CNN is running a great story about two photographers focusing on the universal truths shared by dog owners and their best friends…
The phrase “dogs are man’s best friend” is one that may be traced from well into the past all the way to the present and is likely to resonate regardless of where a person lives in the world.
In 1870 in Missouri during the Burden v. Hornsby case, U.S. Sen. George G. Vest presented the closing remarks on behalf of Charles Burden, whose beloved dog Old Drum was shot to death by Leonidas Hornsby.
In Vest’s remarks — known as “Eulogy of the Dog” — he stated: “The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is the dog.”
Photographers Will Robson-Scott and Ollie Grove’s photo book “In Dogs We Trust” — like Vest’s past “Eulogy of the Dog” about the unconditional love and loyalty of man’s furry friend toward his owner — highlights the present common belief that dogs are man’s best friend.
In the photo book, childhood friends Robson-Scott and Grove explore the special relationship and capture the intimacy and affection that exists between dogs and their owners. “In Dogs We Trust,” published and designed by Victory Edition, contains portraits shot on film and under natural light of dogs with their owners.
The title draws upon the phrase “In God we trust,” as there are comparisons to be made regarding how people may be reliant on their dogs in the same way they are on their religion.
The portraits were made around the world, from California and New York and across the Atlantic to London. This diversity throughout “In Dogs We Trust” unleashes the commonalities of the world.
“We started out just really wanting to do an almost survey of modern-day dog ownership,” Robson-Scott said. “And trying to show the widest spectrum possible — from the average Joes on the street to CEOs to entertainers.”
When deciding which portraits to include in the photo book, Robson-Scott and Grove sought out an additional perspective to ensure the final selections for “In Dogs We Trust” encompassed the perception of and interpretation from an external spectator.
“We worked on the project for about five or six years, so it’s good to have fresh eyes on it,” Robson-Scott said. “Also, when you put it in a book format you want things to read well together.”
“I, Toto: The Autobiography of Terry, the Dog Who Was Toto” by Willard Caroll is a fictionalized journal created by the Cairn Terrier made famous by his role in the The Wizard of Oz…
“I don’t mean this to sound full of myself—but this Wizard of Oz story? It’s all about me!!! I’M IN ALMOST EVERY SCENE IN THE PICTURE!!!” A leaf from Judy Garland’s long lost diary? Secret tapes of a Munchkin? No, it’s the original diary of Terry, the dog who played Toto in the classic 1939 MGM film. Writing in plain, even humble prose (although she describes her part as vital and her performance as flawless, she understands that Judy Garland was the star of the film), Terry also reveals the grueling before-scenes enemas, snafus on the set and the great difficulty of playing a scene with flying monkeys. A curious cross between Oz trivia, a parody and a chronicle of Terry’s actual career (she made 14 movies and worked with Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy and Joan Crawford), this entertaining and fanciful “diary” also reveals intriguing facts about the economics and mechanics of training animals for films and, specifically, the career of Carl Spitz, Terry’s manager and one of the most respected animal trainers in the business. While Carroll, a Wizard of Oz fan, is not as overtly clever or deliciously mean-spirited as Patrick Dennis, the author of Little Me, the classic 1961 parody of star autobiographies, he isn’t debilitatingly fawning, either. This fun little tome should both amuse and please dog lovers, as well as fans of Oz and collectors of Hollywood arcana.
Thousands of New Yorkers follow @bodegacatsofinstagram, others contribute to the hashtag #bodegacats, and newcomer @brooklynbodegacats is an artful twist on the topic. It’s no secret, we love our shop cats for many reasons. It can be hard as an animal lover not to worry about the welfare of some cats, as I have seen more than a few looking rather thin in my day, and still more too chubby. One wonders what would happen in the off-chance that such a business would close. Sometimes, like last week, the question is answered, and this time it wasn’t pretty.
Dirty Cat (aka “Dirty Gaga”) has previously appeared on the pages of Bowery Boogie, and he was always one of my favorite shop cats. A boisterous, goofy, slightly skittish lil dude, I was treated to a loud greeting and some very enthusiastic head-butts every time I’d walk by with my pup. About ten days ago I was told that the shop he was at (a food distributor on Ludlow) was closing, and given assurances that he would be cared for, if not going with them to the new location.
Life is funny sometimes, and as the small band of workers I’d walk by every day for four years loaded up their goods into trucks for the last time, they pled with me for a date. I laughed it off when I should have parlayed that into a solid inquiry about the future of the cat. As any woman can tell you, your mind is only thinking of how to get away when that conversation happens.
“D’Orro” and “Goldie” were some more of his pet names from residents of the block. Walking the same route two days later was a filled with sadness when I heard that familiar meow, this time full of terror, as Goldie the cat was clearly left behind.
He had taken up residence in a crack merely six inches wide between two Ludlow Street buildings, and was too scared to even poke his head out in the daytime. My boyfriend Andy and I spent two nights trying to trap this lil dude, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of Ron Castellano, local cat-tivist and restaurateur/developer. Ron has a reputation for helping get strays to safety and a future home, and he helped us set up a humane trap to snag D’Orro and facilitated his treatment at Cooper Square Veterinary Hospital. He’s also fostering the cat for the time being, and I am so grateful that people like Ron give an eff about these little guys.
Silent movie star, Rin Tin Tin was the first canine to make it big in the movie business, and largely responsible for the German Shepherd becoming a popular breed. Rescued by an American from a French kennel destroyed in World War I, Rin Tin Tin is credited with saving Warner Brothers Studios from going bankrupt with his first starring role in 1923’s “Where the North Begins”. He appeared in 27 films, four of which were with sound, and achieved international fame, allegedly being voted winner of a best actor Oscar in 1929 that was eventually awarded to a human.