ellwood pet dog project
By Alexandra Glaser and Dog(s)

Started on: 04/23/09 08:09:06
Medium: Visual

I feel deprived living out in Goleta. Not only I am too far for people living in Isla Vista to want to visit, but I am further isolated in that I am forbidden to have animal friends as well. I have realized more than ever that all I really want is a pet - a cat or a dog - to spend my days with. I am nearly 22 and still sleep with four stuffed animals. Pet owners beware. If you walk past me in the street with your dog, I apologize, but you won't be getting very far - that dog is mine to play with until I get bored. I guess I never really truly realized that a dog is "man's best friend" until this year of locational and emotional segregation.

I happen to live wonderfully close to the beautiful Ellwood Beach area of Goleta. Not only do I love it there, but dogs and dog owners love it there too!!! The area feels like a dog reserve and I often go back there just to get my hands and eyes on one. What I propose to do now is to go back to Ellwood with a different frame of mind. I wish to use these dogs and especially their human counterparts in an aesthetic way. What it will be I have yet to determine, my plan is to go back there and see how I relate to the canine world. Whether or not it becomes more of a collaboration with their human friends is to be determined. If this is so, I will change my plan of action. But step one involves immersing myself in this environment, studying my collaborators and having them study me. After, I will determine the next course of action.
[Write Comment]

Comment by LisaJ (04/25/09 12:49:37):
With such a petting compulsion ;-) I think you should go to the animal shelters and work with some dog(s) there.

Project Updates
05/18/09 10:43:53 - Moving On

I had a WONDERFUL experience about 2 weeks ago with a very large, 93 pound golden retriever named Mylie. As mentioned previously, my interactions with dogs thus far in my life have been limited, and although I enjoy their presence and kindness greatly, my reactions in return are often robotic and hesitant. Here is why my interactions with Mylie differ. Mylie is large and full of love. Now age 9, at 2 she had hip replacements and to this day still has difficulty with extreme activity. She excels in cuddling and in loving and is the perfect companion.

I realized that Mylie was the "tutor." In her gaining my trust and love, I could learn to gain hers and learn how to interact with dogs as a whole. I dedicated a full weekend to "learning." Through petting and feeding and walking I learned the basics about proper dog maintenance. But more than what a dog-handlers guidebook or internet site can teach you, I learned the art of being natural with a dog. Its something truly unexplainable but Mylie taught me how to feel and be felt by the dog in return. Its a matter of sensing what is pleasurable and desirable by both parties. Its a matter of patience and respect and love and kindness. To a dog owner this may be obvious, but to an impostor such as myself, a connection with a dog is something that is not forced. Mylie taught me to be natural.

My ultimate gratification in my success with Mylie was when her owner of 9 years told me that Mylie's action of placing her head on my lap was something that only she does to her immediate family and only something she does when she truly trusts or loves the person. Thank you Mylie for teaching me how to love and care for you.

HOWEVER...my experiments in collaborating with a dog helped me realize the extent to which I am drawn to cats. My attempt to connect with dogs has led me to this - i am a cat person. On that note - I have started a new Project, tentatively entitled Stray Cat.

[Play Video]

[Write Comment]