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GALLERY

Hair of the Dog

July 03, 1994|ADRIENNE M. JOHNSON

Please, no puns about a dogged pursuit or a "ruff" job. In capturing canines for her book "Jill's Dogs" (Pomegranate, 1994), photographer Jill Freedman defies the cliched images. There are no pictures of pups bedecked in show ribbons or frozen in a mid-air Frisbee catch.

Instead, there is a 20-year chronicle of dogginess. One that, as some have told Freedman, includes pictures that look as if they were taken by another dog.

"Dogginess is a universe," Freedman says. "They are much more evolved than we are. I just love the way they live in the minute."

And the magic is in the minutes she catches. Dogs arguing, wondering, contemplating, explaining, demanding. Dogs serving masters and showing masters how to serve. Dogs as best friends and as only friends.

This kind of knowing could only come from a person who has loved dogs forever, as Freedman has. And yet, an intense travel schedule has made it impossible for her to be owned by a dog. Instead, she belongs to two kittens. Still, one is named Pooch (the other is Lulu).

And what kind of dog would Freedman choose to be? Remembering her beloved pal Fang, she doesn't hesitate to pick a poodle. "Once you love a poodle, you know why. They are every dog in the world and more. They are brilliant, have a great sense of humor and they're all dog."

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