I’m so excited to welcome Claire from Seek + Scout this week! Not only is she an amazing photographer (check out her Instagram) and writer, she has also become a good friend of mine. I reached out to her awhile ago after sensing our similarities and I’m so glad I did! She’s so real and refreshing to talk to…totally that cool clever person you’ve been waiting for. So without further ado…
Name/Occupation Kayla, Art Director + Graphic Designer @awilderkind
Dogs name/Age/Breed: Loki is an almost-11-month-old mutt. We think he’s a dachshund, plus maybe a pomeranian and/or chihuahua, plus maybe something else…?
What made you decide to get a dog? My boyfriend and I grew up with dogs, love dogs, and wanted to give a homeless dog a family. Plus I work at home, so I wanted a companion for myself during the day and a hiking buddy for all the dog-friendly trails near our house.
Tell me about the first time you met your dog. We first saw Loki on Petfinder. We had a few dogs bookmarked but just kept coming back to that foxy-looking puppy…we couldn’t stop thinking about him. But he came from a rescue org. a few hours away from where we live, and we couldn’t make it there until the next week. We actually had to put him on “hold” so they wouldn’t take him to their big adoption event before we got there. So we committed to adopting him before we met him — which is a little crazy! Luckily when we met him in real life, he was so sweet and our instincts were right.
What’s the last thing your dog did that made you laugh? Loki makes us laugh literally every day. He’s very communicative. Around his dinner time, I’m usually still at my desk. I’ll feel a little paw tap-tap-tap on my knee and then I’ll look down to see his eyes looking up at me. He’s not pushy, it’s like he’s just saying “Pardon me, I’m ready for my dinner.” Then when I ask him if he’s hungry, he does this crazy excited little dance. Same thing when I ask him to go outside with me and feed our bunnies. He really quickly figured out how things work around here and knows our routine.
Does your dog have a nickname? If so, how did they get it? Well it’s a little embarrassing haha but most of the time I call him “BB” or “Lil’ B”. Sometimes I’ll call him “Nugget” or “Nugget BB”. There’s not really a story behind those, they just happened and stuck.
Are you anything like your dog? Both of us love the outdoors, peanut butter, and sleeping in.
What does being a “dog person” mean to you? To me, being a dog person means that you truly care about dogs’ well-being and your dog is part of your family. Of course Loki misbehaves sometimes, but we’re not about punishing him and scaring him. We’ve always tried to understand why he would do things and build a communication bridge with him. Our goal wasn’t just good behavior, but a good mental state for him — which ended up leading to good behavior. There are some people who think of dogs as accessories, as disposable, or even just as all being the same. A dog person will get to know their dog as an individual, and furthermore realizes that all dogs are individuals with their own needs, who all have worth, and who are never disposable.
John Steinbeck had Charley. Alfred Hitchcock had a Terrier named Sarah. James Dean had his beloved border collie and Audrey Hepburn had a york terrier named Mr. Famous. Charles Dickens had a shepherd mix named Turk. Johnny Cash had a wirehound named Sandy and Billie Holiday had a pit bull named Mister. David Bowie had a dachshund named Doxie. Norman Rockwell brought his dog to work with him every single day and Pablo Picasso’s dog ‘Lump’ appeared in 54 of his works. Some of the greatest minds of our time have accredited their dogs as not only being their best friends, but biggest muses.
And they weren’t the only ones. Dogs and humans have had a long history together. From what we know, early dogs (wolves) likely began approaching human camps to scavenge on food scraps the humans had discarded. And early humans recognized it would be beneficial to have the dogs around to guard the camps and help them hunt. From there, a mutually beneficial relationship was formed and over the course of thousands of years, the wild wolves that once approached human camps hoping to score a free meal became the domesticated version of the dogs we know and love today (that’s really oversimplifying, but you get the jist). Dogs now play an integral part in the culture and lives of humans around the world. Their intelligence and ability to adapt to the needs of the people they live with make them the perfect workers, guardians, companions and more.
The other day when I was out with my dog, Jack, someone said something to me that made me think. If you have a dog, you’ve likely heard it before too. A young guy bent down to pet Jack and Jack started licking his hand excitedly. “Sorry! He’s friendly” I said, almost involuntarily at this point. “No worries”, he responded back to me, “I’m a dog person”. My encounter with the guy got me thinking. What does it really mean to be a dog person? Is there anything all dog people have in common besides a love for dogs? What does a dog person look like? To get a better sense of this, I’ll be profiling people I meet with their dogs and posting their photos and answers to a few questions here. They may be people I encounter on the street, or someone I come across on a road trip, they could be a fellow blogger or someone I see on Instagram, or even people we meet during our travels to other countries.
I have some great people lined up and I can’t wait to share their stories!
(Psst: for more about paintings like the Norman Rockwell one up there (and other artists), check out Artsy’s Normal Rockwell page covering his life and works. Pretty neat!)