Sometimes the best dog portraits are those I didn't plan. Annabelle is a cute bulldog with lots of energy. She passed out on the floor after a fun and active outdoor portrait session. I just love her little tongue sticking out.
Beru is a sweetheart and cuddlebug who loves to give buzi to his owners. He was adopted from Chicago English Bulldog Rescue. If you're looking for a new dog, please check out your local rescues and pounds. They have so many great animals looking for a loving home.
The heat wave in some parts of the country is subsiding, but it's still hot outside. After all we're in the middle of the dog days of summer. This week I'll feature some of my favorite dog portraits while you chill inside with some fans or air conditioning, which I imagine the dogs pictured below are doing as well.
Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. ~ from The Wonder Years
When I was five, I flew from my birthplace in Poland, along with my mom and sister, to visit my grandmother in Chicago for a few months. We moved in with Babcia Jadzia, my aunt and two teenage cousins in a two bedroom ground floor apartment on Webster St. We ended up becoming permanent residents and the three of us moved along with Babcia to a 3rd floor apartment in the same building.
On this last Chicago trip I took some photos of our old stone apartment building. There used to be a huge expanse of lawn to the left where all the stray cats ran around. I would beg my mom to let me feed them. I made friends with one cat that I named Blackie. He was all black except for an ox-head-shaped white piece on his chest. I saw my first mouse here, and mimicked my neighbor who shrieked and jumped on the fence. I used to play and get in trouble with my friend Peter who stayed in the building behind ours. I loved our landlord's big German Shepherd Szarik. I remember our postman who would meow while walking down the street to trick the mean dogs into barking.
Here is the back porch. I used to climb the rail from the ground floor to the next level instead of taking the stairs. I'm surprised I never cracked my head open.
This was our church. The sign over the door is quite fitting, "Welcome Home."
I walked around the neighborhood taking a few more photos.
The bus would drop me off behind the building. One day, as soon as I stepped off the bus I was surrounded by four older boys who stole my brand new markers. When I told my mom she marched with me in their general direction. When we found them she put the fear of God in them with her broken English as they surrendered the markers. I don't think I've ever seen anyone as scared as those boys.
There were a few apartments for rent down the street and it was tempting to inquire... but I also remember the tall snow drifts that blocked our front door.
What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. ~ Cynthia Ozick
I had a great time driving around rural Illinois during my visit last month. I love the blue skies and green grass, but it's bittersweet seeing farm buildings that are no more. As interesting as I may find these structures, I'm saddened that so many farms are gone.
Chicago Suburbs, Illinois
One of the most fun parts about taking family photos is seeing how big the kids can get in a year. I last photographed Allison for her baby portraits. Now she's walking... and running.