The Wisdom of Dogs.
When I met my wife, she introduced me to her dog, Nemo. "We come as a package," she said.
There's something I've learned from Nemo I call The Wisdom of Dogs. It's to do with an unspoken friendship, a shared joy, the preciousness of time.
I’ve grown to love Nemo. He’s a “three bears” dog for me; intelligent, not too needy, and with just the right balance of independence and eager to please. He has a way of communicating with his eyes, with a nudge or by sitting and gently resisting, so that you know exactly what he wants. He throws his Kong at our feet when he’s hungry for a treat, which is often.
He’ll sit patiently and wait for us outside a restaurant on a busy street without having to be tied up, he wakes us up in the middle of the night if he needs to go out for an emergency, and he never walks the wrong side of a lamp post when he’s on the leash. If a dog tries to attack him, he doesn’t blink, he just walks away.
Walking Nemo, I found the house we now call home, and through Nemo’s four-legged pals I’ve come to dog photography. I owe him a lot.
I now come into contact with quite a few dogs, and I continue to learn. I photograph at three charities- East Bay SPCA, Muttville in San Francisco, and Humane Society Silicon Valley. Often I see dogs who bear scars and even disfigured limbs from the abuse they’ve suffered, and yet, perhaps after a little rehabilitation, are affectionate and companionable. Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog, remarked, ”A lot of things can happen to a dog and they’ll still turn to the next person and give it a shot.” It’s a deep wisdom I’m trying to learn, and it’s a measure of how far I have yet to go that it moves every time I encounter it.