The Dogs of Spitalfields in the Snow
Contributing Photographer Sarah Ainslie braved the blizzard to bring us this survey of the effect of snowy conditions upon our frisky East End canines and here you see the results of her endeavours. “The snow had just started to fall and they were all so excited.” she reported to me afterwards in breathless understatement, “The dogs were going crazy,”
Beetlejuice (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) & Sarah
Beetlejuice is extremely friendly and bounded across to knock the photographer over next. Apparently, he has epilepsy and takes medication for it which makes him gain weight. Sarah, who walks Beetlejuice four times a week for her parents, calls him her “big dollop of lard.”
Daisy (Welsh Terrier) & Fiona
Although Fiona is a professional dog walker who usually walks a number of dogs at once – including Molly, Sandra Esqulant’s dog from The Golden Heart – Daisy is particular and will only tolerate being walked on her own.
Muffin (King Charles Spaniel) & Chris
Muffin was taking Chris for a walk in Ion Sq. Chris is a dignified East Ender who has lived her life around Columbia Rd and Muffin is her dedicated companion.
Malone (Golden Labrador) & Susanna
Malone was acquired by Susanna as a puppy seven years ago in Barcelona, and they moved to London three and a half years ago. After Susanna lost a baby in pregnancy, she realised through the depth of her affection for Malone that she could love an adoptive child as if it were her own, and that is what she hopes to do.
Higgins (King Charles Spaniel) & Mark
Higgins gets taken to Allen Gardens by Mark who is a graphic designer living in Spitalfields. They both came over from Australia last year and this is Higgins’ first experience of snow. The outfit Higgins is wearing was acquired on a recent trip to Vienna.
Buster (Staffordshire Bull Terrier) & Beth
Sometimes Buster gets anxious and insecure while he is outside walking on the leash but he turned playful and relaxed when he saw the school children running around in the snow. A homeboy by nature, Beth says Buster is cuddly and adorable like a teddy bear within the security of his own four walls.
Fred (Labrador) & Ron
Fred is five years old and lives on the outskirts of London with Ron. They arrive at the local school at 5:30am so that Ron can let the cleaners in as part of his caretaking duties. Then Fred & Ron head out for a walk around the park and Ron usually stops to have a chat with the prostitutes on the street.
Aggie (Staffordshire/French Bulldog Cross) & Liane
Aggie is four and a half years old and loves the snow so much that it was almost impossible for Liane to hold her still for a photograph.
Juju & Boudica with Penny & Leslie
Juju & Boudica were so over-excited by the snow that chaos ensued when Penny & Lesley even tried to get them to stand still for a picture.
The Bosses Dogs & Sandra
As part of her duties at work, Sandra regularly walks this eager and excitable pair of dogs belonging to her employer. They barked when they were going to have their picture taken, until Sandra showed them who was boss and achieved the desired result at once.
Stan (Long-Legged Irish Staffordshire) with Reg & Harry
Stan is one of the family for brothers Reg & Harry. So when Harry got the day off from work and the snow shut Reg’s college, it was the perfect opportunity for the three of them to enjoy an afternoon at the park.
Kobi (Victorian Bull Dog) & Steve
Kobi was chosen by Steve, who wanted a small dog, when he was just a little puppy with big feet. Originally bred for pulling logs, Victorian Bull Dogs require plenty of exercise and these days Kobi keeps Steve on the run in all weathers.
Pippi (Mongrel) with Trisha & Mason
As Sarah was walking through St Matthew’s Churchyard in Bethnal Green she saw Pippi scampering towards her through the snow accompanied by Mason. Then Mason’s granny – Trisha – appeared from behind a tree and hurled a well-aimed snowball at her grandson, scoring a directed hit. After introductions were made, Trisha explained she was supervising Mason since his school had closed at lunchtime, but the brief conversation was curtailed once Pippi appeared with a stick and they all ran off again off frolicking together in the snow.
Candy (Dachshund) & Fiona
Candy & Fiona live on Brick Lane and were in a big hurry, but they just stopped long enough to get their portrait done because they always wanted to be featured in ‘Dogs of Spitalfields.’
Fudge (Labradoodle) & John
Fudge was acquired by John when he retired from trading in street markets. Now John walks him three times a day and John’s grandchildren shout “Where’s Fudge?” whenever he pays them a visit. “People don’t take no notice of anyone, but when you’ve got a dog with you it’s different – now everyone says ‘hello’ to me.” John revealed proudly.
Coco (Papillion) & Keith
In the August 2011 series of ‘Dogs of Spitalfields,’ Coco & Keith were featured on their balcony overgrown with summery plants, so Sarah took this opportunity to make a contrasting portrait of these old friends in the snow.
Dasher (Saluki Lurcher) & Tamzin, Dora (Saluki Lurcher) & Mimi, Tim (Whippet) & Robert
Dasher and Dora are rescue dogs but Tim came from a farm in Somerset and has a classy pedigree. By nature, Lurchers and Whippets are very sociable creatures and like to stick together, consequently their owners met and became friends.
Photographs copyright © Sarah Ainslie