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!
Photos above: one. two. three. four. five. six. seven. eight. nine. ten. eleven. twelve.
(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!)
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