First, a big wag of the tail for this week's team of #frifotos hosts who came up with the (travel-related) theme of DOGS, giving me a great excuse to finally post these dogs shots from all over the world in one place. Question is....where to begin on a Round-the-World photo journey of dogs? Since all journeys start at home, we'll start here, then we'll continue throughout the US and on to Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and back home again.
One man's travel destination is another's backyard - the same may be said for dogs, of course. So I will begin with one of my Surf Dawgs photo series taken at a favorite local beach right here in my (dog's) own "backyard", Del Mar Dog Beach, California:
Moving out geographically, and back in evolution, coyotes and wolves are great examples of canine wildlife. These beautiful "dogs" were photographed in Arizona:
|Coyotes of the American Southwest|
Still in the southwest, I will always love this moment when these pueblo dogs came to greet me in New Mexico, making for a truly iconic capture of Native American pueblo life:
|Dogs of San Ildefonso Pueblo|
Getting to visit all the sled-dogs and puppies in training after the ride resulted in plenty of wonderful photos, this one being my favorite:
Blue-eyed girl and blue-eyed husky
And on the subject of girls and puppies, let's travel to Guatemala, where this woman was selling a basket full at the Chichicastenango Market:
|Chichicastenango Market: Puppies for sale|
Next stop, Peru, where this dog and his buddies enjoy the scenery:
|Dog & Donkeys overlooking the Sacred Valley and Andes of Peru|
Some of the happiest dogs I've ever seen during my travels are found in Chile:
Pair of dogs and pair of lovers in Puerto Varas
....where they also have jobs that they love, such as this....
|Little guard dog with big attitude in Puerto Natales|
Rancher and his dog herding sheep in Patagonia
Ah yes, the sheep herders. What better segway to hop over to Europe? Landing first in Ireland:
Satisfied Border Collie watches his flock
Then on to London, UK, for this canine appearance in the Lord Mayor's Parade:
Dogs on Parade
And to Spain, where these dogs enjoy shopping the avenues of Barcelona:
|Dogs and Shoppers in Barcelona|
Enough of the domesticated dogs for a bit, let's head down to South Africa, and to my personal favorite wild animal to spot in the wild, the African Wild Dog:
|African Painted Wild Dog|
African Wild Dog of Madikwe
It is such a thrill to watch them in the wild, and to get them in good light, I even shot a video and blogged about the Wild Dogs here: Madikwe is for the Dogs. A must read for dog/wildlife lovers! Oh what the heck, here's the video too:
Before we leave Africa, Here's a shot from Namibia which illustrates the difference a dog makes - without the dog, this scene would be, well, depressing.
|Scene of daily life in Katatura Township|
|Proud owner poses her fashionable toy dogs|
The men in Japan are not immune to dogs as fashion accessories
Little Dog, Big Attitude. Kyoto, Japan.
Finally, Asia is home to what I consider to be the happiest dogs anywhere in the world, living an even better life than their human counterparts. They reside in the tranquil Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.
|Dog enjoying best view in the world, Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan|
|Dog Amongst Prayer Flags, Punakha Bhutan|
Of course, this is a case where a picture speaks a thousand words. I've seen plenty of happy dogs, and plenty of sleeping dogs, but this blissful dog was truly in an elevated state of consciousness:
|The ultimate meditative state - doggie nirvana|
When it comes to travel, truly, the most important dogs anywhere are the ones who wait at the door and greet me with enthusiastic wags and slobbery kisses when I return home from my travels. It's not so easy for my older dog, Jambo, to jump up and rush to the door anymore, but bless his heart, he always makes the effort when I come home, always. And there's the younger dog, Java, who jumps like a circus act and whose tail never stops spinning. They bring so much joy and love and laughter, and home would never be home without them.