My Therapist is a Dog!

Over the past year, my Lab Polly and I have been volunteering with the Canine Therapy Corps at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. CTC dogs have gone through a stringent screening process; training and testing in order to become certified for therapeutic programs at hospitals and institutions around the city. They are adept at helping profoundly injured patients with their therapy goals, as well as providing some light hearted “play” time that helps lower stress.

Last month, several of Polly’s “colleagues” dropped by the studio for a visit and photo session. All four of these dogs are family pets when they’re not working, and the fact that they’re so well trained made photographing them together a breeze. Once we placed them on the set, I simply asked each owner to cluster around my camera, instruct the dogs to stay, and keep them focused at my lens. What a pleasant alternative to the usual animal shoot!
If you’d like to see some images from behind the scenes of this photoshoot, please follow this link.

Next week we’re photographing Grey Wolves in the studio, and I have a feeling things may be a bit more up for grabs. But, that’s what makes my job so interesting, and so much fun!

Steve Grubman

About Steve Grubman

Chicago based animal photographer Steve Grubman has been creating award winning images for over 40 years. Along with impressive Portrait, Still Life, and Architectural portfolios, Steve's uncanny connection with animals has produced an amazing body of work for such clients as Purina, Ziploc, Emerson, Abbott, Pfizer, Motorola, Paramount, and many other iconic ad campaigns.
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10 Responses to My Therapist is a Dog!

  1. Donna Petersen says:

    Steve, I loved reading your blog posts and learning how your career has evolved. I had no idea Daisy was in such great company! Thank you once again for all you do for the Canine Therapy Corps.

  2. Michelle says:

    Great photo of all the dogs. I can see all their personalities come through.
    You have the best job!!

  3. Juli says:

    Everything about that first images makes me smile and what’s even more unusual, they all have jobs helping people! What a beautiful looking group of therapists. I also love the behind the scene images with the stuffed animal dogs standing-in during the lighting tests. Good luck with the wolves!

    • Thanks Juli. Everyone involved in this shoot had a smile plastered on their face througout the shoot. There’s a reason why they’re called man’s (and of course woman’s) best friend.

  4. Noreen Winningham says:

    It’s so very interesting to see the “behind the scenes” gallery. Such a great, and generous, idea!

    • To many, the behind the scenes photos are more interesting than the final photograph. There’s no question that the adventure of creating the photo is in fact very often, just that, a pleasant adventure.

  5. Robin Stevens says:

    Steve, I am so proud of you and all that you give back. When I see therapy dogs, or dogs that assist the disabled, I always tear up. The photos are amazing. My dog is a therapist, too, but just for me. All dog behavior goes back to the wolf pack. As long as you, or somebody other than wolf is alpha, you’ll do fine. I handled many wolves at the animal hospital without incident. Take care.

    • Hopefully, our wolf shoot will also go without incident. I’m looking forward to the shoot, in part, because as you said, all domesticated dogs trace their heritage to the wolf. According to current research, wolves walked the earth as far back as 135,000 years ago. In essence, as man and wolves interacted, the ones that stayed with humans eventually became what we now know as dogs. The ones that returned to the woods remained wolves.

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