December 19, 2011
Readers submit their best photos to All Animals
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Last winter, I borrowed some warm clothes from my brother and headed out of his cabin near the edge of Lake Ontario. I’d visited his place during the summer, but there was such a different feeling in winter. Everyone was buckled down in their cabins along the shore, and it was just me sitting outside with my camera. I breathed in the scene: snow-covered earth and stone walls, frozen lake, and Canada somewhere in the distance. The place looked like Antarctica. Even the waves had frozen.
Suddenly two Great Danes burst onto the scene, prancing through the snow like reindeer. One was so funny, romping all over his more reserved cohort, and I couldn’t help smiling at their goofy antics.
When they came running toward me, I leaned down in the snow with my camera, framed their huge bodies in the lens, and took the shot. It was that kind of moment when you think, “Oh my gosh, I just got something very amazing.” When I looked into the LCD screen, it was all there—their personalities and playful spirit, their energy and dramatic size, and the incredible peace I felt in this place.
A woman in the next cabin opened the door and called her dogs back inside. I smiled and shed my coat under the sun’s warmth, grateful for a majestic day.
— Dylan Maras, Hammond, Louisiana
Six years ago, we adopted littermates Arlo and Murphy. While Murphy is mellow, Arlo probably has the equivalent of ADHD in humans. He just can’t sit still. As a kitten, he was so hyper that I’d cradle him under my sweatshirt to calm him down. I often think he’s a dog trapped in a cat’s body. He chews shoes, plays fetch, comes when I whistle, and has mastered many tricks. When I’m in the kitchen, he waits for crumbs to drop and inhales them without even chewing.
Despite his crazy antics, or because of them, I love him dearly. I love how he and Murphy greet me at the door when I come home and follow me around the house. When he gets too rambunctious, I still hold him under my sweatshirt. Even at 15 pounds, he curls up under there and goes to sleep like when he was a kitten.
As I sat in my living room one winter day, I noticed Arlo sprawled on the ottoman next to my book. Luckily I had my cell phone handy and captured this rare moment of calm. Clearly my tiger had been tamed—at least for that moment.
— Trish Sullivan, Phoenix, Maryland
Do you have an inspiring photo of a favorite pet or wild animal?
Send it to us for possible publication in All Animals, along with an explanation of 250 words or fewer about why it's meaningful to you.
Submitted photos should be at least 300 dpi at a size of 5-by-7" and at least 2MB. (You may also send hard copy submissions to All Animals—Your Best Shot, The HSUS, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037. Hard copies cannot be returned.)
For questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.