portraiture of people's dogs (many times including the people themselves), but she also uses her considerable skills to photograph dogs at her local shelter in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and then the shelter posts the photos to help them find homes for the dogs.
Even before she became a photographer, though, Susan was always concerned for the welfare of shelter dogs; she and her daughter, back when Jenna was a teenager, made it a project to go weekly to the shelter in Sherman Oaks, California, to pick up blankets and towels used and soiled by the dogs, launder them all, and return them fresh and ready for re-use. She periodically canvassed her friends to donate towels, blankets, and sheets for the dogs' use, and was always outspoken in her efforts to get others to be active supporters of shelter animals. It was her casual reference to S.T.A.R.T. (Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team) that led me to regularly sponsor a "seat on the bus" for dogs being shipped from euthanizing facilities here in Los Angeles up to no-kill shelters, foster homes, and new permanent homes in Oregon and Washington, where there isn't the glut of abandoned animals we have in Los Angeles.
Some of her best work, however, is her spontaneous shots of her own beloved dogs. She posted one recently on Facebook as a reminder that winter won't last forever, and I found this shot of T (alias Señor Escabeche) and Mouse so appealing that I couldn't resist making a little drawing. I totally messed up the perspective of the fence receding at a nice angle, and I simplified the background, leaving out a couple of buildings and a whole lot of shrubbery, but I think I caught the essentials. Although it wasn't so noticeable in the photo, once I made the painting I realized that the title HAD to be "He casts a long shadow." If you asked Susan, I think she would definitely agree. Susan, please forgive me for appropriating your photo.