Taken off gaurd by a Dog

Photo by Elliott Erwitt

Something really strange happen to me yesterday while shooting at the Searcy Humane Society. I was shooting the Universities annual day of service called Bisons for Christ. Several students were in an outdoor fenced in area with a bunch of the dogs running around and chasing toys. I decided to shoot through the fence and use the chain links as a sort of frame. As I knelt down and put the camera up to my eye I felt something pushing up under my right arm. I looked down and this brown dog was there looking up at me like it needed a hug. I put my arm around it and rubbed him under his chin and then he looked up and licked me on the chin. I can't get over that dog. I was so taken that I have no idea what the dogs name is and I didn't even get a picture of it. This is troubling to me because I am not a dog person. I am allergic to dogs. We have a No Vet Policy in our family, no pets that need a Vet. I still keep thinking about this dog.

I have a history with dogs. My stuffed animal when I was a kid was really a pillow that had a dog print on the fabric so it looked like a dog on my bed. That was the animal that I slept with as a kid. I vividly remember the day that my brother ,Alan, was in my room and I swung the dog pillow to hit him and the fabric ripped. I was confused, feeling sad but not really knowing what to do, feeling not too different than I feel now actually. I was to old to still have a stuffed animal but this dog pillow was special. I took it to my mom and she showed me how the fabric itself had ripped not just the seam, it wasn't something that could be fixed. I still have my dog pillow fabric folded up in a box somewhere.

I actually had a dog when I was really small. My Uncle Mose gave us a Beagle puppy. He always had Beagles that he used to rabbit hunt. He also named his dogs after US Presidents. I fondly remember Ford and Carter. Completely changing subjects, I have actually had the privilege of being around Jimmy Carter on several different occasions and I have always found him to be a kind and humble man. My Beagle puppy which I don't remember his name didn't stay very long because I would go into the back yard to play with him and I was not big enough to close the gate and he would escape. It only took my Mom about 2 or 3 times having to chase down that dog in the neighborhood and he was returned to Uncle Mose.

I actually learned who Elliott Erwitt is by seeing his book Dog Dogs in a bookstore. His photos captivated me like my new canine friend over at the Humane Society. I know other people grow incredibly close to their pooches, its just a new experience for me.
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