Book Review by Patricia A. Bloom, Ph.D
Captured . . . The Look of the Dog
In Captured . . .The Look of the Dog, Gloria Yarina (photographer) and Fern Goodman
(writer) take us into the world of dogs, with photographs, anecdotes, poems, and sketches that
highlight each dog in a unique, inimitable way. The artful photographs are complemented by the
writer’s razor-sharp wit and sense of the absurd, making the final composition a delightful read.
It seems we have always been fascinated by the ability of the camera to capture a moment
in time. We study the photograph to see what the eye did not, and we are thrilled with discovery.
What intrigues us most, perhaps, is that every photograph is infused not only by where the lens
was pointing but by the artist taking the picture. Thus, no two scenes, taken by different
photographers, or even by the same photographer at different moments, are ever alike. The artist
selects, the camera accepts.
For those who love dogs, these photographs provide a look inside its nature, depicting in
either realistic or fanciful ways, the meritorious delights of our faithful companions. Unlike other
books of dog photographs, however, the photographer, Ms. Yarina, has enhanced many of the
pictures with artistic embellishment. Thus, while numerous books have portrayed the dog in all
its wondrous and varied forms, this is a publication that captures the dog in ways we have not
seen before. It is, appropriately, titled: Captured . . .The Look of the Dog.
The writing, by Fern Goodman, gives to the picture of each dog, not only its identity, but
a special luminescence. Some descriptions make us laugh, others make us think, and all are
perfectly phrased to encapsulate and illuminate the picture before us. Each photo/story is
compelling yet rapidly traced, like an old-fashioned zoetrope, where we are amazed and
transfixed by the moving images. Each story takes hold and reminds us, once again, that people
who love dogs and write about them surely deserve our highest regard. For they are the ones who
translate our feelings, which would otherwise go unexpressed and leave us hollow, unable to
explain this extraordinary, time-honored relationship, the one that exists between each of us who
ever had, and loved, a dog.
If you love dogs, photography or just the joy of the well-written word, Captured is a book
you must have, to keep, to savor and enjoy, to return to again and again.
To pre-order your copy, contact: TheLookoftheDog@gmail.com
Patricia A. Bloom, Ph.D.
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Sonny, my boy, a rescued Brittany, Florida 03/2004 to 04/2017 Sonny passed over the Rainbow bridge in true Sonny fashion, no fuss, calm, dignified, easy going way.
Quality time for me had been spent outside with my three precious dogs. I would unwind as I watched them run, hunt and play. They ran like miniature stallions; they hunted with a resourceful vigor; and they played with the focus of a scientist. In respite they would lounge in the middle of the yard finding a sunny spot by the fence on the cool dirt, under the palms, or by their mom (me). I’d beam with joy when the three of them surrounded me to rest on the patio. It was a tranquil, nirvana-like feeling to have three dogs interacting without any aggression or fighting. Sonny, Jen, and Lady were a perfect pack.
Sonny, the oldest, was always wise beyond his years. He was an odd looking little boy with a fuzzy cotton ball coat which acted as natural dust collector. He was bow legged with toes out. He had a calm, balanced demeanor. Needing little attention, he was always near, yet rarely touching. Well trained with a Canine Good Citizen Certificate (earned at 1 ½ years old) he naturally never pulled on a lead. The camera captured Sonny as a happy boy, concerned, sad, occasionally handsome, but always charismatic.
My life with Sonny began:
“While fostering my second Brittany our state coordinator sent all volunteers a photo of a 12 week old puppy, looking for his forever home. His mother and two of his siblings had been surrendered and they had already been adopted. He was the runt, last dog left. Having no plans to ever raise a puppy again, I still asked about his personality. He was described as a middle of the road type dog. PERFECT, what I always dreamed of. I had to meet him.
Training a puppy, what was I thinking? WOW, what work! Would I be able to exercise him enough? Were there other challenges? Yep, he had mange, a tick magnet, developed a limp with his growing pains, had a calcium deficiency, a heart murmur and broken teeth. Luckily, we got everything under control. Sonny stoically withstood being medically probed, creams applied, and medicine given.
Sonny’s personality developed into one of the most flexible dogs I have ever encountered. His easy-going nature, his fearlessness, and his joy of play readily welcomed every dog (and human) into his home. He shared his toys, food, humans, and furniture, whatever. Sonny made sure each dog was exercised to their individual ability. When he played with a puppy or small dog, he somehow became a small dog, laying down flat on the ground. Sonny could take on the big dogs, too. He seemed to puff his chest out. Labs, Setters, Aussies, bring them on; he played on their level. If a dog wanted to dominate, Sonny was ok with that. If they were submissive, he encouraged them to relax, be comfortable and secure. With Sonny’s expert help, confidence was quickly built. He showed other dogs how to sit, come and generally how to behave in and out of the house. It all seemed to come naturally for him.
Sonny had been a great addition to our family and a super asset to rescue work. With his assistance, fostering was more rewarding and easier. He had a job to do. He trained, exercised and offered friendship. Sonny really enjoyed his work.
My little Sonny-boy is gone, and I miss him more than any words can describe. Will the tears ever stop? His picture hangs by my bed with his bright shining eyes now watching over me. I say goodnight to him each and every night.
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