I GREW UP SURROUNDED BY DOGS. MY GRANDMOTHER SYD BRED GERMAN SHEPHERDS, WHICH MEANT WE ALWAYS HAD A MINIMUM OF TWO CANINES IN THE HOUSE AT ALL TIMES. OUR PETS WERE NEVER TECHNICALLY “SHOW-QUALITY,” BUT THAT ONLY MADE ME LOVE THEM MORE. WHEN I WAS TWENTY-TWO I MOVED TO BROOKLYN. JOBLESS, BROKE AND WITH VERY FEW FRIENDS, I CAME ACROSS A JOB LISTING FOR “DOG-WALKER” ON THE INTERNET. I ENVISIONED THE CLASSIC SCENARIO I HAD SEEN COUNTLESS TIMES IN MOVIES: A DISHEVELED TWENTY-SOMETHING NEW YORKER HOOFS THROUGH CENTRAL PARK WITH A HANDFUL OF LEASHES AND AN OVERSIZED KEYCHAIN. I IMMEDIATELY APPLIED FOR THE POSITION AND AFTER A FEW INTERVIEWS (AND A FEW FABRICATIONS ON MY RESUME) I HAD THE JOB. THE COMPANY I WORKED FOR WAS NOT THE LARGE, PACK-WALKING SERVICE THAT I EXPECTED; IT WAS A HIGH-CLASS DOG-WALKING CLUB FOR THE ELITE. OUR CLIENTS PAID MORE TO HAVE THEIR DOGS WALKED SEPARATELY. SOME OWNERS WANTED ISOLATED WALKS TO TREAT THEIR DOG’S ANXIETY OR INJURIES; MORE OFTEN THEY JUST WANTED TO ENSURE THEIR ANIMAL RECEIVED INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION. ALTHOUGH STILL MOSTLY FRIENDLESS, MY DOGS FILLED THE VOID OF HUMANITY IN MY LIFE. THEY LOOKED FORWARD TO SEEING ME AND I LOOKED FORWARD TO SEEING THEM. THE LARGE DOGS APPRECIATED MY ENTHUSIASM FOR PLAYING ROUGH, AND THE SMALL DOGS DIDN’T MIND WHEN I TOOK A NAP ON THEIR OWNER’S COUCH BETWEEN WALKS. DURING THAT TIME I WAS PHOTOGRAPHING MY NEW SURROUNDINGS EXCESSIVELY--MOSTLY DOCUMENTING THE SURREAL NATURE OF A NEW, DIRTY, INSANE CITY--SO IT WAS ONLY NATURAL THAT I PHOTOGRAPHED MY DOGS AS WELL. DIRTY DOGS BRINGS TOGETHER MANY OF THE DOGS I MET THAT SUMMER, AS WELL AS A FEW NEW FRIENDS.

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