I have an interesting collection of books on dogs. Stories, poetry, behaviour, history, breeds etc etc. But the book that I go back to, again and again is the one by Elliot Erwitt - Dog Dogs. A collection of nearly 900 B&W pictures of dogs that span half-a-century, from 1946 to 1998. These are not studio portraits of breed dogs, but you have blue-blooded canines to scrawny mongrels from different parts of the globe.
They are not mere dog photos, but you get a glimpse of the culture, the people and the period when it was taken. They show the deep emotional bond between humans and canines; they give you pictorial defenition of love, faith and trust. In these candid photographs ( Erwitt is a very famous photographer - he also took photos of dogs while on his job) you realize how individualistic, how unique is the personality of each dog.
Whenever one misses the warmth of love, just go out and look at a dog.
Looking through these images, where in each, in a discreet corner the year and the location is printed, I sadly realise that all of these dogs and many of the people that you see in the pictures would be no more. One feels so helpless.
Looking through old albums, reliving,
Moments captured long ago,
I sense me smiling
Sometimes marvelling and then again
Flipping past, lest pain infiltrate my mind -
Suddenly, I stop, shocked, realizing
That they are just images -
They don't exist - no more, never again.
*********** Balachandran V, Trivandrum 19.03.2012
K & Sancho, Trivandrum , 18.03.2012