Not long ago my mom declared that it was time for the family to get a new dog. At first I was quite surprised by this announcement. In the many years since we had owned our last dog, my mom was the defector in the family whenever there were whisperings about possibly adopting a new pooch. My confusion over her reversal of opinion lasted until I realized that, with my younger sister about to graduate from high school, my parents would soon be the only occupants of their home. My mom’s new interest was more than a fleeting curiosity – it was her way of preparing for the potential loneliness of an empty nest.
I was more than willing to help my mom find a new companion. It wasn’t long before I found myself looking at pictures of dogs on the local animal shelter website. After what seemed like only a few minutes of searching, I came across a picture of a small terrier with shaggy blond hair. He seemed to be about the size that my mom was looking for, and he reminded me of our family’s last dog. I scheduled a time when we could see the pooch, whose name was Fraser.
Upon meeting Fraser, the first thing that I noticed about him was the way that he looked at me. While other dogs would simply glance up nonchalantly when I was in their company, Fraser stared me down. His gaze was not threatening or pleading, though. What I saw in his eyes was more of a curiousness, a pondering. It was as though he was studying me; searching my thoughts and motivations and weighing them against his own. It was then, during this staring session, that I fell for Fraser and decided he was the dog for us.
Fraser has been a part of our family for two years and continues to impress us with his perceptiveness and curiosity. No matter what you are doing around the house, you can be sure that he is close by, watching and analyzing. This charming trait, along with his joyful, fun-loving nature, makes him an important part of the household: a pet who has added new meaning to the word.
- Robert Hamilton
photographer’s note: When I met Fraser, I learned that he was also very emotionally bonded with everyone in the family and had cried once when he had done something “bad”. According to Robert’s mom, he was so upset at upsetting his new family that everyone realized he felt some things really deeply and learned to be more careful with his feelings. I was also amazed at Fraser’s ability to leap high through a hoop in the kitchen with almost no lead-up. He was so incredibly present and fast. During the photosession outside, he was distracted by a chipmunk. A true terrier.