love them, but a canine companion as well. Now these two are inseparable… I mean, just look at them!

Cue Queen’s “You’re by best friend.”