Head shots and facial features…

part of Cee’s black and white foto chalenge: head shots and facial features (humans or animals)

As always, Cee tells us to have fun with the challenges. Of course any challenge that gives me the chance to show off some of the wonderful dogs I have had the privilege of working with and photographing at the shelter is a fun challenge. However, I have included a few humans and other animals as well – just for fun x

Above: This is just a small selection of the faces of dogs I have fallen in love with at the shelter in Spain where I try to help as much as I can. Each of them I have worked with, walked, comforted and some of them I have helped to find homes for. Each of them has their own special story, usually involving cruelty or neglect. To me each one is beautiful.

Yes, I do know I have included a cat in that selection! Well that cat, who has been named Sabrina, turned up at the dog shelter – clearly either very brave or very silly – where there are over 100 dogs and has taken up home just at the gates. She is looked after by the shelter volunteers and greets every visitor affectionately. The nip out of her left ear indicates that she has been neutered, something so necessary for street cats to prevent endless numbers of unwanted litters.

3 head shots for the price of 2 😉 Meet the shelter donkey! As if by magic one day Verena just appeared at the shelter gates, injured, with an infection, multiple wounds over her emaciated body. We tended her wounds, got her veterinary attention, a lovely bath, good food and found her a good home. The first picture (with me) was taken during her ‘spa morning’, the second is a few months later when we visited her in her new home. How wonderful her coat was looking and how well she had filled out.

A wee random selection of animal head shots, the chimp was about 40 years old and at that ripe old age she gave birth. It was quite an event. Although I have very mixed views about zoos I went there just to take photos of mum and baby. The Spanish cow was a bit of a rascal. Again, because I had a big lens on I had lost a bit of perspective and didn’t realise how close I was. He decide to make a run at me just after this photo. I can tell you that I moved faster than I have done in a while. This blue 4 month old pit bull pup is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen with a personality to match.

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So, these are my three boys, left to right youngest to oldest. The youngest hates to have his photo taken so I take any chance to grab a candid one, usually when he is playing hockey as he is in this shot. My middle boy is much more willing, in this photo he has just got out of the swimming pool. My oldest boy, when he was young, used to make me delete every photo I took of him. Now he is different and I have actually had the pleasure of photographing him for his website at his work.

headshotsqheadshotszThese are two random Spanish men I sneaked shots of with my big lens. The first was one of the organisers of a protest I attended against bullfighting in a local town. The second, is a wee Spanish vendor who kindly helped us in our search for a dog. It was one of those bazar experiences as I stood in the searing heat with Spanish men speaking so quickly in colloquial language one to the other, smoking, drinking expresso coffees and discussing how best they  can help us. I speak a little Spanish – at this stage a very little Spanish -but this wee man kept looking at me in the eye during the various conversations and he seemed to think I was following it all. The best I could do was try to make sense of the few single words I picked up and add them to the many facial expressions and gesticulations which led me to understand that the dog we were looking for had disappeared – but he was going to help us to find it. What a star he was. However, that conversation taught me that no matter how well I ever learned to speak Spanish I would never get to the stage of understanding Andalusian country folk. That day with all it brought – including the rescue of the dog was one I will never forget – and I shall never forget this wee man’s face.

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4 thoughts on “Head shots and facial features…

  1. Hi just signed up to your blog. Can you tell me who to contact if you wish to go out and volunteer and also how you find accommodation. Thanks

    1. Hi Jane, thanks for your message. The shelter we work with most of all is near a town called San Roque, Andalusia. There is another smaller one nearby very much in need of volunteers and I could put you in touch with them. There would be plenty of accommodation in the area although you would need to hire a car. If you live in England it may be possible for you to fly to Gibraltar which would be only 10 -15 minutes away from the shelters I speak of. Otherwise the closest airport is Malaga. If you were flying to there I could put you in touch with another shelter where some of our dogs are and there are a number of towns close by including Estepona. So that is a little information to start you off. Ask anything further you would like to know jx

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