April 3, 2012

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog. — Kafka

This image was taken last weekend (3/31) at the dog shelter in KCMO. I was there photographing the matches during the Mega Match-a-Thon. During the event 700 plus animals from three different participating KC area shelters found families and are (hopefully) sleeping comfortable in their new homes as I write this tonight.

The dog in the photo, named Beaumont, was not adopted. He is still at KC Pet Project.

Beaumont has three strikes against him in finding his family. First he’s a senior dog. His gray muzzle which to me embodies the quote I chose to go with this photo, works against him. So many people want a puppy or a young dog — and who can blame them (and there are so many that need homes). Second, he’s heartworm positive. That means a vet bill, vet visits and more intensive care than a dog without heartworms. Lastly, he’s a black dog. Black dogs routinely get overlooked in the dark environment of the kennel. This is the hard reality of Beaumont’s situation.

What Beaumont has in his favor, however, are a bunch of people who really care about dogs (and cats and all animals) in general and him specifically. He has already won over several volunteers and staff members at the shelter. He has worked his way into their hearts, and I know that this incredible network of animal lovers will do everything in their power to find him a place to live out his senior years — and the payoff to wherever he goes will be the enrichment he will give to those who spend those last few years enjoying his company (and learning all that knowledge that is contained within all that is his dogness).

If you’d like to adopt a dog, and live in the KC area (or heck, anywhere for that matter) visit: http://www.kcpetproject.org

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January 17, 2012

You can say any fool thing to a dog, and the dog will give you this look that says, “My God, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” — Dave Barry

Photographing dogs is easier than photographing horses or people (most of the time, anyway) — dogs just have an ability to let their personalities shine through in a photograph. With horses and people, sometimes you have to poke at them to get them to come out of their shells and let their true being be seen.

I have a range of noises I make when I photograph dogs. Cat noises are the most plentiful in my repertoire but there are also dog noises, whistles, grunts and trills — and many times I get as much of a rise out of the dog handler as I do the dog. Sometimes neither is impressed, however, and we have to resort to using another dog or animal to get that “smile” I want.

I love the way dogs are almost always happy to meet another dog. Many of the dogs I photograph are not in the best of situations — and that they want to meet and greet is amazing to me. If I were in a shelter situation, all I’d want to do is hide in my kennel. You have to admire this “go get ’em” quality that is dog.

To see more of my work with shelter dogs and learn about the shelters I work with, follow these links:

Chain of Hope: http://www.chainofhopekc.org

KCMO Animal Shelter on Petfinder