The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

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Puppies by William Wegman

June 1st, 2008 · · Book Reviews

“Puppies” is one of William Wegman’s books of photos. His elegant weimeraners Man Ray, Fay, Battina and the rest are so remarkably composed before the camera. As models they appear to be real pros. Wegman must be telling the truth when he writes, “Dogs like everything about photography except the photograph.” This seems to be true of his dogs if not yours and mine. Wearing clothes, posing in unlikely postures and appearing at times as strange hybrid creatures, half human, half dog. Always retaining their dignity, they provoke smiles.

These photographs, as always, reveal Wegman’s witty imagination and wonderful eye The dogs are delightfully sober straight men to his various manipulations of them.

He describes the birth of Fay’s puppies in detail and includes some black and white photos of the new borns. The pups begin their career before the camera immediately; posed asleep in unlikely places and arrangements. The images document their growth as well as their owner’s whimsical sense of humour.

The text for “Puppies” is a fascinating account of the artist’s love affair with his models. He speaks of their personalities in great detail. It is obvious that the remarkable affinity he has with these dogs is combined with his photographer’s eye to create work that is original and genuine.


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