Look! We’re in this book!
In fact today, Idre was taking more photos of us for another “project” –See how good George was – he sat still like that for about 15 minutes – the only thing he isn’t like to do was to look at the camera.As for me, I don’t like the sound of the light bulb flash. I am usually the better one at posing but Helen had to coax me with treats. I decided to cuddle with her than stand and face the lights, camera and flash!
May’s comment: And I wrote the FOREWORD – my first!!!!
If you have picked up this book, chances are that you are a dog-lover. And, like most of us who have this immeasurable bond with our furbabies, you’ve probably had a few – and possibly many – conversations with them.
When giving cues and requests, we can find ourselves rationalising and negotiating these, as our dogs gaze at us with perplexed looks, twitching eyebrows and tilted head, their innocent cuteness throwing us off, mid-sentence. At times we speak to our beloved companions at length, sharing what’s on our mind when we need a listening ear – especially one that is non-judgemental.
Of course, we do not expect a vocal response, though still keenly observe their expressions, looking for indications that they understand what we are saying perfectly well. And sometimes we even answer on their behalf, using a different voice from ours, in a make-believe dialogue. What must they think of us?
Over centuries, humans and dogs have co-existed. But, in the last decade, there has been a significant increase in research into our canine companions – mainly cognitive studies – into understanding our canines, and the results have confirmed what we have instinctively known all along: our dogs possess a high level of understanding, emotion and intelligence.
How often have we wished that they could speak, especially when they are unwell or unhappy. There is so much we would like to know about them – what they think and how they feel. Do they think that we, their besotted carers, are completely mad? And, of course, the question we really want to know the answer to: “Do you love me?”
In this fascinating collection of very personal and individual portraits taken from a unique perspective, the photographer, Indre Cukuraite, has used her camera lens as the interviewer, to let the dogs share their thoughts.
The result is Bonds: capturing the special relationship that dogs share with their people, an elegant, dignified and respectful photographic chronicle of the incomparable relationship that exists between us and our dogs – as told by our dogs. The composition of the participants (with one exception!) reflects the usual place where dogs are usually to be found, in relation to their owners, and it is this familiar and secure spot that they are interviewed. For me, this brings to mind an Edith Wharton quote: “My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.”
I first saw Indre’s dog photography in her studio in Chelsea, London. I was immediately drawn to her portraits: the simplicity in composition and experimentation with lighting that captures the humanlike qualities in each subject made her work intriguing. The portraits made me pause and study the faces of these pups: they seemed to have something to say. Whether it was the trio of black Poodles huddled together like a family against a turquoise background, or the little white Maltese fluff ball who looked like she owned the world, I lingered over each one appreciating the beauty of the light, the details picked out and the depth of expression on each of their faces.
As a keen observe of my own dog’s reactions to my tone of voice and movements (I am all too guilty of applying my interpretations to their reactions), I fantasise about what they think and feel, or imagine what their thought-bubble captions would be, and write their stories in our daily blog – ‘Miss Darcy’s Adventures.”
So, when Indre asked us to be a part of her book, we jumped at the chance to be interviewed, and both my pups most definitely have stories to tell! Darcy, my Cockapoo, came to me as a puppy. At three, her secure life was rudely interrupted by the arrival of George, a small but resourceful street dog from Hungary. The revised dynamic took a little while to settle, and at our photographic interview, Indre captured the relationship with me and with each other that existed then: little George attempting to be the dominant one, while Darcy was comfortable knowing her place in my heart.
Each of these captivating images reveals the depth of the close companionship that exists. You can read the captions or you can read the expressions told through body language or eyes. No two stories are the same. We love our dogs. They are God’s angels in our midst.
This was the photo that Indre of Amarcord Photography took of my two pooches that we used for our card three Christmases ago.
My all time favourite!
You can buy BONDS, Capturing the special relationship that dogs share with their people by Indre Cukuraite on Amazon.com