On November 4, 2008 Barack Obama accepted the Presidency of the United States and promised his girls a puppy for their new home. What would forever be known as the "Puppy Moment" kicked off a fairy-tale-like quest for the perfect Obama pet. Dog lovers, historians, and trend-watchers tracked every hint and nod to a breed to see which one the the First Family would select. Sally Quinn called it, "The best kept secret in Washington." When word leaked out that it would be a Portuguese Water Dog, Porties across the country applied for the position. Photographer Sharon Montrose and her husband Spencer Starr have uncovered the previously unpublished headshots and resumes of the pups who hoped they would find a home at the White House in their new book Almost First Dog: The Secret (Rejected) Portuguese Water Dog Applications.
As a blogger who followed the First Dog search from the start, I have spent hours seaching for Portie images, so I can say with authority this is the most beautiful collection of Portuguese Water Dog photos out there. Porties are challenging dogs to capture on film. Frequently their black curly hair hides their eyes or ruins exposures. Studio shots look stilted for such a rambunctious breed and the action shots sometimes sacrifice the magic of their adorable faces. Sharon somehow wrangled the greatness of the breed in these works of art while Spencer revels in the fun and absurdity the world had waiting for the arrival of Bo. I highly recommend this book for any Portie owner or photography buff; obviously, it's the perfect gift for someone who is both.
Here are some highlights:
Click here to order your copy.
Also, visit Sharon's etsy shop and Spencer's etsy shop to see the stunning depth of talent in one couple. Stop by Sharon's website for large, limited edition prints (phenomenal, really). Sharon's blog is a treat too.