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  • Writer's pictureArthur Severio

Puppy Love

I remember the first time I held my little puppy that my brother got for me. Of course he and his friends had already named her Lady Poobette of the House of Windsor something or the other that I, little Arthur could not pronounce. Somehow I managed to get Tibet out of all of that. Tibet was a black and white miniature collie and she was my best friend until I was in the seventh grade.

It's impossible to be a part of a person's life and not become friends with their animals or take IPhone photos of them. In my professions, animals and children are the hardest subject matters to photograph because they are easily distracted and they do not look in the camera for long. Put two of either child or dog in a shot and your working on a wing and a prayer.

Victor, Erica, Mitzi, Millie and Hoover

Before Katrina hit land on Sunday, I went on vacation to see the Former Ladies of the Supremes in Los Angeles on Thursday. I had a Yorkie named Millie that my friend Victor dog sat for. Like so many of us something snapped in me when Katrina happened - all things that once were one way were no longer the same. I am not sure if it was a mental break, a mid-life crisis or just a life shift or a combination with a little dose of the crazies, but I decided I was going to move to New York and give up the life that I had built for myself here in New Orleans and my friends that couldn't understand what was wrong with me. During Katrina, Victor escaped from the apartment complex that we both lived in where just a block away, the apocalypse was happening over at the Convention Center. Victor had to syphon gas from a neighbour's car for his evacuation to Asheville, North Carolina with Millie in tow. I can just see this cool cat in his black Town Car listening to Madonna and Radiohead on the CD player and Millie curled up next to him on the front seat sighing like she was known to do. I was evacuated to a handicapped hotel room in Silver Lake where I made my decision to move to the big apple to chase my dreams of meeting the famous. Millie stole the hearts of Victor, his sister Erica and his aunt Mitzi who all took turns parenting sweet Millie. I didn't have a regular schedule for the little dog and I knew Victor and his family would be a better home for Little Millie especially moving to Manhattan so I let him and his sister adopt her.

After Katrina, my friend Donald came down from Chicago with an animal rescue group called PAWS. The Gulf Coast was a strange and desolate place that was no longer the way it once was after the hurricane. Homes and businesses along the coast were wiped out. Paws brought an RV where they neutered and gave shots to the animals. The people of Waveland that came to adopt were happy to do so. So many left their loved ones behind thinking they would return or had to because shelters did not allow animals in

Hoover was one of the cutest there that day so I brought him back to New Orleans and Victor. Hoover I believe is turning 15 this year.

Alecia, Truman, Holly and Percy

When I met Alecia, she had two little dogs named Truman (Capote) and Holly (Golightly). She later adopted Percy Louise who nudged himself right up in the middle of the pack and Alecia. I think I enjoyed photographing the pups as much as Alecia on our photo shoots. Sad to say but Percy and Holly recently passed leaving a hole in everybody's life.

Penny and Felicia

Going through memories and photos, I came across this gem of my neice Felicia and my mom's dog Penny. Sweet Penny had a gentle soul and my dad would make him sit on his hind legs for a biscuit. My mother had many chihuahuas named Penny.

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