Honest and loyal, the truest of friends

A shout out for the wonderful dogs of Harpenden

I’m exhausted.  Everything aches.  I’ve taken over 2,000 photographs, of 56 dogs, over five days.  Studio shoots, outdoor shoots, in sunshine and pouring rain.  But, I haven’t stopped smiling, laughing and thoroughly enjoying myself the whole time – what a worthwhile experience working with these delightful canines and their adoring owners.

In April, I announced that I was doing a photographic art project on Harpenden Dogs.  At the same time, to celebrate National Pet’s Month, the Year of the Dog and to fundraise for Dogs Trust, I offered studio and outdoor 10-minute mini shoots to pet owners in return for a £10 donation to help refurbish the Harpenden Dogs Trust charity shop, damaged by fire earlier this year.  The response has been fantastic.  Harpenden is home to some of the most gorgeous, generous and kindhearted dogs who have gone out of their way to raise £430. Wow-woof!

I have learned so much about these lovely creatures, and how much joy they bring to the lives of their owners.  Some of the stories I have been told are so special; the unconditional love enriches the lives of their families so much, sometime even inspiring them to do things they hadn’t thought of trying before.  I have seen incredible connections between some owners and their pets – one lady I’m sure is a dog whisperer…  Some dogs are so well trained they don’t move an eyelash unless asked to do so, some can’t contain their enthusiasm for the joys of spring and some are busy training their owners to do tricks!  I’ve met dogs not bigger than my hands, to dogs taller than me on their hind legs.  And they have all, without exception, tried their best to understand what I wanted them to do for the camera #harpendendogsrock

I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with Sharon Hurford, the manager of the Harpenden Dogs Trust shop for this fundraiser.  Her commitment to her work is inspiring and she tried to be present at most of the shoots to meet the dogs and their owners.  The local sense of community spirit in Harpenden is absolutely heartwarming and Sharon was thrilled when one of the participants asked to volunteer at the shop when it opens again later this year.  Looking back on all we’ve achieved over the last few weeks, I’m feeling really proud of being part of such a great community.  Thank you Harpenden.  Thank you doggies.


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