Oh my. Jim and I just turned 71. Fittingly, Steve Dahlgren, a great photographer specializing in dogs and those who love them, came out to update some of the photos I use for the website and publicity. Like many people, I hate having my own photograph taken, but you really can’t keep using photographs that show someone who is barely recognizable now.
So, taking a breath, here are some of the photos that Steve got. I should mention that he also did a drone video of Maggie working sheep. I haven’t seen that yet, it should be fun.
I’ve shown this one before, but since I consider it the best of the bunch, I just had to lead with it. Maggie and Willie used to play “race horse” every day and it was an important part of her staying in condition. After Willie died, Maggie and I taught each other a new way to play in the morning, with her running around with her toy, while I clap and cheer and pretend to run (as if I could ever run anywhere):
Here’s my new hair. My real hair. I am loving being grey silver and letting my hair do whatever the hell it wants. I am, however, hating/loathing/despising my neck, the saggy one that I am holding up here in defiance of gravity and old age.
The four of us on the couch, where we spent an inordinate amount of time watching television after dinner. Well, Jim and I watch television, the dogs get belly rubs. Maggie jumps down after 30 solid minutes of massage, while Tootsie eventually goes to sleep and snores like a 300 pound drunk at a bar.
Maggie working (that’s Meryl Sheep in the foreground). Getting great shots of dogs herding sheep is no easy task, and Steve worked hard to get some good ones. Clearly his efforts were worth it! And now he’s got the bug, and is going to come out again to get more. Yay Steve!
Here’s my new study, where I am, yes, truly, working on a mystery novel. I am not allowed (agent’s advice) to tell you much of anything because as she says “it’s still incubating”. I am pretty sure I know who the protagonist is and the general plot of the mystery. Surprise, surprise, there will be dogs. No dogs will die (but people do). Right now it all still feels very fluid, very hard, and really, really fun. Do not hold your breath for the book’s release. It’s going to be years. Yup, years. (I’m on page 100 now, but will undoubtedly rewrite the entire thing at least twice.)
Another favorite of Maggie. I especially like that I am fuzzy in the background.
Our native habitat, and where we are happiest.
My question to you is: Do I take out all the old photographs on my website, or just some of them? Can I replace one with Amal Clooney? (Note: I just realized I’ve in part answered my own question: I’ll never take off some of the photos of Willie. I just couldn’t. But about Amal . . .)
MEANWHILE, back on the farm: See above!
Beth Teffner says
You look SO happy! The pictures are wonderful—-the love and, again, happiness, just shine through.
Erin Hutchinson says
Patricia – these photos are stunning, and not just your adorable pups. You are an inspiration to women like myself, who have passed the “middle age” mark and are determined to embrace the years ahead, grey hairs (well, to be perfectly honest, I keep mine a lovely shade of purple, which I intend to do until I die), sagging neck, and all. We don’t have enough role models to reassure us that enjoyment of life doesn’t end as one gets older. Thank you for sharing these. Just in my professional opinion (I run a marketing & design agency), use these photos with abandon on your site. They are full of vibrancy, literally & figuratively!
Alice R. says
Oh, Tricia, these photos are a real treasure! I’m so glad you shared them! Of course, you cannot remove all the old photos – just the ones you never liked anyway. Here’s to making the most of a new stage of life- for all of us!
I’m not sure about the website pictures, although they are all good pictures. I’m more concerned about the fact that you don’t look old. Either you objectively do not look old or I’m so old that my perception has shifted. (Or both)
I am 15 years younger so either way it’s good news for you.
I am debating with myself about whether I should get another border collie when my current one passes on and right now you’ve tipped the scales in the direction of yes.
Patricia you are my hero. You are beautiful and graceful and I hope to be you one day.
That last picture is a beautiful classic. The colors, composition, textures, and you and Maggie. Perfect. (All the photos radiate joy.)
Think of the website as having a spa day. Refreshed and reinvigorated. While keeping the foundation of all that’s come before and a window open to all that has yet to unfold.
I’ve been silver for many more years than my age would signify. My role model in this phase of life is Dame Judi Dench! Especially the Dame part 😉
Aging is complicated. Our society doesn’t like to acknowledge it, and yet by 2035, there will be 78 million people 65 years and older. I don’t fight it too hard but there is an undertow of contradictions running in my head. Settling into aging takes practice.
Today, by Mary Oliver, has resonated with me lately:
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
Love the hair! It really looks good on you. I would replace pix of you with these for sure as you look wonderful. But keep all the animals. I’ve always thought they age so much better than we do cuz they just don’t care.
I’ve been repeating to myself (as I am in my last year of my 40s): “Getting old is a privilege. Getting old is a privilege. Getting old is a privilege.” I’m gonna keep faking it (acting as though I believe this in my soul) until I end up making it (a piece of knowledge that’s baked in deep).
Your happy, beautiful photos (I absolutely adore and am jealous of your hair) go a long way in helping me with the “making it” part!
Bravo! Looking forward to the site being peppered with these gems…
**I would like to edit the above to “Getting oldER is a privilege!!”
Your comments are all so gracious! I’d say more but I’m recovering from food poisoning (or Nora virus?). At least it’s not age related. More tomorrow when I can hold my head up, but thank you all so much for the reinforcement, much appreciated.
Your comments are so gracious! I’ll write more tomorrow when better recover from food poisoning, or what I am calling A Truly Legendary Gastronomic Disaster. At least it’s not age related.
Ugh…best wishes for a speedy recovery. I hate stomach issues!!! (I also hate my sagging neck….but it comes with the territory).
The pictures you presented are wonderful. You, your husband, Maggie, Tootsie…truly beautiful pictures, and beings! I feel it’s okay to update pictures anywhere, but past pictures hold a value that cannot be replaced…especially as time passes on. I wish I took more, kept more, of all the loves in my life.
What is most wonderful to me is your joyous venture into the future. Can’t wait to read the new book
Love the new pictures – Maggie is gorgeous, those ears! And your photos absolutely shine 😃.
All the photos are wonderful, and, as others have said, those of you are inspirational: happy, vibrant, filled with life. I am just a few years behind you (and also gave up colouring my hair some years ago – isn’t silver great?!), and I too have had to begin to think about whether there will be another puppy in my future, as Sophy was 11 this week. Thank you for tilting the answer to Yes for me too – although perhaps not a BC!
I hope the stomach bug clears soon – norovirus is no joke.
Jenny H says
These pictures are so beautiful! They make me feel happy looking at them.
Your hair looks beautiful!
Margarita palacio says
I love that you and hubby are both silver.
It to me shows a deep bond between spouses when they both age naturally together.
Please do not remove old photos, it’s always good to look back at how much we’ve grown and continue to enjoy life at its fullest.
I just turned 60 and when I unexpectedly lost my sweet boy at age 7, I thought I was too old to start again with a pup. Well, life has a way of doing what it does and I found myself with a 5.6 month old black tri Aussie. He needed a new start and so did I. It’s been a year and I’m so glad I took him on, he is a joy. And forced me to go on without my boy because life goes on. Well my eyes are getting Misty so I’ll end it here.
Thanks for your posts they are a godsend.😘
These pictures of you, Jim and the dogs boosted me out of my OMG-it’s-winter-in-November blues. You all look so happy and lovely! Thank you.
Good luck with the mystery writing – keep us posted on your process, if not the mystery’s content. Aspiring writers are always hungry to hear about what works for others 🙂
Debbie Cullman says
You guys look fabulous!❤️
Tracey Hokanson says
Love Dog Grin Photography!
I am wondering if you know of a resource for those of us with older dogs…..I’m looking for information about hearing and vision loss and how to maximize what my dog can hear and see? I have an almost 14 year old golden who is going strong but changing and I’d like to be able to keep his world as big as it can be. Luckily, I used hand signals in training with him, so I can still use some of those for daily training and tricks that he loves to do!
Thank you for any resources that you can share.
Becky G says
I can only echo the sentiments of the previous commenters, which are all worded so much more beautifully than I could ever hope to do. As for the sagging neck thing, my new mantra is “That’s why God invented scarves and turtlenecks 😉.” I’m only 4 years behind you, but I want to be you when I grow up.
Wendy Henrichs says
Beautiful photos of a beautiful family! <3 Love your blog and books.
Charisse Andrews says
Love the photos especially the last one. It captures your spirit and joy in living your life as you do. Love the hair, and wish I had some curl like yours. Keep on keeping’ on!
Julie Dorsey-Oskerka says
You are the reason why we are all here — doing our best to follow in your footsteps. LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO. Thank you for being our light.
The photos are beautiful! Love your hair! Wish mine would turn grey – but dishwater blond with a couple of streaks. Replace some pictures if you wish, but I really love seeing animal pictures no matter how long ago.
Trisha, I absolutely LOVE your hair!! I am very partial to silver/gray hair…my husband is getting a “Mark Harmon” look, and I love it! Plus, I’m envious for another reason…Cancer treatment took almost all of my hair, and it will not come back. Wigs are a way of life now…hot and itchy, but oh so easy to do my hair each day.
So sorry you’re feeling ill. Still, every member of your family is adorable. I turn seventy in September, and am so excited about it. When I was in third grade, I clearly remember sitting at my wooden classroom desk, my mind drifting (as usual, I’m afraid) and realizing that it was possible I would live to see the millennium change. I didn’t think it was likely, but maybe… So, here we both sit, silver hair, necks, and all. Aren’t we lucky?
Margo Harris says
This is very up-lifting and inspiring (I turned 60 recently!).
Wonderful photos, wonderful you… hope you feel better very soon.
Keep on truckin’!!
Robin Espinosa says
I have never feared aging and hope I never see the past as a place I long for but rather the background music of the place I am meant to be, the present.
I would keep a mix of old and new pictures. IMHO, I don’t think you’re “barely recognizable.” I only met you once, years ago, at a seminar (you very kindly worked with my wild child Dobie) but I would still know you if I passed you on the street. I hope you recover quickly from your TLGD!
What wonderful pictures! I have no advice about what to add or remove because I’m terrible at that, but just want to say all of you look great.
Love the pictures! You look marvelous! Embracing the gray myself 😉
Byron West says
I’ve hit the 71 mark this year as well. I thank my rat terrier,Lulu, for helping me stay young at heart.
Barbara Rogers says
These are too good NOT to use. But, I mean, in a website, why can’t you just add to what you have, and USE THEM ALL? …says the person who takes five years at least you take down ribbons, pics, etc of any dog who has died, to make room for current dogs’ agility accomplishments. And still leave some up from EVERY dog ever.
I love these new photos! You look simply mahvelous dahling and I think Jim is a handsome devil. You two make a great-looking couple. How wonderful to reach a point in our lives when we are comfortable in our own skin (maybe not the neck so much) and grace and wisdom and confidence are present to quietly close the door on youth. Hope you feel better soon!
Kay East says
Aahh, love the 71 you!!
Vicky Kemish says
I vote for total photo update. You are splendid and I always find it inspiring when woman allow their hair to be natural and when they are seen in the fullness and joy of their life and work.
I think accumulation of years makes us Elders: wise, knowledgeable, compassionate, beautiful, leaders, the whole, manifested us. You are clearly one!!
Re photos, no idea what marketing gurus say. Heart comes to mind. Which ones do you want on your site? Put dates? Super brave, not something I could do right now but what if we all “owned” it?
christina peters says
You are soooo beautiful! I’m not a regular commenter but had to respond to this one. I am a woman who has never colored my hair; just never wanted to give in to “expected standards” of what women are supposed to be. I always have felt that what I do and say matters more than what I look like. Mostly, I am a confident woman. But I always imagine what women who color their hair look like natural. You might be surprised to find that women who flaunt their silver strands of experience and wisdom are truly the most beautiful version of themselves!!! YOU are a very beautiful woman and age doesn’t change that. Thank you for all that you DO and SAY; your work is invaluable.
To age is completely different than to get old. We all age but we don’t have to get old. I am 68 years of age but I am about 20 years old!
Hooray for you! You are my hero!
You are beautiful and aging is a gift! On top of that, you have so much to be proud of! I really admire you and your work!
My dog got diagnosed with Anal Gland Adenocarcinoma a little over a month ago. He was my first dog who had all types of problems when I got him. Your books and blogs helped me to get him to be perfect and I now I can’t imagine my life without him. He is on Chemo (Palladia) and has his first check up to see if it working this Friday. Wish us luck. I am very thankful for all of your books and blogs as your words have really helped me through this process.
Pam Riek says
Ohh, if I thought my hair would be that beautiful color, I’d stop coloring mine in a heartbeat!
Love love love all these photos! You are all wearing your ages beautifully! Thank you for sharing with us.
You are beautiful!! And the dogs are adorable. I love the one with all of you on the couch. That is where me and my husband and our little Cavalier spend most evenings. It’s good to be older and able to do that and never feel guilty about it.
You are gorgeous and so are the pictures. I’d definitely go with many of the new. Keeping some of the old is a good reminder of where you’ve been and the new, where you are going.
KC Wilson says
Love your hair and you look amazing!
Adrienne K. says
Love your “family” picture. You all look fabulous. I, too, would stop dying my hair if I could have that beautiful silver mane you have. Hairdresser says no can do.
I’m working on the “not feel guilty” part! Can’t believe how lazy I am now after dinner.
Oh Rosemary I am so sorry. All paws crossed for you and your dear dog.
Yay for you Christina for your well deserved confidence through all of your life. Now that’s invaluable.
Mary Sue says
Wonderful new pictures. You look terrific in your new hair! Jim looks great too! The dogs look adorable, of course! But what makes the pictures so special is that you look SO HAPPY! Joy shines through! ( having read your memoir, I am delighted to see that).
I’m 71 too, and as a cancer survivor, I relish living every day. And it looks like you do too.
I like the idea of a mix of old and new pics on the site…but mostly new!
Love the new pictures. Just adds to your allure! Go for it! The dogs are grand too. Thanks for all you do for dogs and their people.
Relish! A great word.
You look beautiful and I love the pictures with Maggie. Having recently made the decision to let my hair go natural, um, silver, I understand. Use these new ones please, they’re fantastic!
Alexander Hardy says
From” Down Under” at 42 South—Your photo journal has made our day—what a fabulous selection –suggest edit pics of past but use these,they are NOW and “persona” of subject(s) comes thru in every one. Love your” Maggie”–been there,done that now live rural area and cared for by eleven year old GSD bitch rescued at ten–both pretty deaf but hand signals working well—-“Love,” is being owned by a dog”! When you come back to Aotearoa, bring your Jim and come to the “mainland”—–eagerly anticipating your next literary masterpiece.
Take care and go well, Alex H
MaryLynne Barber says
Love your new “do”. In fact, so much that I am going to print one of the pics and take it to my hair dresser next time. Looks so easy care. At 70-1/2, with three cats, a new puppy (mystery mix from the shelter) and an active life, I need easy care. Hope your bug departs your body soon. Many bad flu bugs out there that are not covered by the shot. I just had one that lasted 10 days, but am now on the mend. Take care of you.
This is the best thing on the internet! Love the photo shoot! You all look FANTABULOUS!!!
The photos are beautiful, do it.
Melanie Hawkes says
Happy birthday Trisha and Jim! I am 40 tomorrow. I found this on the internet: “At 40 I am not old, I am retro. And when I turn 60 I will be vintage. And when I turn 80 I will be antique, but never old.”
Re your website, why not have an archive page with all the old photos? And use all these fabulous new photos on all the main pages!?
My favorite is the last one with you and Maggie in the barn. It’s just perfect. I think that should be your most featured photo.
Gorgeous. You & Jim and Maggie & Toots are paired matchy matchy in the hair color department. Almost like you planned it.
ALL of these pictures make me smile!
Definitely mix the older pictures with the new on the website 🙂
Love the silvery look on you both.
Deb McGrath says
I love the new photos, but don’t throw out the baby with the bath water…choose YOUR favorites, those which please you, and only you!💕
Sherrie King says
You look maaahhhrvelous! I am a few months older than you & just finished moving across the country to return to Arizona, the place where I’ve been the happiest in my life. That after thyroid cancer, heart attack, open heart surgery, breast cancer & the attendant radiation & hormone therapy …..all topped with my car being totaled by a bad driver when I was still in North Carolina. A friend drove out with me (she had never been in the west) and my 10-year-old Sheltie. I am very proud that I let me hair go naturally gray several years ago & don’t worry about what anyone thinks. But most don’t think I look my age. I’m proud of every wrinkle, scar & gray hair, especially as I am from a large family that mostly didn’t live to see 50. You are one of my wise women & I wish BOTH os us a satisfying & happy life!
You are fabulous and awesome and so are all the photos. It is wonderful to have someone to look up to and admire and know that life can continue to be attacked with such joy and enthusiasm.
I am looking forward to your novel as I am confidently anticipating a (female) protagonist to enjoy and admire and know the dogs will be OK!!
I vote in favor of the “mature Patricia” photos. As I’m not far behind (at 66), I find growing appreciation for those who demonstrate life’s zest, fun, purpose & worth even for those of us over 40! Your enthusiasm remains a wonderful gift to your readers.
You’ve been a “Dog hero” of mine for years. Ever since I opened “For the Love of a Dog” – and discovered the admiration, partnership, respect and love then growing between my soulmate spaniel and I could be so brilliantly expressed & articulated. It gave both validation & a new perspective.
That gift you’ve given so many of us is unaffected by a different hair color!
Sheila Bannigan says
So beautiful, and so inspiring you are!
Having listened to ‘Calling All Pets’, on Saturday mornings for years as we drove our children to their swimming competitions, they definitely grew-up with you, Patricia.
You inspired us all to be better pet owners, to forgive ourselves for our human ineptness as related to understanding our dogs, and most importantly you continue to demonstrate that life is a journey of asking questions and learning. Thank you for that.
I believe it is most appropriate that you include the photos of you, Jim, and all of your furry family members through the truly golden years. To not do so would leave your story incomplete.
The pictures are fabulous, and your happiness radiates in each picture. I am white haired at 59, totally, and LOVE IT!!! I have learned so much from this blog, about dogs, life, people, etc. Thank you! Your an example of not just getting older, but life lived with passion! PS. your husband looks wonderful as well!!!!
You are a beautiful woman. Celebrate it!
You all look great!
I especially love your hair and Miss Maggies mismatched earsies.
Darlene Alison says
Thank you for being an inspiration to me today. I really needed a dose of positive women in my life right now
Mary Beth Stevens says
Patricia, you’re beautiful, beloved, and full of zest – who could ask for more! But I get it…we’re currently in the process of down-sizing in preparation for a big move and I’m going through photograph after photograph…the most poignant thing to me is to see pics of myself at age 30 and think, “Gee! I was cute! Whyever didn’t I appreciate that at the time?” I wasted so much time thinking just the opposite…So own 71! And as my dear husband reminded me when I lamented turning 60 a few years ago, “there’ll come a day when you’ll say, ‘oh, to be 60 again…”. And you know what? He’s 100% right! ❤️
Colleen Ingram says
Do what you feel would represent the most important/precious of them…your current pictures are wonderful!!! You have to share them…does it have to be at the expense of your classics?
Barb Stanek says
Love the silver!
Chris from Boise says
Happy belated birthdays! What I see in those lovely photos: sparkly eyes; infectious smiles; deep, true love; delight and curiosity in life. Those, to me, are the essence of beauty. And silver suits you to a T.
Mystery novel – wow! You never cease to amaze!
The photos are all lovely. I especially love the one of the whole family and the one of you and Maggie at the end. The one of the whole family caused me a chuckle though as I imaged sitting on our couch with the newest family member included. I don’t think there’s really room for two adult humans and a 4 year old Great Pyrenees. He is an incredible gift from someone that loved him enough to realize that their life wasn’t the best one for him.
I’m looking forward to seeing which photos find their way to your website.
The pictures are beautiful! The one with Maggie and Meryl is for the wall. You take a wonderful picture…beauty on the inside and out.
Lovend photographs Tricia! About the pictures in the site: just do what feels best for you. There is no right and wrong way of presenting yourself to the world, only a comfortable and uncomfortable one. So do what feels right, but knop that you look like a nice, friendly yet strong woman in this pictures. And allow yourself to be comfortamble with yourself as you are. It’s okay 😊😊
Lovend = lovely
A belated Happy Birthday to you both, and you are all radiant in your pictures! Today is my birthday, with some mixed feelings about growing older as I stumble through middle age.
Your new silver look is beautiful! I wish mine would do that. My salt and pepper is mostly salt now with some of the original brunette underneath. It started graying at 26. I could pluck those few rogue hairs until 30, then had to start coloring it. A couple of years ago I stopped, more from chronuc pain and fatigue than a conscious decision. It’s ironic that there are young people who dye their hair this color on purpose, while I still struggle with the temptation to color it again.
As far as the pictures, why not keep all of them (except for any you really hate 😊)
Muttzrule: I’ll bet your hair is gorgeous! Who doesn’t love salt and pepper?
Thank you Trisha! It has gotten a few compliments from friends and coworkers. One has begun to let hers go natural, and it’s grown out silver like yours which suits her well.
The surpising thing is that my gray is starting to curl! I always had straight hair before so this is a new adventure.
Looking forward to reading that mystery novel!
Sheryl Scrimsher says
Trisha, I agree! You do look gorgeous—basking in the love of your family (Jim and the pups). Your article on overweight dogs is most helpful. I do have a question about exercise. My husband read somewhere that “sniff” walks on leash are as beneficial as walks at a faster pace. I think the author meant that “sniff” walks have a cognitive benefit, but my husband does those exclusively now. [Because of a hip implant, I can no longer walk the dogs, but go along as the “pooper scooper.”] I would really appreciate your insight on the sort of walks that would be best for our Labs. They’re not trained well enough to be off leash in the woods, but they do love that, and we could get longer leashes for them. Thanks so much.
You are beautiful. But I understand about the neck thing – not so fond of mine either.