Express Yourself (3)

Express yourself (3)

Hello wolf shadow friends. Here is part 3 of my series that focuses on facial and bodily expressions of dogs and cats at play or in everyday life. The action shots you see of WolfCub are all from the archive. He is past performing these kind of antics, even if he were not recovering from injury. One of my favourites images is Archie the Italian Greyhound down at shot number 12. His smile just cracks me up! This was taken with my iPhone while we were out walking one day. Of course I gave him a treat straight afterwards. I do like the cat shots too – sometimes they are so inscrutable, but their body language is no less engaging than the dogs.If you missed the two previous posts you can find them here and here. I hope you enjoy these – share with me your favourite image will you?  

Dog leaping in the air

Staffie dog emerging from water with a stick

British Shorthair cat with an imposing stance

Dog chasing a ball at the beach

Flying dog with funny expression

Staffie dog with funny expression

Dogs at play

Belgian Shepherd with ferocious expression catching a ball

Dog with toy in mouth

Abyssinian cat with outstretched neck

Black cat sitting in front of window

Smiling Italian Greyhound

Belgian Shepherd shaking off water


Express Yourself (2)

Express yourself (2)

This is the second part of a trilogy of posts that focus on facial and bodily expressions of dogs and cats – I have included some of WolfCub’s friends this time. If you missed the first post you can find it here.  The images mainly focus on dogs and cats at play in everyday life. Do any of the images bring to mind the antics of your dogs or cats? Do you have a favourite image? Please share your thoughts with me.

Belgian Shepherd WolfCub dancing on hill top

Australian Shepherd running with funny expression

Face of dog in deep water at beach

Border Collie running flat out

Standard Poodle running with toy in mouth

Black dog with tongue poking out

Cattle dog barking

Two Italian Greyhounds running side by side

Spoodle running with legs in the air

Cat peeking out from red garage door

Portrait of a smiling Italian Greyhound

British shorthair cat playing on table

Abyssinian cat tilting head

Belgian Shepherd running at beach with reflection


Side by side

Side by side

I have always been fascinated by profile shots of animals. Whether they be cats or dogs, or horses, this type of portrait photography has always captured my attention. The profile shot lends itself to a different kind of contemplation. There is no returned gaze – instead we are able to focus on the contours of the animal, the shape of the nose and the head, the expressions on their faces, all of which reveal a story, a history of each animal or breed. We are often able to tell the breed of a dog especially, by its silhouetted form. The structure of the face, neck and nose in their myriad differences (or similarities) becomes more apparent when we see a series of images side by side. Human intervention is fully on display here: the preferences that were selected prior to and after, in conforming to breed standards set by Kennel Clubs, and their evolution over time. The dark side to this evolution are those breeds whose form has been pushed so far as to cause all sorts of health or temperament problems: where appearance is preferred over the health and wellbeing of these animals. If we truly value relationships with our canine and feline companions, we will stand with them, side by side, and treat with them on every level, with the respect and love they deserve. After all, isn’t this the gift their companionship has given us?

Belgian Shepherd Groenendael

Mixed breed dog

Tabby cat


Tri colour Rough Collie

Belgian Shepherd X

Belgian Tervuren

Abyssinian cat

Italian Greyhound

Tabby cat

Belgian Laekenois

Boston Terrier


Airedale Terrier


Less is more

Less is more

I began this series of half face portraits back in 2010, with my own dog WolfCub, a Belgian Shepherd.  Entitled Mr Wolf (Cub), the first image you see, on a bold red background, with his ‘wolfish’ smile, immediately creates associations with the folk tale ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. Emotional responses to this image from viewers have ranged from humorous, and powerful, to a feeling of threat. The half face portrait is immediately interesting because of it’s focus on the eye, by what is revealed and concealed. It creates a different mood. In a way, less is more – the gaze more direct, confronting. What were these animals feeling? What are the stories behind their expressions? What of our own contexts do we project on to them? Image number 7 shows a beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback X, shortly before her death. Of course sharing that information changes how we look at her. With their direct eye contact, the dogs and cats portrayed here show a range of moods and expressions. And in gazing so intently back at the viewer, it seems a question about the nature of the relationship between human and animal is also being asked of us.


Elle the Belgian Shepherd


Bull Arab X


Charlie the Standard Poodle


Kenny the British Shorthair

Henry the Cocker Spaniel

WolfCub with pink tongue

Bella the Aussie Shepherd

Mastiff dog

Guido the Australian Cattle Dog


Archie the Italian Greyhound