A younger me with my trusty hiking companion Blue

One of my first memories as a child was standing on my porch at my North Berkeley home,  watching a teenager jogging alongside a magnificent German Shepherd dog.  This incident started a life long love of this dog breed.   I have had six shepherds, and every one of these dogs has been a fine example of the breed description:  “Often used as working dogs, German Shepherds are courageous, keen, alert and fearless. Cheerful, obedient and eager to learn. Tranquil, confident, serious and clever. GSDs are extremely faithful, and brave. They will not think twice about giving their lives for their human pack. They have a high learning ability. German Shepherds love to be close to their families.”

Dan Wolf and barnsLast year when I was visiting Wisconsin, I spent a few days traveling around the state, photographing some of the rural areas.  I was particularly taken by the farms, with the stone silos, and all the picturesque out buildings and colorful fields.  I could easily live in one these farm communities in a heartbeat.   When I came upon one farm I wanted to photograph, I stepped out of my car to figure out where i would shoot my photographs.  Across the field, in-front of the farm, strolled two German Shepherds.  The sight took my back to the first time I had ever laid my eyes on this breed.  By the time I had retrieved the camera out of the car, they were well past the farm.  I went ahead and photographed the farm.  On the plane flight home I decided that I would do a painting of the farm and use my own dogs “Molly” and “Scout” as models.  The more I thought about it, I decided that that I would set it in the winter snow, and call the painting “Working Dogs.”