Showsight April 2023


The first few issues of Dogs Outside The Ring were purely digital collections of images, along with a few short articles about the dogs featured within. Around this time, Margaret photographed me and my puppy ringside at a show. I loved the image and requested a copy. Neither of us knew it at the time, but fate had brought us together. My work background was medical transcription and proofreading, and Margaret asked me to edit articles that had been contributed. The combination of Margaret’s creative vision with my love of words has proven a perfect match. This partnership began to grow and flourish. In February 2020, Margaret and I assembled a small crew of photographers to cover the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It was an exciting moment, entering the Chelsea Piers not as exhibitors or spectators, but as members of the press. We spoke to dozens of people while capturing thousands of images. We started early in the morning, and found ourselves editing well into the night—only to wake up and do it again the next day! There was a quiet undercurrent that week, a low buzz, that was soon to grow louder until it would change our world. That low buzz turned out to be the worldwide pandemic that would bring seismic change to our lives. The following month, I was at the Kentuckiana Cluster when it was announced that the last two days of the event would be canceled. Like dominos, dog shows and other events were falling as they were canceled. The plans we’d loosely made to attend and cover various events fell by the wayside as we all adjusted to this new situation. We continued to brainstorm, and developed a plan for a book featuring the art of the dog. We contacted artists, authors, and poets around the world who featured dogs in their work. This was something we could do “remotely,” and we published a beautiful issue. Our next project was devoted to the nine native breeds of Ireland, and once again, we collected material from an interna- tional group. Many of the contributors to both of these projects were affected by COVID-19; it took the life of Hector Baptista whose work is on the cover of the Art of the Dog edition. Margaret continued to travel into New York City with her cam- era, where she regularly encountered the police and their canine partners. With fewer people moving about and the city nearly vacant, the K9 teams stood out. One day, she stopped to ask an offi- cer and his K9 for directions, and he asked her why she had never photographed them. He’d seen her pass through the subway sta- tion with her camera many times, and invited her to attend one of the United States Police Canine Association trials in order to learn more about what they do. The trial was an eye-opener, and Marga- ret gained a new appreciation for the work these teams do. It soon became her mission to capture the working K9s that were keeping our city, and our nation, safe. The officers guided the process, help- ing her locate teams she’d not yet photographed. A strong bond has developed and the officers are now more like friends and family. The Dogs That Serve has been a series of publications. Previous editions were printed and shared with the officers who were inside. We have felt very protective over the officers and their safety, but, in 2022, Margaret had a conversation with Lieutenant Pappas of the NYPD Transit Bureau Canine Unit. Public perception of police departments was declining rapidly. The thought was that if we shared beautiful images of working K9s with the world, maybe we’d show a positive side of the police.


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