Monday, February 9, 2009

Jill Krementz Photo Journal - Top Dogs

Amy Tan with Bubba Zo, her Yorkshire terrier, New York City, April 16, 1996.
The 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show comes to New York City on Monday (today) and Tuesday, February 9-10th. Competing this year for Best in Show will be over 2,000 dogs and the hours are from 8 AM to 11 PM at Madison Square Garden Center, Pennsylvania Plaza, 31st to 32nd Street, Seventh to Eighth Avenue.

On Tuesday night we'll know the winner. In the meantime, here are a few "Top Dogs" who over the years have wagged their tails into my photographs ... and into my heart.
Bill Styron walking with Aquinnah, Roxbury, Connecticut, April 29, 1979.

"For the last few months, whenever I have been home--which has been most of the time--I have been accustomed to taking long daily walks with my dog Aquinnah. Our walks are for business and for pleasure, and also for survival--interlocking motives that have somehow acquired nearly equal importance in my mind.

Without a daily walk and the transactions it stimulates in my head, I would face the first page of cold blank paper with pitiful anxiety."

Excerpted from Havannas in Camelot: Personal Essays (Random House).
Kurt Vonnegut with Pumpkin, a Lhasa Apso, New York City, January 17, 1982.
Amy Hempel with her yellow Lab, Wanita, NYC, January 18, 2008. Wanita is a breeder for Guiding Eyes for the Blind--which means her puppies become guide dogs for the blind. Wanita is pregnant right now, due to deliver in late March. Guiding Eyes selects the top 2% of their dogs in training to breed and pass those good genes along. In the March issue of Oprah's magazine, Hempel has a short piece about looking up 4 blind people who got Wanita's puppies as their guide dogs, accompanied by several photos of them.
Stephen King with his Corgi Marlowe, Bangor, Maine, July 20, 1995.
William F. Buckley with Rowley, his King Charles Spaniel.
E.L. Doctorow with Becky. a Weimaraner, swimming in Gardiner's Bay, NY: August 3, 1975.
E.B. White with Susy, a West Highland White Terrier, in his study in North Brooklin, Maine.
James A. Michener with Burma, foreground, a black pure Alsatian and Java (white), half Collie and half Labrador, Bucks County, PA., July 9, 1974. He is seen here at the foot of a hill on his property of 80 acres. Mr. Michener walked two miles a day. "South Pacific," adapted from Michener's Pulitzer Prize-wining novel, Tales of the South Pacific, is currently a huge hit at Lincoln Center Theater at The Vivian Beaumont.
Robin Cook with Fluffy, Bijon Fuse. Cook is an eye surgeon which explains why both he and Fluffy "have a lot in common, including the enjoyment of riding in a fast convertible with appropriate eye-protective gear." Naples, Florida, February 21, 1997.
Donna Tartt with her Pug, Pongo, New York, March 15, 1997.
Edward Albee with his Maltese, Poochi, Montauk, NY, August 9, 1976.
Robert Penn Warren with Frodo, his Cocker Spaniel, Wardsboro, Vermont, July 31, 1971.

Frodo, named for a character from a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, was immortalized in Warren’s poem, “Rumor Verified.”

English cocker: old and blind
But if your hand
Merely touches his head,
Old faithe comes flooding back—and ...
The paw descends, His trust is infinite
In you ...
John Cheever with Flora, a yellow Labrador retriever, Ossining, New York, October 1, 1971.
P.G. Wodehouse with his Dachshund, Jed, Remsenberg, NY, February 21, 1973. Devoted animal lovers, the Wodehouses owned many dogs and were active in the Westhampton branch of Bide-a-Wee Home Association, which cares for abandoned dogs and cats until their adoption. The Westhampton branch is now called the P.G. Wodehouse Shelter in commemoration of their generous donor.
Ann Patchett with Rose, Nashville, Tennessee.

"Like any love, it was giddy at first. I couldn't get my work done. I kept having to stop and roll around on the floor with her. She followed me from room to room, licking my ankles. I could hardly sleep at night for watching her sleep. She was small and white; maybe a cross between a Jack Russell and a Chihuahua, without the deep neuroses of either breed. If shedding was an Olympic sport, she would have brought home the gold. I was besotted."

From Ann & Rose: How to Love a Dog, by Ann Patchett.
All photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.