Mangled up and chewed
A dog's very healthy appetite gives one Colorado photographer a whimsical outlet
Internet, meet Riley.
The golden retriever was a stray when she landed in photographer Rebecca Stumpf's lap while she was working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica. When the photog, 32, moved to Boulder, Colo., in 2011, Riley came along.
"She loves to chew things, but thankfully, she only ever chews her things," Stumpf explained in an email. "Apart from the occasional food scrap she gets ahold of when feeling mischievous."
Editorial and commercial assignments make up the better part of Stumpf's days, but she likes to have a more personal project in the works at any given time. So where other dog owners might have seen a pile of mangled toys, Stumpf saw her next photo shoot.
"Chewed balls, shredded ropes, what once were bears, dogs, and others stuffed animals," Stumpf listed. "Looking at that pile, I thought the amount of toys she now has is a comical contrast to the probably somewhat toy-less life she lived as a stray. Each and every one of the toys has a story to tell."
Some of Riley's best-loved possessions have been with her since Stumpf brought the pup back from Costa Rica. Others are more recent acquisitions.
"She has an uncanny ability to find a ball wherever she roams," Stumpf said. "Within just a couple weeks of moving to Boulder, I had counted something like 13 balls out and about in the neighborhood that Riley had found."
With the simple white background and clean display (aside from the trashed subject matter), Stumpf said she hopes the ongoing project will illustrate a beloved pet's dearest belongings.
"I wanted to highlight these objects of desire, Riley's objects of desire, featuring what is special and meaningful to her," Stumpf said. "It's just a study of Riley's objects — and the stories they tell."