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books on dogs

A is for Angel … Dogs from A to Z

YukiPortrait1

 
From Angel to Zeb — with 24-plus dogs in between (including Yuki, above) – author/photographer/dog lover Pamela B. Townsend has put together a  book of her dog photography that, in addition to spanning the alphabet, provides a heartfelt look at the bond between dogs and their humans.

“A is for Angel, A Dog Lover’s Guide to the Alphabet” is the second book by Pam, who is also vice-president of the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George’s County in Maryland.  Her first was “Black is Beautiful: A Celebration of Dark Dogs.”

A dog-lover since childhood, Pam’s goal is to  pay tribute to the animals she shoots. “I try to capture both the outer beauty and inner spirit of each subject, preferring to photograph them in their own environment rather than in a studio for more natural images. The results, I hope, will make viewers smile, remind them of animals they have known and loved, and increase their appreciation of nature’s beauty and diversity.”

In “A is for Angel,” Pam features at least one dog for each letter of the alphabet (Xander, in case you’re wondering, represents X),  along with essays written by their owners.

G1527_Townsend_pageMy favorite is Y — for Yuki, whose human, Tracy Long, penned this (reprinted with permission) entry:

Yuki is the antithesis of the description, “What you see is what you get.” She has taught us that there is so much more—to her and life in general—than meets the eye. Wonder is waiting around every corner. Each smell and sight and sound contains worlds within it. And if you stare into the pools of Yuki’s eyes—those windows to treasure houses of mischievous love—I think you’d see, as we have, a small child laughing.

Yuki loves life! For her, its daily routines are events to be anticipated and celebrated. She has taught us the beauty of welcoming every moment as if it were a gift…even the moment in the car when, without warning, she looked right at us…and pooped in the back seat.

There are times we’re convinced she’s hoarding stubborn wisdom in the folds of her skin, the kind of wisdom that—like Yuki—may not come easily or quickly, but if asked and sought for will eventually come…the kind of wisdom that says, “Don’t be afraid to contain multitudes.” Yuki certainly isn’t.

She is Shar-pei, she is shepherd, part terror, part teacher. Her lessons: forgive often, love well, and dig it all! Though she is undoubtedly one of the clumsiest dogs I have ever seen, sometimes when I see her running towards me—those ears floppin’ and that skin flappin’ as she barrels clumsily into me, licking my face—I think I am witnessing pure grace.

What a gift it is to be given the opportunity, every day, to love Yuki and have her love us back.

The book — available at Paws Pet Boutique in Annapolis, The Big Bad Woof in Takoma Park, and The Grapevine in Frederick — can also be ordered from Pam via email (spcadogsmom@gmail.com).

To see more of Pam’s work, visit her website, digitaldoggy.com.

(Photo courtesy of Pamela B. Townsend)

(To see ohmidog’s archived coverage of dog books, visit our “Good Dog Reads” page.)

Comments

Comment from Eighteenpaws
Time April 25, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Wow — Thanks for this! I looked at her website and viewed some AMAZING, touching, personal photos of all kinds of dogs in all kinds of settings. Just loved it. No matter how many shots I take, my dogs always fidget and otherwise goof-off when I point a camera at them. Achieving these types of photos is no easy task! (And P.S., can’t hardly wait for the Capt. Larry’s show!)

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