The dog “Bear” quickly captured the hearts of our little troupe. He came to us at full gallop whenever he saw us out and about in the village. At one point, I had been inside a home talking to the home owners, and when I came out, Bear was curled up in the arctic entry, right in front of the door. Bear was with me the rest of the day.
Bear was our mascot, guide, companion and ice breaker, all rolled up in one furry package. The locals all thought we were crazy: We either had a pack of dogs following us, or a pack of kids. Often we had a mixed following of each.
One of us even renamed him “Dimitri”, although he was obviously a “Bear”. There were some whispers of a dognapping, questions were asked about the dog’s owners. No one could tell us who owned the friendliest of village dogs. Finally, we asked one of the students at the school, who we saw every day, and who joined us for meals, whenever he could.
“Who owns this dog?”
“That’s Bear, he’s my dog.”
Of course he was! What a perfect match. Bear could have belonged to no one else.
Camera: Rolleiflex 3.5MX; Film: Kodak 120, Tri-X 400