I’m not sure if there are any other species that we as humans are connected with more than dogs. This connection is evident not just here but across the world. We adopt them into our lives and they become our best friends and closest companions. We develop a deep unspoken bond and a strong emotional connection with them, often stronger than with those of our own species.

I often meet women with dogs who are not ashamed to admit that their dog is their child substitute; sometimes these women have had children of their own, sometimes a dog is the closest thing to a child that they will have, the feelings are just the same. A dog can bring out our innate desire to nurture. This goes for men too. They enjoy the companionship, and the responsibility they feel for their dog can help to keep them grounded. Not forgetting to mention the childless couples who’s dogs often become their shared interest and ‘practice babies’

Our dogs encourage interaction between others of our own kind. They are often instigators of a conversation between two strangers; and the role of dogs as assistance dogs for conditions such as anxiety and depression is becoming more recognised.

So why should we have our dogs photographed?

Our dogs bring many things to our lives; joy, fulfilment, happiness. Yet we know at some point we will have to say goodbye. These creatures that become firm members of our families will in all probability not outlive us. This is one of the reasons that we must honour our dogs by creating compelling portraits which capture the essence of their personalities and the connection that we have with them. Portraits that will serve as long reminders of their places in our lives .

 

Elisabeth Turfrey 2020

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