For many people, losing a loyal pet is no different than losing a close family member. When the time comes, that final goodbye can be a painful and heartbreaking experience, however, it can also be a beautiful moment.
Sarah Ernhart, owner of Sarah Beth Photography in Minneapolis, Minn., sought out to capture that moment between an owner and their dying pet in what she calls a "Joy Session."
Take a look at a collection of the touching photos from Sarah Beth Photography that show owners embracing their dogs, dying from old age or from a terminal illness, for one of the last times:
The Daily Mail has more details on the "Joy Sessions":
Mrs Ernhart, who has been a professional photographer since 2006, trademarked the name Joy Session, and began offering them in 2010. She has since had more than 100 shoots with owners and their pets.
'People seem to love the idea,' she said. 'It's getting bigger and bigger.'
The service has become so popular that Mrs Ernhart has built a directory of photographers around the world who shoot terminally ill pets with their owners.
'It can definitely be very emotional,' Mrs Ernhart said. 'It's a very sensitive time for these people who have been with these animals for their entire lives. I definitely have cried with some of the owners.
To see more photos visit SarahBethPhotography.com.
All screengrabs via the Daily Mail.