the dogist

The Dogist by Elias Weiss Friedman

Are you even remotely surprised that I'm going to give an absolutely glowing review to The Dogist?

If so, then you don't know me AT ALL. 

Perhaps you've failed to notice my adoration of #msfuzzydoodlepants. Perhaps you've failed to appreciate my dogs shelf at goodreads. If you happen to follow me on Pintrest as well, you must've somehow turned a blind eye to my beloved souls board, by far leading the pack in the number of pins. If so, you would've also missed that I've been obsessively stalking Weiss Friedman since he showed up with his incredible canine portraits two years ago. 

When Artisan Books provided an advanced copy of The Dogist to me for review, it was pretty much a guarantee they would receive a five star review.

And you should know that, despite my devotion to dogs, I actually don't automatically love all photographs of dogs. So many miss the whole point of a dog's being: their eyes (a.k.a their souls). Far too many are too precious. I don't like to pin or save photographs of dogs with "clothes" on unless they're clearly necessary-for-the-weather coats, for example. 

Weiss Friedman posted a photograph of a Boxer to Instagram while visiting Vienna a couple years ago and was initially surprised that it was his most-ever like photograph ... until he realized there are people like me. So he started The Dogist, a website devoted to photographs he takes of just dogs on the street - mostly in New York City but he also travels frequently, with camera and treats in hand.


The book itself (as opposed to the website) seems to be a collection of some photographs previously published on the site and some are previously unpublished (they all seemed quite novel to my eyes but some seemed vaguely familiar, so I may have seen them before). Perfectly organized collections, including Puppies, Beautiful Blends, Favorite Toys, Retrievers ( personal favourite, of course), One-Eyed, Smiles, Seniors (another personal obessession  - I also highly recommend Old Dogs Are the Best Dogs) Tongues, Ears, Doodles (see above), Tri-Pawed, Sassy, Rare Breeds. And just when you're disappointed that puppies are right near the beginning, they show up again! 

I absolutely love Weiss Friedman's work best of all because he always manages to convey the dog's personality in his portraits. He does mention in this book that he always focuses on the eyes. I assume that's part of it but there's just some more about what he does... dogs may be pretty or beautiful or wild looking but he always manages to convey that underlying goofiness, crazy-turn-on-a-dime demeanor, sweetness, dignity, haughtiness, hey-dude-who-are-you-and-why-are-you-taking-my-picture-ness. Speaking of which, the ganache on the coconut cake (doesn't that sound delicious?) is when he includes the owner's additional information about the dog, like the one where, when he shook the bag of treats, said, "Oh, he's above that" and you can absolutely, without doubt, see that in the dog's upturned nose in the portrait. 

Get this book for the coffee table or the kitchen countertop or as a secret stash at work when you're feeling tired or sad or frustrated - it's an incredible mood-buoyancy treat.

** All photographs above pulled directly from The Dogist website.