People who blog about their animals are, by definition, passionate about their animal. One might say passionately passionate. We are possessed with an unusually strong, enigmatic connection to our dog, cat or gerbil, so much so that their presence in our life helps define who we are. We connect with this animal on such a deeply visceral level that they forever alter the course of our life. I’d like to say that the word muse overstates it, but I’m not sure that it does.
It is this passionate passion for this animal, this one particular dog, that drove us one weirdly, wonderful, probably not quite right in the head day, to start a blog dedicated to our faithful companion, to create a color or graphic landscape upon which we will layer our thoughts and, in the process, both explore and reveal our relationship with a creature who has stolen our heart.
It is this same passion that drives us to tend to our blog, nurturing it, giving it shape and giving it life. In doing so, our blog becomes a reflection of our truth, of who we are and what this dog means to us. But our blog also develops its own unique pulse and identity. This passion to share with, if not the world, then our followers at least, also drives us to snap countless photos on our iPhone or GoPro, frenetically posting them as fast as we can or, sometimes, cataloging them for some future day, for some not-yet-understood photo project that is swirling around shapelessly in our head.
Seriously, we take dozens of photos to get that one perfect shot that captures the essence of our dog, the raw emotional truth of a particular moment. Perhaps we edit them, add filters or frames, add text or make a collage but perhaps not. There are whole days spent walking the shoreline or laying face down in the dog park, arms craned, patiently waiting to capture the craziest action shot we never could dream of. We get lost in the moment of sneaking up on our dogs as they sleep, zooming in on the soft textured skin of his nose, adjusting the table lamp so that his whiskers dance to life, and sometimes, when the moment is right, these photos reveal not only something about our dog but also of us as well.
To me, this before and after shot of Nitro, Chief Executive Dog at Deaf Dogs Rock, is one of those moments. It tells a small story about Nitro and his reaction to a particular environmental stimuli, in this a case a camera shoved in his face as he is dozing off, but it also reveals a little bit of Christina, the blogger, the photographer and the caregiver to the dog who inspired Deaf Dogs Rock. I adore this two-photo series because it is unfiltered, unstaged and totally unexpected. It is a glimpse into the complex, loving, relationship between a girl and her dog. Once again, I am left in awe of this crazy warrior woman who has blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow.