|Notes on BOB AND FRIENDS||view bio|
Dogs, the best-loved photo subjects after children and sunsets, are not typically photographed well. Why? Because they're shot from a person's perspective…from above. "Most people don't bend down because they're lazy," Tony Mendoza says. "I try to shoot [the dogs] at their eye level, to see how they see things. Mendoza gets right up under the teeth-gnashing and butt-sniffing of the dog park hierarchy to get us in on the action. As Jacques Cousteau said: "The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish."
Bob (neé Bowie, as in David Bowie) is Mendoza's three-year-old, long-haired dachshund and the willing star of the series. Despite his diminutive size and endearing good looks, Bob's no pushover. "He's a tough, little guy," the photographer says. "He thinks he's much bigger than he is." Mendoza began taking his little man on trips, seeking out landscapes that would suit such a character and found him equally at home in the snow or the ocean. Trudging through a Florida swamp with the resolve of a weathered soldier, Bob's one blue eye is visible to the camera. Mendoza doesn't worry about the viewfinder. He just lowers the camera and gets off as many shots as he can. His surprise is the same as ours: finding out what exactly goes on down there in the rough-and-tumble wiener dog world.