Tragic family news leads to new business idea

AN award-winning Goring photographer has come up with a quirky business idea to celebrate beloved family pets.

Tuesday, 8th March 2016, 11:00 am
Doggie Cake Smash with white boxer Ali by Zara Cowdray Photography

Zara Cowdray set up Doggie Cake Smash following tragic news about her own dog.

Ali, a white boxer, was diagnosed with bone cancer and Zara wanted to find a way to show how much pets become a part of family life.

She explained: “Ali has been a part of our family, and grown up with our children, since she was seven weeks old.

“She had three operations in three years to remover cancer and has bounced back. A couple of weeks ago, we were told that it was unlikely she would see her 12th birthday in June.

“As an artist, I wanted to do something that no-one had done before, something to help people realise that pets are a part of our family and not just for Christmas. So I came up with an idea, as I wanted to do something unique and quirky.”

Zara set up a Doggie Cake Smash session with Ali, having checked online that no other photographer in Sussex ran anything similar.

She already takes cake smash photographs of young children and thought pets could join in the fun.

“I ordered a special dog cake, then ordered a custom-made crown and did the photoshoot with our dog one weekend,” she added.

“Sadly, Ali passed away on Friday, so this very important to us now.

“Ali meant everything to us. Our children, aged 13, nine and six absolutely loved her to bits. When we told them she would be going to ‘doggie heaven’, I had all three burst into tears. I have never seen children cry so much.”

Zara was awarded a level three certificate in digital photography in 2013 and has been awarded Qualified Status by The Guild of Photographers. Visit for more information.

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