Using Old Dog Videos To Remember Them

old dog videos pet video

Shoot Videos Of Your Dogs

Today, I did a very personal and bittersweet project.  I finally produced video of my first two Lhasa Apso dogs, Pepper and Max.   My stomach is still in knots as I write this.

When I was a young man who relocated for work for the very first time, I took Pepper and Max with me to Winnipeg in 1990.  We were there for three years and sometime during this period, I shot video of them doing just the normal everyday stuff they normally did at home.

This included playing, eating, sleeping (and snoring), taking their bath and just lying around.  For some reason, this was really the only video footage I took of them.  Pepper was already a senior past 10 or 11 years of age while Max was 6 years younger but Max certainly did a great job keeping Pepper relatively young.

Old Dog Videos On VHS Digitalized

At some point, I transferred the super 8 cassette video to VHS so I could play the footage on my VCR (remember those?).  So for many years, the only raw video footage I had of Pepper and Max were on these video tapes.

When computers were fast enough, I transferred the video footage once again to a video file.  Even though there must have been some loss of video quality, I wanted to at least preserve what I had since video tape degrades over time.  At least now, I had a digital copy of the footage.  I had about 30 minutes of raw video footage in no particular order.

Finally A Fully Edited Dog Video

One of the personal projects I always wanted to do was to edit the raw footage into something nice and entertaining.  Well, with Final Cut software and my Mac, I finally had a computer system that could really do a decent job with it.

So this May 3 of 2013, I finally took a day to do the editing.  As I watched the raw video footage (along with one of my current dogs Roxie as shown in the photo above), all the unique antics and personalities of Pepper and Max came back to me.  I found myself smiling a lot but at the same time, I realized that I miss both of them beyond measure.

dog videos

Both Pepper and Max lived long lives of 15 years each.  Now at 2013, Pepper (above left) has been gone for since about 1994, so almost 20 years.  Max (above right) has been gone since about 2000, so about 13 years.  At the time of this writing, I wasn’t able to find their original papers which had both their birthdates and dates of passing.

So it’s been a very LONG TIME since my precious Pepper and Max have left me.

But the video footage helped me remember them quite vividly.  With Final Cut software, I was able to correct for colours and brighten up dark video footage.  I was quite amazed what Final Cut was able to do (and quite thankful too) since I wasn’t previously able to see the video in the same detail as before when I only had the video tapes.

I added some nice music and kept most of sounds captured including my own voice talking to them while shooting the video so many years ago.   I put most of the video in some sort of logical order of the activities they were doing starting from playing to eating to bathing to sleeping.

I could see that they were a bit slow in some of my commands but that was my fault as back then, I was not a very good dog trainer – more on this some other day.

I even found a short clip that I shot with myself with Pepper and Max beside me.  This clip I shot years later when we moved back to Mississauga, Ontario and Pepper was already ailing.  This was likely during his final year in 1994 and I think I wanted to shoot the clip with him and Max in it knowing that I wouldn’t have Pepper for very much longer.

This short clip was to be used in an edited video that I knew I would hopefully produce someday.  I just never guessed that it would have taken me almost 20 years to do it!

Will Not Be Disappointed With Taking Dog Videos

So I’m very glad that I did shoot the video, both the original Winnipeg footage as well as the short clip in Mississauga.  You can say that it’s priceless because it’s the only video memories I have of my beloved Pepper and Max.

Although doing this project was bittersweet since I miss those guys so much, I don’t ever want to forget them.  And this video will always help me remember them and the 15 years they each spent with me.

Of course I have lots of video of my current Lhasa Apsos Chester and Roxie.  But although there were many still photos taken, I never did shoot any video of them when they were puppies for some reason.  Since they grew up so fast, I missed that opportunity.  But at least I have lots of footage of them grown up in their primes.

So based on my personal experience, I would HIGHLY recommend that you too, shoot video of your pets, especially early on.  With new lighter camcorders and even our smartphones, shooting video has never been easier.

Unfortunately, our pets will not be with us on this earth forever.  Time will pass after they are gone someday and you don’t want to forget them. Video will certainly help you remember them when they are gone as well as entertain you while they are still with you.

With modern technology, producing decent edited video of your dogs has never been easier too.  With my Final Cut software, I actually improved upon some of the original video footage!

I won’t share my entire edited video of Pepper and Max since it’s too long at over 26 minutes.  But I will share a short excerpts version to demonstrate just how effective modern video software is in the video below which is just over 10 minutes.

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  • Georgie

    Touching footage; this clip made me realise I need to start recording my Lhasa Apos (Chrystal & Mitzie) antics. Lhasa Apos are a bundle of joy and full of character.

  • Many thanks for watching Georgie – yes, video your dogs!

  • Hello Clint,
    This was a beautiful tribute to your handsome dogs Pepper and Max. This is a wonderful way to honor and remember all the joy they gave you and others that they have met along their journey. Life is precious. Thank you for sharing this with the world. It’s interesting, this morning as I was sitting with Ms. Misha (4 month old Shih Tzu) training her to sit properly, I was thinking how I cherish these moments. I am so grateful to be in a position to have a beautiful little friend in my life at this time. We have a lot of training to do, but day by day she is learning. She will grow, live her life and then her energy will pass, as we all will. You’ve inspired me to record this, thank you.
    My goal is that she will be receptive to and I will be able to train her as a therapy dog so she can bring joy to others that will visit with her. Moment by moment, day by day, I am mindful of the wonderful joys of our world and of our life, I’m grateful. Have a beautiful day. Peace, Harmony and Happiness

  • You will be amazed a year from now how much she will have learned! Have fun and keep consistent with the training.

  • Linda Meloche and Abigail,

    Hello Clint

    Thank You so much for sharing this video, Abigail and I enjoyed it so much, Yes we take lots of videos, for each stage of life is so rewarding to see over again,to remember it and cherish it. I am a proud Momma to our newest baby, a 1.8 oz Chihuahua long hair. Abby has taken on the role of Momma and we still use the indoor potty. My Abigail is the puppy you POSTED in your BOOK with the little red sweater on and we live in the Forest in Florida with all the critters. RosaLee is being trained now on the indoor potty ( having a hard time right now, she is only 9 weeks old as of Monday ) Do you remember Abby, we love watching your videos, Abby wanting to go thru the computer to play with your pups ! well Thanks for keeping in touch Clint Cora,

    Linda and Abigail, and RosaLee

  • HI Linda, good to hear Abby is doing well. She will be in a great position to teach the new puppy. I did this with Pepper and Max. Whenever Abby is going to use the litterbox, use the right commands and make sure that the new puppy watches everything happen, including the praise you give to Abby. She will want to copy. Max was indoor trained really fast just by watching Pepper.