I photograph A LOT of dogs. I mean a lot! I love doing it. I have come to think of it as something I was meant to do. Photographing dogs brings so much joy into my life. I love creating great photographs of my own dogs. But, I really love that I have found a way to put my talents to use for an even higher purpose.
As my photography career has developed, I have put my talents to use in a wide variety of situations. Several years ago my wife became involved at our local SPCA. At one point, a mutual friend of ours who worked at the shelter asked if I could take a few photographs of a dog there. I was happy to do it. I had never photographed a dog at a shelter before. I still remember him. His name was Bogart. He was a brown and white pit mix type dog. He was such a friendly dog.
I thought photographing Bogart at the shelter was just a one off. I was happy to help out and take some photos but I never really thought I would do it again. Little did I know what it would lead to.
Several years into my adventure in photographing shelter dogs this big hairy beast came galloping into my life. I love big dogs. When I first met Kira and took her outside to photograph, I really liked her. She was a gorgeous dog. She was super friendly and had a great personality. There had been plenty of other dogs at the shelter that I had photographed that I had liked but none of them was quite the fit for me that Kira was.
Still, I was not really looking for a dog. We had four at home already. I really liked Kira but I was sure she would find a great home through the shelter. When I shared her photos on social media I commented, that someone better go see her soon at the SPCA and adopt her before I do. After all, I couldn’t take every dog I photographed at the shelter home with me.
I never really mentioned Kira much to my wife. I certainly did not say anything about possibly adopting her. Little did I know my wife was busy falling for Kira as well. In her job at the shelter, my wife found herself often spending a lot of time with Kira. She found herself really enjoying Kira’s company. Kira is such a loving dog. I think she could make anyone fall in love with her.
Eventually my wife mentioned to me how much she liked Kira. I told her that I really liked Kira too. We have had five dogs most of the past eight years or so. It wasn’t a huge deal for us to take on a fifth dog. So after some discussion we decided we wanted to adopt Kira.
Shortly thereafter, we brought Kira home and introduced her to her new siblings Sierra, Buck, Mojo, and Brynn. Photographing shelter dogs has introduced me to a whole new world of dogs. It is a whole new way of relating to dogs. It is an experience like no other that leads to forming bonds like no other. If you have the opportunity to interact with a shelter dog in any capacity I highly recommend you take it. It will enhance your life in ways you never thought possible and it will enhance the life of that shelter dog in ways you couldn’t imagine.
Help me highlight the work the Chemung County SPCA does so others can find great friends like I did with Kira by supportin gmy project here: https://igg.me/at/ShelterDogsattheMuseum/x/13239346