The Search Is Over!

March 07, 2017  •  1 Comment

The search for the Great Pyrenees is over!  

I've always loved taking photos of the animals, even prior to becoming a 'Pet Photographer'.  Capturing a nice photo is great, but sometimes the story behind it is even better.  To me, that is definitely the case here!!  Lets go back to where it all started...

Roughly two years ago, Ann and I were down in South Buffalo.  It was sometime in March.  I could probably narrow down the day, but it's not really that important.  I believe we were there for the Shamrock Run, an 8k marathon some of my family members run in.  I'm not a runner, but I do love to people watch.  There's nothing more entertaining for a guy with a camera than to people watch in large, alcohol-filled crowds.  Trust me!  There were many photos taken that day.  99% of them were not worth mentioning, but it gave me something to do while the runners were running the course.

In comes The Dude.  

Yes, I said it, "The Dude".  The runners were entertaining to watch.  Some come to have fun in costume, some are all-pro, and some in almost nothing.  (Keep in mind, its the beginning of March, in BUFFALO!  This year it was only 17 degrees!)  Anyway, back to The Dude...  As I watched all the runners going by, I grew bored.  My attention shifted to the people in the crowd.  Yes, the A.D.D. is strong!  (Ooh look, pretty colors! I'm gone...)  There, walking down the street, was this gorgeous, white, furry beast!  That's my cue, time to go to work!  I hurried down the crowded street.  I made my way past the panting runners that had just finished their 5 miles.  Some near the edge of passing out.  Finally, I'm within 15-20 feet of my fantastic furry subject.  I never approach a strange dog without their humans permission. It's simply not a good idea.  You never know what will trigger a dog and I certainly didn't want to trigger this one.  My best guess is, at the time, he was easily 125 lbs and clearly stood as tall as I do.  (Yes, for those that know me, insert short jokes here.)  I need both my arms, today was not the day I was going to lose one.  As I'm assessing my safety, this hairy mammoth stood up.  He placed his paws on either side of this guys shoulders. {SNAP!} There is was, the photo!  I knew instantly this was going to be one that I wouldn't soon forget.  As quickly as he jumped up, he jumped down and walked off with his owner in to the crowd.   I was happy with the shot and knew I wouldn't top it.  I turned and headed back to my car. 

The DudeThe Dude

Later that day, the run was ending and people were packing up.  I see the guy from earlier!  Only this time he didn't have the dog with him.  Ok, here's my chance to approach him and ask some questions.  Maybe even talk to him about doing some real photos!   "Hey, I'm Troy!  I'm a local photographer."  Feeling all proud of my earlier accomplishments...  "Where's your pup?  I took an amazing photo of you two earlier today."  His response floored me, "What dog?"   ????  As it turns out, it wasn't his pup at all!  He stopped to talk with someone else and the dog just jumped up to say hi!  We chuckled for a minute and went on our way.  I posted the photo on a few Buffalo and Shamrock Run related sites.  I shared it many times on Facebook.  I was hoping to find the real human that belonged to this mystical monster of a dog.  Nothing, no luck at all.

Fast forward two years...

Again, we attended the Shamrock Run.  There were lots of the usually suspects.  Half-naked runners, people that clearly shouldn't be in spandex, an unpredictable crowd at best!  Afterwards, we made our way to the near by watering hole to put a few pints away.  We certainly put a few pints away.  This is no easy task at this bar on this day.  300 people in a space designed for 100.  Once we had our fill, my wife made her way to the bar to pay our tab. I made my way to the exit.  I was on my way to warm up the car, it was still freezing out!  As I looked out the front window... there... could it be?  Was my hunt for the furry beast over?  There he was, in all his fluffy glory!  I hurried out the door and quickly introduced myself to the human on the other end of the leash.  I gave him a card and insisted that he contact me as soon as possible.  A crowd was quickly gathering around and I knew I wouldn't have time to question the guy about where he was two years ago.  I heard him mention that his boy, "The Dude", was roughly 2.5 years old.  That was all I needed to know.

Today, the mystery was solved.  I spoke with Randy.  He told me all about "The Dude" and we confirmed that it was truly THE dog in my photo.  We are currently making arrangements to work together.  The Dude is now 175 lbs of pure furry beauty and I couldn't be more excited to work with him and Randy.

They say a photo is worth a thousand words.  This is why I take photos, this is a story that I won't soon forget and it is most certainly worth more than a thousand words to me!

Woof woof,



Troy D Photography
Fast forward another year...
Unfortunately, the photo session with Randy and The Dude never materialized.
My wife and I were at the Shamrock Run race on 03/03/2018. We were standing the crowd, waiting for the race to start. We were elbow to elbow, impossible to not bump in to people. Literally! Ann turns to this guy in the crowd and says "Hey, you are that guy in the photo with the white dog!" I don't know how in the world she recognized him! It took me 2-3 minutes of chatting before it hit me. There's no doubt, that was the guy! As it turns out, he does know the owner, Randy. So the encounter between the two wasn't as random as I had originally though. We chatted a few more minutes and then went on with the race. So now it seems as all the mystery is gone. Hopefully we run into "The Dude" many more races.
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