The day I brought Raven home from the hospital, swaddled with a fresh, baby smell, Jack was instantly in love. Just as he had never once left my side during pregnancy, he continued to be wherever she was. During nursing sessions, Jack would hop up onto the couch or the bed and curl up near her tiny feet. As she grew and had floor time as an infant, Jack would roll over onto his back beside her, with his tummy in the air.
To put it simply, wherever Raven was, Jack was there too. As a photographer, I document my daughter often and for posed shots, Jack would repeatedly pop into the scene. What started as frustration, ended up being endearing and we decided to embrace it fully. Thus began a new collection called, "The Story of Raven and Jack.
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Jack is the best kind of companion. He rides in wagons and tricycle baskets and runs beside her down the sidewalk, on forest trails, and along the beach. Adorning bonnets and sweaters, he patiently sits at tea parties, anxiously awaiting snacks and teacups of water. His favorite time to be near her though is right below her feet during mealtime. At night, he hops up onto the foot of her bed and sleeps beside her.
Jack And Raven: Tea Party With Jojo
Our family always says that Jack chose us. When we visited the animal shelter to walk the dogs, Jack faked a broken leg so that we would pick him up and carry him like a baby for his walk. At that moment, I knew there was something special about Jack. When we put him back onto the concrete floor and closed the gate, the sadness in his eyes made me feel like I couldn't leave him there, that he belonged with us. As I was up at the front desk with two of my boys to inquire about Jack, two workers from the shelter came running in. Jack had apparently pounded on the gate with his tiny body and managed to escape in a desperate attempt to find us. We ran to the row of cages to see Jack dodging workers like a miniature football player, headed for the touchdown. After that, how could we not bring him home?
Jack has been an unexpected gift for our family. He is loyal and gentle and fiercely protective. He is my baby, my daughter's best friend, and an important part of our family. And... as he insists, he will continue to be a part of our portraits as well.