On a recent morning at Kirkland’s Juanita Bay Park and already exhausted from the blazing heat, Charlie Brown unfurled his great pink tongue and began to work it for the camera in the shade of a Willow tree.
Catharine Handfelt snapped some photos of her panting subject – an English Bulldog, along with his owner, Rob Ghrmai of Kirkland.
This summer, Handfelt is on a quest to find Kirkland’s greatest hounds – 100 of them to be exact.
She plans to take pictures of at least 100 dogs, and then will put together a calendar, photography book and some cards featuring the pooches to sell to dog enthusiasts. The net proceeds will benefit the Seattle Humane Society in Bellevue.
“The concept is essentially dogs saving dogs through art,” said Handfelt, who shoots on-location, natural light photography of children, families and scenes from nature.
She added her project is entirely pro bono and all of her photo shoots are free. Following the photo shoot, she e-mails several photos – which will be considered for the final project – to participants as a thank you for helping out.
Handfelt came up with the idea for the fundraiser after she had a photography show last April. The store owner asked her to do a photo memory book of her husband, Don, and his beloved dog Boomer, a Golden Retriever.
They kept it a secret that it was a Father’s Day present and the idea went over so well that Handfelt decided it would be fun to do a bigger project. So far, she has photographed 46 pooches.
“It has been tremendously heartwarming to see up-close the love people have for their dogs, and how much they are interested in helping shelter animals at the Humane Society with this project,” Handfelt said.
Carrie Wood is editor of the Kirkland Reporter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org