Animal portraiture fights for the top of the charts of cheesiness in most cases. While most people would agree that a dog in a Halloween costume is particularly amusing, many dogs probably get humiliated being forced into outfits that make them uncomfortable. Then, the next thing you know a photographer puts together a pointless book with a collection of humiliated dogs.
What if instead the photographer took some time to capture the noble dogs that save lives? Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas did just that. Her new book Retrieved is a collection of photos taken in the summer of 2011 after Dumas realized that only 15 of the 100 dogs that helped find people after 911 were still alive. She traveled to the homes of the dogs where they live across the USA with their handlers. The original 100 dogs which were enlisted to work in New York City during the rescue operation came from 18 different states. The dogs worked side by side with rescue personnel making sure no humans were trapped in the debris. As Charlotte writes in her introduction to the book:
I can still recall these images clearly. The dogs searched and comforted, they gave consolation to anyone involved. Seeing these pictures, I was also comforted. They somehow emanated a spark of hope amidst this scene of destruction.
Unfortunately, only the small few of these dogs are still alive to be captured in this tribute, complete with their wisdom filled gray faces, but the book still stands as a remember of the furry friends that are always there to help us when these tragedies happen. Retrieved is a well deserved thank you to mans best friend for saving many lives in those chaotic days.