MADELEINE LUCY POOLMAN
The short story
Taking photos of the dogs around Cape Town makes my heart happy.
The long story
On a non-descript evening in the middle of winter 2016, my best friend and constant companion, Lily was struck by a car. I rushed her to the only 24-hour vet in Cape Town (Cape Animal Medical Clinic, for those interested) and thank the stars, she turned out almost fine. Nothing broken, just some really bad bruising.
Some strong painkillers that left her zonked for two weeks and she was looking right as rain.
About three weeks later, a Golden Retriever called Bella ran across the same road and got struck. She bolted. I chased her for about 5 kilometers fearing she'd run into the busier part of the road further down. She finally stopped and I caught up to her. She turned out fine too, just bruising, nothing broken.
These two incidents (along with other things) sent me unexpectedly into a bout of depression, apparently related to PTSD.
A few months later I started noticing Lily behaving strangely and we learned she'd developed some bruising on her spine from her initial accident, and she went back onto the same painkillers.Then she contracted ringworm from a parlour and had to be shaved, bathed weekly and swabbed off constantly.
The point of all the above is that over the course of the year I had became very aware for the first time of my best beloved's mortality. I was forced to face the fact that I was more than likely to outlive the one thing that has never failed to put a smile on my face through anything.
I began to start shooting again, with her as my focus. I began to start taking photos of the dogs at the various parks we would visit together. I began to realise just how much of an escape animals were for me, and how important the joy they bring us and love they bestow on us truly is.
My aim is to immortalise that love in a picture.