Project 52, Toby

Project 52 – Dogs In Our Lives


I say that because it’s Friday. And Friday of course means time for another Project 52 blog post! Just in case this is your first time tuning in, I’ll give you a quick rundown of exactly what that means. Project 52 is essentially a network of professional pet photographers from around the world coming together each week to photograph and blog about a common pre-chosen theme. I am simultaneously elated and privileged to work with a group of such incredibly talented people! So, when you’re done checking out what’s going on here at the Dog Breath Photography page – I urge you to click on to the next photographer and continue the adventure!

This week’s theme was very different than past ones. This week we were asked to create images based upon Paul Fersen’s beautiful ‘Dogs In Our Lives’ poem:

We aren’t house proud. 
If were, we wouldn’t abide the scratches on the door frame, the holes in the screen, the darkened shine of worn spots on the chair. 

We would wince at the mottled carpet and fret at the hair clinging to our clothes. 

We don’t.
 If anything, we lovers of dogs are a tolerant lot, finding greater value in the unabashed affection of our friends than in immaculate sofas. 
Shoes can be replaced, but heroic retrievers are timeless.
Without dogs, our houses are cold receptacles for things. 
Dogs make a fire warmer with their curled presence. 
They wake us, greet us, protect us, and ultimately carve a place in our hearts and our history. 
On reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

Paul Fersen

From the moment I began reading this poem I immediately thought of Toby.

Toby is the one-and-only wagging furbutt of my dreams. He’s my fuzzy child. And without him – Yes, certain parts of my life would be cleaner, simpler and  most likely less smelly – but there would also be a gaping hole in my heart the size of North America. Toby makes every day worth living. He eases my pain with one quick swipe of his pink tongue. He makes me smile brighter and bigger than anyone else ever has. Sure, I could do without the itchy white hair all over my furniture and clothes, the dog farts and the occasional dry kibble vomit. And yes, I can only dream of more than the 3 square inches of sleeping space in my bed at night and of a vehicle without puppy snots on all the windows. But, there is nothing more important in the whole world than that goober smile on Toby’s face or the feeling of his cold wet nose pressed into the space between my cheek and my neck. Quite frankly, I am willing to give up anything to be lucky enough to feel his sunshine in my life everyday for as long as he exists. So, if I could say one thing to our poet Mr. Paul Fersen, it would be ‘I understand’.

The biggest challenge this week was the directive to not photograph a dog. We were challenged to show the presence of a dog in our lives without showing the actual dog. So, in order to translate this into a photographic blog for you – I thought I’d share a very common scenario in my life. Here’s an idea of what it looks for me to go out somewhere nice. So here I am on a Friday night. I’ll spend what seems like an eternity getting dressed up and doing my hair. I put on the finishing touches and.. not too shabby right?

Wrong. Let’s take a closer look.

I get to where I’m going and then ‘Oh, hey! Remember that last over-enthusiastic puppy jump just before you ran out the door?’ … Yup. He got me. It all starts with just one tiny snag …

And ‘Oh! Just one more hug and cuddle before I venture out for the night! Ohhhkay ..and a belly rub!’

And as for me, I like to wear my shoes. But not Toby — he enjoys eating them. He has this uncanny ability to create a chew toy out of virtually anything.

But even still, despite the holes and the smells and the endless amounts of hair – there is nothing on the planet that I would rather have than a wagging Toby by my side. His multicolored face makes every single thing worth it.

Since I’m not well-versed in the magical art of being both behind and in front of the camera at the same time, this blog post wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of two of the most talented photographers I know – Megan Smith and Sam Haddix. Check out their work at Megan Smith Photography and Sam Haddix Photography – you won’t be disappointed!

Now you know the drill, click on to continue the journey! Check out fellow pet photographer Kelly Kennedy Coyle at Sweet Silver Photography to find out about the dogs in her life.  Follow the links all the way around and you’ll end up right back where you started! Here with me and my holey tights!

Until Next Time!


6 thoughts on “Project 52 – Dogs In Our Lives”

  1. Awesome, awesome set! I am so glad to see that someone else can not get out of the house without ‘bits’ of the dog coming too 🙂

  2. Yes, all of those photos reveal that you have a very affectionate dog in your life . . . but I think the snags and hair and tooth marks add to the overall effect of your outfit 🙂

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