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Hunter, my majestic eighty-six-pound mutt, was the love of my life for thirteen years. I was addicted to looking at him—every twitch of his ear was fascinating to me. I've taken thousands of photographs of him, dozens even in the same position. He was "my lucky dog."

I adopted Hunter when he was two. He came with that name, his former owner a fan of Hunter S. Thompson. I noticed Hunter's photo in the window of a pet store in Vermont and brought him home.

If I was the lucky break in his life, he was the transforming experience in mine. Before, I was a little wild. As a photographer, I traveled around the world, picking up and leaving on a dime. Life was exciting: photo shoots in Paris, Haiti, the Himalayas, the Andes, and even the Amazon.

Hunter tamed me. I couldn't be away from him for more than five hours at a time. I had no children of my own; Hunter taught me about responsibility, love, and devotion in a way that was inaccessible to me with "people."


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