Matilda (plus mom Jennifer and sister Annie) | New York City Pet Photographer

It's cats that are supposed to be the ones with nine lives, right? Don't try telling that to Matilda. This very senior dog has beaten unbelievable odds and is currently living years past her predicted death with her owner Jennifer in a cozy apartment in Manhattan.

Jennifer's friends put their money together and then informed her that a stranger (me!) would be coming to her apartment to do something nice. I was a surprise! It was a little nerve-wracking showing up somewhere to announce that I was there to take photos - would she be ok with it or get flustered? But Jennifer was delighted.

"I figured," she said, "that my friends wouldn't steer me wrong. They've known me for a long time." Those are some excellent friends to have.

Unlike many very small dogs I've met, Matilda is quite relaxed and mild-mannered. She was snuggly with her "mom", and very sweet. At one point during our session I was sitting on the couch photographing her and she decided to trot over and just sit on my lap! She is also very "likcety".

My favorite two features on Matilda are her heart-shaped patch and THOSE EARS. They are fantastic.

Also appearing on camera is Matilda's younger sister, Annie. Jennifer worried that taking in another dog so young might upset the senior Matilda, but they get along nicely. It's even been beneficial; when Annie came to live with them, Matilda had stopped eating. Having someone else potentially eat her portion of dog food inspired Matilda to chow down right away at meal time! So this strong little dog keeps on living thanks to her punk of a little sister.

And during snack time, which happened while I was over, Matilda showed off her most perky side by dancing for a treat.

I am so happy to have met these three! Keep spunky, Matilda.