“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Monday, March 19, 2012

On Dogs and Images

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 wincing,
Sometimes unfeeling,
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


  1. Those images made you smile for a moment isnt it? Thats what matters!!

    Dogs; is there any other creature who is so selfless on this earth?

  2. The truism is, the synonym for altruism is Dogs. and unrequited at that.

    The power of B&W photographs is in itself a marvel in this age of flamboyant digital imaging and pulsating colours. isn't it?

  3. Lovely ! We got a street dog puppy ,now my son's best companion.Puppy is named Tina though my son wanted to name her Ranger.Her sharp teeth scratched Kaustubh's skin .The love that they share is so beautiful that its like all the injections that my son had to take never happened.

  4. mr B - I am stuck with the lines -

    "Suddenly, I stop, shocked, realizing
    That they are just images -
    They don't exist - no more, never again."

    and quite have nothing to say about the beautiful images sprawled in the post.

  5. "Whenever one misses the warmth of love, just go out and look at a dog"
    Very true. I lost my Fox terrier which was with me for over 12 years. Now we have decided not to have any pets at all. It is so painful to see them depart.


Leave a word, please!