Book Review: The Dogist
by Elias Weiss Friedman
Followers of Elias Weiss Friedman’s extensive “Dogist”-brand web-presence – the blog, the Twitter, the Instagram – will have been expecting his new book from Artisan titled, again predictably, The Dogist. The title is a word of Friedman’s own coining, a label for the dream job he created for himself: he travels the world taking pictures of dogs and posting them for dog-lovers to see.
The gambit has proven an enormous success, and the basic exuberance of it is obvious on every page of this book, which, naturally, every dog-lover must own. Armed with some tennis balls, some dog treats, and some knee pads, Friedman goes from city to city, talking with dog owners and coaxing out of their pets some truly remarkable on-the-fly portraits.
His photos span the spectrum of pampered and proud Western dogs. There are show dogs in these pages, and members of the NYPD K-9 Unit. There are the unbelievable athlete-dogs of the Iditarod, there are therapy dogs, dogs in all seasons, dogs in hats, dogs in glasses, does in little shoes. There are a few pages of breathtaking shots of timber wolves. There are, touchingly, a couple of photos of the dogs successfully rescued from the despicable dog-torturer Michael Vick. There are, everywhere, New York City dogs.
There are frantically happy dogs:
There are serene dogs, simply wondering what this strange human in front of them is doing:
There are beautiful dogs:
There are old dogs:
There are misunderstood dogs:
And there’s even the occasional breed that’s hard to place:
Friedman’s happy task continues, so more “Dogist” volumes will certainly follow. And who knows? Perhaps he’ll branch out to include all the stranger-friendly cats he can find. That might make a good postcard.