Service Women & Their Dogs, Vol. II
Jackie & Rooby
"The dog is the perfect portrait subject. He doesn't pose. He isn't aware of the camera."
It's the term that Jackie uses to describe her relationship with Rooby.
In 2014, Jackie was stationed in Alaska. Getting a dog had been forefront on her mind, but as an active duty soldier, Jackie was somewhat hesitant. She wanted to be sure she had the time to take care of a dog properly, to spare time for long runs and adventures together.
"I accidentally found her on Craigslist while shopping for a hooptie car," says Jackie. I guess stars aligned."
A family with an accidental litter of Labradoodles had one puppy left: Rooby.
"It's not a very glamorous story," Jackie says. "We weren't love at first sight. I was somewhat hesitant, and Rooby didn't really have a choice."
That immediately changed, however. Rooby followed Jackie to work daily. They spent every free second taking road trips and finding new hiking trails throughout Alaska. The ten-week-old puppy became Jackie's best friend. Wherever Jackie goes, Rooby follows. Over three years, Rooby and Jackie have traveled across the United States, from Alaska to California, Indiana, and Alabama. They are rarely apart, truly inseparable.
“In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.”
– Charles Schulz
When Jackie, Rooby, and I were up at 0600 on a Saturday to do our sunrise shoot, it was under 30 degrees with a steady, frigid wind. Besides the breeze, it was completely quiet on the lake, but the sun rose in a golden glow and set a backdrop for a perfect (albeit cold) morning shoot.
Despite numb hands, lots of foot stomping, and red ears and noses, this is one of my favorite shoots to date. It captures the companionship of best friends, and the loyalty each has for the other. Rooby watches her mom with complete adoration. It's truly heartwarming to see.
(We attempted to get a few shots of Rooby holding roses, but she had more fun using them as a chew toy. Also, please note the adorable doggy sweater. Accessorizing your pet is always a winning look!)
This is part two of a three part series of stories of service women and their dogs. To learn more about the project, read the introduction here.
"A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles."