A Man and His Best Friend

I have the great privilege of being able to tell peoples' stories. Sometimes with words, and other times with just photographs. It is a skill I am learning and always picking up new things. I would still consider myself an amateur in the art, trying to learn the most possible.   A few weeks ago I was asked to photograph Ron with his favorite dog, Brier. The two are inseparable, yet time and location has decided the two will have to part ways. They are moving and are unable to bring the dog with them, which has made it a very hard time. My task was to document their morning ritual  that they would always do together. Ron would take him out on a walk along their 288-acre property and give Brier treats along the way, tossing the ball, and warmly stroke his head, telling him “that’s a good boy.”  The sight is truly heartwarming, and shows how much of a bond is possible between a man and his dog. I have seen many dogs and dog owners and have always seen them have fun, but never a bond quite like Ron's and Brier's. As we walked along the gravel driveway, Ron started telling me more about Brier's past and when he got him. Ron used to breed German Shorthaired Pointers, having a total of 12 at one point. I am used to what the breeding language is, however I have virgin ears that are not used to older people using it so bluntly. He casually stated, “We had a lot of strong well-trained dogs, our best  bitch and sire we gave to a new couple that were starting out breeding, and I had told them they would make fine pups.”  We stopped along the path as Brier flew past us in complete joy. “A good twenty years passed before I ended up getting Brier. I hadn’t been breeding dogs for a long time and I wanted a dog for the farm.”   We continued along the gravel path as Ron would gaze in the distance whenever he would talk about Brier. “I found a couple that were breeding German Shorthairs and gave them a ring.” When Ron met the couple he found Brier and knew in his gut that he was the right one. He asked them how much he was and they simply said he was free for Ron. “What do you mean, free?” he asked, puzzled, knowing the value of such dogs.     They just smiled and said, “Don’t you remember us? We are the couple you sold two German Shorthairs twenty years ago. This pup (Brier) is a descendent of them, they both served us very well over the years and we don’t think it would be right to charge you.”   I, Peter, freaked when I heard this, ITS LIKE THE CIRCLE OF LIFE! Not that I believe in that, but I do believe in the movie Lion King.

Anyway, that was their start and they have had eight amazing years together. These pictures bring me much joy and sadness at the same time!