My Dog is a Little Bridge Between the Man-Made and Nature | I was inspired to create these two images by the book I was reading at the time. The book was ostensibly a reference for animal caregivers who might find themselves in the position of having to determine if a stray animal presented to them at a shelter or vet’s office is a dog or a wolf. The philosophy that the authors wanted to put forth is that, if the animal’s suitability as a pet—possibly a matter of life and death—is on the line, the animal should be judged on its behavior and recent history, and not on its looks. The difference between a dog and a wolf, they argue, is pretty much a human construct anyway. And that got me thinking—has there ever been another natural entity as heavily influenced by humans in its biology as a dog? The dog/human connection is in the dog’s DNA—it is the outcome of natural selection that actually is human selection.
In the diptych, my pup ambles across a manmade structure, a concrete handrail or fence, doing what he loves best—enjoying a brief history of smells and other flotsam that man and nature have left behind for his senses.
At rest, he guards a little droplet brimming with life as yet untouched and unaltered by human hands. He seems to know that nothing could be farther from his own story. He is a dog, the animal that men have made from wolves.
There is a bit of an inside joke here, too. My dog is no little sprite—he weighs 108 pounds!