I have always been interested in the use of dogs for medical illness detection ever since I met Sharon Channelle and her pink poodle Tia at the Great Yarmouth ‘Out There’ arts festival several years ago. She is pictured below at a ‘Race for Life’ event in Norwich. Tia has her own Instagram site and together with her owner, they travel up and down the country fund-raising for cancer charities.
After meeting Sharon I later read up about the scientific basis for the phenomenon that is cancer detection by dogs, and when I was looking for charities to offer photographic services to, in order to gain some more experience, I contacted the Medical Detection Dogs charity in Milton Keynes. Unfortunately the charity was solely based in the Midlands with no regional offices, so it was not really feasible for me to be of any real practical help to them for event photography given the distance I would have to travel and my availability around work too.
It was also not really feasible to use this subject as a basis for the assignment. I had no real local contacts and the images themselves might have been limited. Some day in the future I would like to do a project around the relationship these dogs have with their owners, and the people they’ve helped. Unfortunately as far as the assignment went for me, this was a bit of a dead end.