If you didn’t know, I’m a huge dog lover. Like, might-buy-an-island-and-live-there-with-500-dogs kind of dog lover. So naturally I started a dog-lovers group on my neighborhood’s Nextdoor community. It has almost 1000 members now! The group mostly conspires to get lost dogs back to their owners and oohhs-and-ahhhs at each others very cute pups, often doing very cute pup things. Before long, I noticed that a lot of these dogs in our group were seniors, many likely not living out the rest of the year. At the time, having just recently had to say goodbye to my own dog of almost 10 years, I wanted to do something for the families of these pups in my community. So I started a portrait program photographing the senior dogs here in my neighborhood.
This is Barkley and he was one of my first subjects in the program. Barkley is a well-traveled black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He has visited 6 states and 3 countries. And just look at him, he looks like a cultured little globe trotter that might regale you with tales of exotic meats and fine tahini treats from his latest tour through India. Gazing at you with a kind of earned superiority from across his “grinch fingers”, as his person, Tanya, likes to call them.
We spent about 40 minutes with Barkley in the back yard where he keeps his family safe from birds and squirrels. He wasn’t thrilled about the camera and kept a suspicious eye on me from a distance. Luckily a long lens let us get in close for some really cute shots.
Barkley is still with his family, but according to Tanya, he’s definitely slowed down a lot since these pictures were taken. Tanya is grateful to have these images as a keepsake, and I’m grateful that I was able to be there to capture these photographs.