Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Phil is published - an oxytocin-infused book review

Michael checks out the book.

I’m not going to deny that it is a huge thrill to see photos of Phil in a book! I’m also going to admit to opening it a few dozen times just to catch another glimpse. The book is the third volume in a series documenting the “territory” of dogs in Sydney, put together by photographer (or phodographer) Pierre Mardaga – and it weighs more than Phil!

We did the shoot back in February (you can read about the see the “making of…” here).  Pierre really had the patience of a saint, and was happy to get down to Phil’s level which really is quite a challenging thing to do when you're more than one foot tall.

Phil was the second dog to enrol in the project (not that we were over-zealous or anything). All up, 120 dogs (and one cat) are pictured in the book, complete with descriptions from the owners about their relationships, habits and quirks.
Like Rocket, who attends the kids’ soccer games and devours all the leftover oranges at half time, or Farrah Fawcett Moffatt who likes to sing to the theme song to the Antiques Road Show.

This book is extra special for some whose senior dogs, advanced in age, have since passed away. It contains some beautiful memories of dogs doing what they absolutely love best – just getting out for a walk.

Although I’ve lived in the Marrickville area for years I didn’t realise until I looked through the book just how many beautiful places there are for dogs to enjoy. It’s amazing how many faces I can recognise – patients, clients, local dogs that Phil has a sniff-fest with on his walks and even my boss, who saw Phil’s pics and had to get her dog Ellie May involved.

Pierre is now working on volume four, this time looking for dogs who live in the City of Sydney area. There is a $55 fee, part of which is donated to the Animal Welfare League. I might be a smidge biased here, with each viewing of the book likely to trigger some sort of oxytocin release if science is anything to go by (especially page 6!), but this book has a permanent place on my coffee table!