From a deceased cockatiel kept in the freezer to the feisty feline of an Albury schoolgirl, Nat Ord has been looking through the lens of our relationships with our pets.
The Albury photographic artist says she has been equally captivated by the stories behind the portraits she was commissioned to create as part of the PETS exhibition now open at MAMA Albury.
The all-encompassing exhibition, which draws from the museum's collection of photographs, paintings and sculptures along with commissioned work and invited artists, aims to celebrate the wonderful relationships between pets and the humans that care for them.
Ord followed her animal instincts to track down local identities who would agree to pose for her with their pets.
A few quirky characters tickled her fancy but her favourite is the story of Wodonga's Peta Larsson who keeps her (now deceased) cockatiel Nelson in the family freezer.
And while Ord admits this portrait - a photograph of Peta and her son Elliott cradling Nelson in front of the fridge - falls "a little outside the brief", she says it does depict the heartbreak that can follow the loss of a pet.
"Peta got Nelson when she was 19 and he lived for 22 years - they celebrated a joint 40th and 21st birthday," Ord explains.
"She loved this bird so much and could not bear the thought of burying or cremating him."
Adding to the story's poignancy was that Peta's son Elliott, who was 12 when Nelson died, carefully crafted a Lego sculpture of the bird for his mother.
The family is still easily reduced to tears years after their loss, according to Ord.
But with sadness also comes great joy with animals.
Such was the delight of Father Peter MacLeod-Miller when he visited his beloved donkeys for the photo shoot.
The animals are a popular fixture at St Matthew's Anglican Church, Albury for its Christmas services.
"Father Peter was happy to participate and he is clearly so overwhelmed with love for them," Ord says.
"As soon as we went to the place where the donkeys are kept he dropped to his knees and began kissing them.
"He said to me, 'You know Nat, if there were more donkeys in the world we would need less psychologists'."
And that's the point really in presenting this work, Ord explains.
"The underlying theme is companionship in one way or another," she says.
"Animals permit people to love openly and unconditionally.
"And we can learn so much - whether that's scientifically or emotionally - in the act of caring for them."
... If there were more donkeys in the world we would need less psychologists.Father Peter MacLeod-Miller
But as anyone who has worked with animals knows, things don't always go to plan.
Ord's encounter with Cougar, the companion cat for Albury schoolgirl Lillian Dyball, was more theatrical than therapeutic.
Lillian, 10, has a condition called arthrogryposis, or joint contracture, that means she uses a wheelchair for mobility.
The cat literally leapt into their lives - well into Lillian's chair - when the family went looking to adopt a pet some time ago, according to Ord.
When Ord asked Lillian's mum Natalie if the pair could be included in her work, she joked: "If you can get them both to co-operate, you can have them."
On the day in question Cougar did not want to comply - the result is an unexpected but wonderfully candid shot of the cat in mid-air, leaping out of Lillian's lap and seemingly into a Richmond Tigers poster.
Ord laughs as she recalls that while it wasn't the photograph she had in mind, the finished product is fabulously fun.
It was much the same with her grand plan for Wahgunyah winery chief Eliza Brown who owns a peacock called (yes, you guessed it) Andrew!
An excited Ord pictured the All Saints director posing with grapes, a chandelier and a peacock strutting about the wine barrels.
But when Eliza went in search of her feathered friend, it appeared Andrew had flown the coop and escaped up a tree.
"Luckily we used some ducklings instead and that in itself was a lovely story," Ord says.
"Eliza loves ducks and when her father died they had the funeral near the pond at All Saints and she remembers the ducks walking by."
It all speaks to the heart of the PETS exhibition with a veritable menagerie let loose in the MAMA foyer and Paul Ramsay Gallery upstairs.
The museum's major summer exhibition also includes the Pets Saloon, a "free-for-all gathering of pet portraits" by local painters young and old.
Ord says it's fantastic to see the foyer wall lined with kids' drawings of their pets.
"The whole project is beautiful - I love animals and I have loved taking their portraits and also hearing the stories that come out of it," she says.
The project also brought back fond memories of Ord's childhood.
The artist spent three hours at the farm of well-known Border musician Danny Phegan for his portrait session - and even got to throw her leg over a horse after many, many years out of the saddle.
"Just the smell of the horse was so nostalgic for me," she admits.
"I told Danny I'd love to have a ride and he very kindly allowed me to have a go. I even managed to swing myself on without a boost!"
- PETS is on now at MAMA Albury until February 9, 2020.