Until One Has Loved An Animal....

Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

Parts of my soul, whatever that is, may be unawakened but not because I haven’t loved an animal. There are times when I could rightly be accused of being a misanthrope, but other than pythons in the everglades I hold no ill feelings toward animals. My dog is in another category altogether though, and I’ll leave it at that. Perhaps the expressions of dog and man shown below will help to illustrate my point.

There are many people walking around Fearrington Village with their dogs, leash in one hand and plastic bags in the other, but this pair was different. I watched them for a couple of days and saw that they were “regulars” in both time and place. He sat on Nana’s bench under the ancient white oak tree with his gray-muzzled friend lying on the ground nearby. So, camera in hand, I asked yesterday if he would allow me to photograph them, and he graciously complied. He was standing when I approached, and upon accepting my request, he walked to the bench, his friend wobbling by his side, and they both settled into relaxation. This is the first image in the series, processed in a vintage format. The combined expressions of man and dog was such that I found him again this morning - with his wife and canine companion - and gave him a large print of the portrait. He was pleased to have their companionship recorded.

I titled it “Old Friends”.