I spent the last week photographing nearly six dogs and their owners. It was amazing to notice, how just like humans, each dog has its own personality and their unique way of expressing their emotions!
Alfie was the second dog that I met. There was something about his eyes. It radiated kindness and wisdom. It was as if his eyes could speak of the many tales he has seen and experienced over the years!
I asked Flavie, Alfie’s owner, how and where she picked up Alfie from and what drew her to choose Alfie. She said, “It’s a bit of a funny story really. I spent a long time looking for a rescue center that specialised in rehoming grey hounds (from race tracks) as they are (were) my favourite breed of dogs. I eventually found one within driving distance of our house in Switzerland and had fallen for a Spanish grey hound recently “retired” from a race track there which I had seen on the website. I phoned up and arranged a visit at the weekend to see the dog with my husband and start the adoption process. When we got there, it became very apparent that most of the grey hounds were scared of everything (most likely having been kept in rather cruel living conditions before being rescued) and they were particularly terrified of my husband and his voice. Not a good sign…he could not get within 20 meters of any of them. A bit disheartened to say the least, we still followed the lady to another kenel where she kept some of the other rescue dogs as she was convinced she had the perfect dog for us. She introduced us to Alfie which had somehow come from Hungary and been abandonned twice already in his first 3 years of life.”
“Alf was as friendly then as he is now and came straight out to us as if we’d always known each other and started greeted and doing what he does best (i.e. pretty much what he wants…). A week later, we brought him home.”
“Six years on we have travelled to France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden with him, and even though he now has a little human brother, he is still my big hairy boy!”
“While we were living in Switzerland, Alfie would come to work with me everyday so our routine would be a one hour train ride to work, mornings spent walking around the offices on my floor looking for treats and cuddles, a lunch walk with fellow canine office mates, commute back home and doing the school run. Now that I am working from home in Sweden, both our lives are less social, but involve a lot of walks around the forests and lakes of Huddinge,” shared Flavie when I asked her what Alfie’s daily routine is.
When asked about Alfie’s favorite food, Flavie said, “Almost literally anything. Having had to fend for himself on the streets as a young dog, he has kept that instinct of eating any rubbish left on the floor!”
“In the 6 years spent with Alfie, I have had to retrieve countless items from Alfie’s jaws as he inevitably find something left behind by someone on the street. These items have included a (used) tampon (yikes!), caramel sweets (messy), a dead pigeon’s wing, muffin wrappers… and then there was the times when we potty trained my son, with the incidents that go with it, and it was a race of who would get to the mess first, myself with the idea of cleaning, him with the idea of eating it. My dog is gross, there is no other way to put it!”
Watching Flavie and Alfie relate to each other was like watching two good old friends who have stood by each other through thick and thin. They shared unconditional love, trust and friendship. In a few weeks Flavie and Alfie are embarking on a new adventure to a new country. I felt so content meeting them and capturing these moments for them in pictures!
Flavie concluded saying, “Alfie – truly my best friend. For better, for worse!”
“A dog: companion, friend, protector, playmate and life-changer. Dogs add a dimension to our lives that otherwise would be just a vacant spot. They work for us, guard us, play with us, entertain us, love us, keep us company, and change our lives.”
-H. Norman Wright