COMPAWSSION (Portraits of rescued dogs)

What Inspired Frank to create Compawssion: Portraits Of Rescued Dogs

We each have one life in which to make a difference—to inspire, to find our own path, and to accept each crossroad as it comes. The more I stimulate my sense of observation and explore this wild and untamed force called life, the more I unlearn and dismantle my values and my beliefs one by one. With the passing of years, I’m surprised at where life takes me, while it whispers in my ear, “Don’t expect anything; enjoy the ride!”

This book is for the underdogs in all of us.

Being a dog photographer is not a profession I chose. It chose me. It happened in a most unlikely time and place. In the midst of my tears, while scattering the ashes of my puppy Rosalie in the park she loved so much, I made myself a promise to use my talents to contribute to the welfare of animals. Out of my devastation and grief came a vision for this project, and I began to work on a book of portraits of dogs rescued from the streets and from shelters. It was time for me to give back and to contribute to a cause that grew bigger and bigger in my heart. Dogs give us so much love every day that I wanted to reach all those wondrous souls all at once.

My dream is that there won’t be homeless pets anymore, anywhere. My hope is to see breeders with a conscience. My wish is to see all puppy mills abolished as well as all stores that sell puppies. An important aspect of this project is awareness and education as a means to prevent innocent animals from being killed every single day.

The more people payed attention to my work, the more I realized that my pictures go far beyond dog photography. They show a certain reflection of our own humanity, of our own capability of being inspired to do what we can to make something happen. We are the change we want to see, and we all have what it takes to contribute and to make this world a better place.

Most of all, I want COMPAWSSION to be about mutual respect, love, joy, and the celebration of the rich emotional connection between dogs and people. There is definitely a greater awareness growing everywhere, with wonderful, dedicated people rescuing and placing dogs every day. With each picture I take, I plant a seed. I hope that one day the seed will become a beautiful tree. I probably won’t be around anymore to stand in awe in front of a forest, but it’s all part of the traveler’s tao, “the destination is not important.”

—Frank Bruynbroek

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