pets

Man’s Best Friend

i am still as broody for pets as i always have been. we are waiting for the right time (or rather, home) to finally get a dog – and my yearning for one has gotten to the point where i am already naming them. the big dog will be called Coach Taylor, that much i’m sure of. but for now i am resigned to enjoying other people’s pets and looking at pics of animals on the internet. i spent quite a bit of time looking through the vintage photos of owners and their sweet dogs over at Shorpy, so i thought i’d share some of the more interesting shots with you.














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The Silence of Dogs in Cars

The Silence of Dogs in Cars is a project by photographer Martin Usborne. it is as beautiful and striking as it is sad and upsetting… and sometimes, oddly amusing. i have picked my ten favourites below out of the 41 amazing photographs he took for the series. of course no one can describe the project better than Martin himself,

I was once left in a car at a young age. I don’t know when or where or for how long, possibly at the age of four, perhaps outside a supermarket, probably for fifteen minutes only. The details don’t matter. The point is that I wondered if anyone would come back. The fear I felt was strong: in a child’s mind it is possible to be alone forever.

Around the same age I began to feel a deep affinity with animals – in particular their plight at the hands of humans. I saw a TV documentary that included footage of a dog being put in a plastic bag and being kicked. What appalled me most was that the dog could not speak back.

I should say that I was a well-loved child and never abandoned and yet it is clear that both these experiences arose from the same place deep inside me: a fear of being alone and unheard.

When I started this project I knew the photos would be dark. In a sense, I was attempting to go back inside my car, to re-experience what I couldn’t bear as a child. What I didn’t expect was to see so many subtle reactions by the dogs: some sad, some expectant, some angry, some dejected. It was as if upon opening up a box of grey-coloured pencils I was surprised to see so many shades inside.

There is life in the darkest places inside us.

Martin is currently spending a year to see how many animals he can save in 365 days. Read the ongoing blog here. He hopes for this to become his next book.

thanks to Thisispaper for introducing me to his work.

all photos by Martin Usborne

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Animal Love

i’m going to revive the photo bomb series because my flickr favourites are so vast, but i’ve decided to share new, old and favourite photographers theme by theme because otherwise all you get is a disconnected bunch of photos and this isn’t tumblr, folks. if you want to explore past flickr favourites in the archives, you can check out the photo bombflickr tags… or just browse the photography category.

so for this week’s photo bomb the theme is animals & pets. i’m pretty starved for animal love right now, since moving earlier this year i don’t get to see my family’s pooches all too often, and i live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. at the moment it’s fine because i’m not home all too often anyway and that is super unfair on a cat or a dog (especially if you don’t have a garden), but it also means that i fawn over basically every single animal i get to see in real life. if you’re walking down the street with your dog (or cat? maybe you’re into that) then i WILL stop and say hi. to your animal, i will probably ignore you completely.

please click on the photo to be taken to the original on flickr.

by lupe bracaccini

by alexis mire

by Fat Montana

by Parker Fitzgerald

by Matthew Harris

by junku

by Chad Siddall

by Federico Ciamei

by françois duquesnoy

by Lauri Beckmans

by Marshall Ryan

by Clara Canepa

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Dog Portraits

these are simply too cute not to share –  dog portraits by Itsuko Suzuki

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Dog Portraits

i’m a huge fan of Mark Peckmezian‘s photography, especially his series of portraits that i end up favouriting every time he uploads a new one. he has a set on flickr dedicated entirely to shots of dogs that will make you smile all day long.

all photography by Mark Peckmezian

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Pastel Deaths

there are a a number of things i really don’t enjoy seeing on Flickr (weird nudes, for example) – one of them is photos of dead animals. 99% of time it’s road kill or the carcass of a wild animal that the photographer happened upon in the woods. sometimes blood and maggots are involved, and then the photo is taken in an “arty” way and usually titled “silence” or “beauty” or something completely unnecessary. it really gets my goat.

but this series by Emir Ozsahin made me look twice.

This project is actually about what the deceased leave behind, how the ones left behind remember them or want to remember them more than those who pass away. With the naïve frames I will try to create, it’s about how my subconscious processes them, about the reality we know and how we try to forget what happens after death. By humanizing deceased animals and showing them as if they were sleeping, I tried to briefly touch death and create a series of photographs about pushing away the feeling of disappearing before it hits us hard in the face.

edit: i knew that there would be mixed reactions to this considering the subject matter… please don’t hesitate to give your opinion. also be sure to read Emir’s statement.

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Cats

this article about cats made my day. from life magazine, 1946. some of my favourite bits:

perhaps half of all the cats, have semipermanent homes in barns, stables, factories, office buildings, restaurants, stores, prisons, churches and ships. the submerged remainder, the unorganized and unorganizable proletariat of the cat world, roam the back alleys, woods and deserts and do the best they can.

cats had an especially good press during the war, in which many of them took a helpful part … a few gifted cats wore uniforms and sold war bonds or bought bonds from their own bank accounts.

some cats, to paraphrase thoreau, lead lives of quiet desparation, but many others have a thoroughly good time and take a lively part in human affairs.

… favorable publicity like this is important to cats, which prefer to live on good terms with human beings whenever possible.

… “only relatively well-to-do cats have these”

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hug a dog day

i’m declaring this international hug a dog day. they love it, you love it – everybody wins.

photo credits: sisilia piring / atypicalart / li-han lin

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