Thursday, January 3, 2013

Newspaper Dog Photo Perfectly Nails Human/Dog Friendship

The front page of today's Burlington (Vt.) Free Press had a photo that to me captures perfectly the happy vibe when a dog/human relationship hums along nicely.

Some background: The phoot, by Burlington Free Press staff photographer Maddie McGarvey, shows the happy side of a tragic New Year's Day incident in South Burlington, Vermont.
Rufus, saved from a van fire by a heroic driver, sits with
companion Beth Kelly in their Vermont home.
Photo by Maddie McGarvey/Burlington Free Press

Gulliver's Doggie Daycare has a service in which dogs are bused to and from their companions' homes to the Williston daycare for dogs.

The driver, John Thamann, was bringing two dogs home when the van abruptly caught fire. The flames spread shockingly fast. Thamann frantically tried to free the two dogs from the flaming van. Despite his best efforts, in which his hands were burned and he suffered smoke inhalation, he couldn't save one of the dogs.

But he did save Rufus, the Labrador retreiver/boxer mix featured with her owner Bethy Kelly in McGarvey's photograph. The photo accompanied an article about the events written by myself and Joel Banner Baird.

The photo was taken after Rufus stayed overnight at a veterinarian's office. They wanted to make sure Rufus wasn't hurt by inhaling smoke. Turns out he's fine.

The photo was taken shortly after Rufus returned home. Here's what I like about it, and pardon me for overanalyzing. As you can see, the photo shows Kelly sitting on her comfortable looking couch, leaning forward with her arms around Rufus, who is sitting in front of her.

Kelly has that look of happy pride so many dog owners have. Rufus looks a bit embarrassed, but appreciative of the love. A green chew toy sits in front of him, suggesting fun. Kelly's couch and home looks comfortable, like the kind of relationship she, me and so many dog owners have with their pets.

Kelly is wearing fashionable, playful boots. She looks fit and happy. So does Rufus. It all suggests the two of them routinely bolt from the house at many random moments to go out and play. 

The photo, Kelly and Rufus just glow. The photo exudes the brightness dogs bring into our lives.

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