French snapper’s ‘wet dogs’ prove global hit

The smell of wet dog would have most of us backing away. Not Sophie Gamand, though – for her, a dripping pooch represents an irresistible artistic opportunity. Entitled simply 'Wet Dog', her unique photography project has since gone viral around the world.

French snapper's 'wet dogs' prove global hit
Photo: Sophie Gamand

Although the smell of a damp mutt might be a turn-off, the sight of them clearly isn't, as the success of New-York based French photographer Sophie Gamand's photography project shows. 

Entitled simply 'Wet Dog', the project features dogs of a variety of breeds, shapes and sizes at bath-time. Her photos have since gone viral around the world, receiving press coverage in countries as far afield as Russia and Italy.

"I am fascinated by the relationship between dogs and humans," Gamand tells The Local. "Dogs are the only species that decided to live in partnership with us. In a way, they are the closest to humans.

"So in my photography, I want to celebrate that particular bond, but also challenge it. How far can you push the boundaries and test the bond between humans and dogs?" 

Gamand, 33, says she was inspired to start the project after observing American pet stylist Ruben Santana at work. 

"I decided to follow him for a day in his grooming salon. I photographed them [the dogs] before, after, and during the grooming. I saw him bathing the dogs and their reaction was so funny. I knew I had something."

Is she surprised by the amount of media attention her project received? 

"Absolutely! I have worked on big projects before – projects that took me over a year to complete. This one was a breather. I just wanted a simple series that would not require too much thinking, just to be in the moment and enjoy the ride. I released the series in late October on my website, shared it with friends. They all liked it very much, but nothing really happened."

It wasn't until a blog published her photos a few weeks later that things started to take off.

"I had agents, book publishers, magazines and people in TV emailing me from all over the world. Now I'm working on a couple of books and have big plans for the Wet Dogs.

"I always looked at Internet success stories as something unreal, that never really happens. Now I know the power of Internet for people like me."  

(An article on Gamand's wet dog portraits in Italy's La Repubblica newspaper)

Bemused as to how a series of photos of dripping wet dogs could prove to be so popular around the world? Judge for yourself by clicking on the link below. 

French snapper's 'wet dogs' prove global hit

Click here for Sophie Gamand's official Facebook page, You can buy prints of her photographs from her online store.

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Dog in eastern France saves three-year-old boy from drowning

Local police in France’s Haute-Saone region have commended a fearless pooch after it saved a young boy from drowning in a local river.

Dog in eastern France saves three-year-old boy from drowning
Photo: Gendarmerie Haute-Saone/Facebook

A young French family have good reason to be eternally grateful to their pet dog Max, after the animal saved their three year old boy from drowning in a river. 

At around  pm on Thursday, Matthiew (as the young boy is called) was with his parents and best friend Max at an outdoor recreational area on the banks of the Ognon River, in the commune of Mélisey, Haute-Saône.

Whilst the adults started preparing a barbecue and tending to their baby daughter, Matthiew and Max played together on the river beach.

Then, for a split second when his parents weren’t looking, Matthiew ran to the shore, slipped on a rock and inadvertently fell into the cold water.

Three-year-old Max, a cross between a border collie and a Bernese Mountain dog, didn’t hesitate for one second to jump into the river.

The boy was already being swept downstream but Max paddled towards him at speed, allowing the boy to grab onto his collar and stop him from drowning.

“He already had his head under water,” Matthiew’s mother Melanie said of the moment she and her husband noticed what was happening.

“I told him to go to the side of the beach where it was less dangerous but he didn’t listen.”

Fortunately, his parents were able to get to the boy and their dog in time.

“I grabbed him by one arm, got him out of the water and immediately wrapped him up in a blanket, ” the father told local daily l’Est Republicain.

Upon hearing the good news, Haute-Saone Police shared a picture of the plucky pooch congratulating him on his bravery.

“They’ve grown up together and always been close, but now they’re even closer,” Matthew’s mum summed up.

Man’s best friend? For this little boy, it’s certainly the case.