A few weekends ago, I ended up in Ipswich MA at Service Dogs Project Inc. where they train Great Danes to be service dogs. It was an attempt to find military veterans who have service dogs or might know others in the military who worked with dogs. I was working with Pet Source to do this big production shoot for a fundraiser calendar for the War Dogs and Stiggy’s Dogs but we were having a hard time getting enough people interested in being included in the photo shoot. That project has “been put on hold” and will most likely turn into something smaller.
The good part though was meeting Carlene who runs Service Dog Project. She raises and trains Great Danes to help all kinds of people who need service dogs. There was a few vets who where there with their dogs and it was amazing meeting these people and their dogs. If you’ve never spent any time around Great Danes, you at least know they are big dogs. You might think around all these people, it can get quite hectic but it wasn’t at all. All the dogs were great and everyone was super generous. (Home made ice cream generous!)
I was still hoping that my calendar project would happen so I ended up talking and photographing Bud and Paul, both vets who use these Great Dane’s as service dogs. I talked a bit with Bud who says that Indy has changed his life so much. Indy has given him the access to a more life that he just couldn’t find prior.
I’m hoping to go back and talk more with Bud, Carlene, and some of the others who are involved with these service dogs. I’ve been thinking of a project photographing service dogs and after this experience of visiting Carlene, I’ve found a subject that I can really delve into and get some great photos and stories out of. I really look forward to meeting more people and see where this takes me.
If you’d like to help out the Service Dog Project, they have a Chicken Poop fundraiser every month. You can buy a number and if the chicken poops on that number, you win. They use the money to buy food and supplies for the dogs. Check it out!