It was the only yellow shirt I had available but I forgot I did have tan pants I could have worn. What I think is really interesting is the difference in the character of the two dogs. In the first shot, Simon stands on four legs with one leg inside my crossed legs and a look of total confidence. He’s with his best and most trusted friend and feels totally relaxed. He seems aware a picture is being taken and is practically mugging for it. “Get my best side, please.”
In the second shot, Dante is visibly confused and disoriented. He doesn’t really know me from Adam yet. Photography, as well as everything else going on in this situation, is entirely new to him. I should try to do this shot again in about a year to see how he has changed by then.
I must say that this entire experience thus far has been psychologically intense. I’ve had recurring dreams of a living Simon over the past decade and a half, the most recent being just a few weeks ago. In each dream I am relieved and overjoyed to find him alive and healthy, only to feel the inevitable sadness upon realizing it was all a dream and he will never share his wonderful spirit with me again.
Suddenly, out of the blue, the dream has been virtually made real. I’ve caught myself several times seeing Simon, not Dante, upon opening a door or when the dog ambles around a corner into view. The realization that it’s not really him soon follows and still carries a heavy load of sadness, muted by my joy at the companionship of a real dog with a new mind ready for bonding. Another odd feeling I get sometimes with Dante is that I’ve known him for a very long time, while it feels strange that he hardly knows me at all. It’s as if your best, life-long friend has a powerful case of amnesia. I guess this strangeness will eventually fade, but it will probably always exist to a slight degree.
I would like to point out something after analyzing the photos for awhile. Simon is obviously focused off-camera on a likely jogging victim — he’s poised to attack –but Dante is clearly watching His Boy, or perhaps Food. I see no killer spirit whatsoever.
You’ll have to work on bringing out that Monster-Gene. Otherwise, there won’t be any Great Stories to tell.
I must confess to some ambivalence about Dante’s lack of high-spirited bad boy nature. He is one mellow dude. As much as I wrestled with Simon’s mildly demonic nature, I thrived on the challenge to integrate him into society without completely breaking him. Dante seems to pose no such challenge. Where’s the fun in that?