Flake, Gadget and Pilot: Cover Dogs

Our winner for this issue is Sarah Babcock, who sent us three submissions, all charming dogs adopted from the Richmond SPCA in Virginia. When we queried her about her entries—trying to see if it would be possible to fit all of them on the cover—we learned that Sarah had, in fact, three more dogs whose photos she had not submitted! So with all that talent on our doorstep, we decided to make Sarah and her dogs our first winners. We proudly feature her Flake, Gadget and Pilot on the cover and, on the foldout, include her senior and noble Crosby. Amanda Jones, the nonpareil portrait photographer, captured the essence of all six of Sarah's dogs perfectly—the ultimate prize!

Sarah Babcock’s life changed when she adopted Crosby. When the Doberman/Shepherd mix turned up in front of her home as a stray in 1996, he reintroduced her to the world of dogs. As she explored training options, Sarah became fascinated by the application of learning theory to real-life dog training and behavior modification. Two years after taking in Crosby, Sarah left her 14-year career with IBM to become a trainer herself. And of course, over the years, visits to the Richmond SPCA produced more dogs. (It also produced a new job—she is now the Richmond SPCA’s chief of education and training.) Cover dogs Flake, Gadget and Pilot followed. Like all of Sarah’s dogs, Flake is a mixed breed, in this case, probably Border Collie and American Eskimo; Gadget, mostly Jack Russell Terrier; and Pilot, is possibly a mix of Beagle, Chihuahua and perhaps Dachshund. Sharing the house with these four are Thor, a 10-year-old Lab mix, and the newest pack member, Daisy, a young Border Collie.

So, with the first issue of 2008, we salute Crosby, Flake, Gadget, Pilot and shelter dogs everywhere! What better way to launch a year’s worth of anniversary celebrations?

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 46: Jan/Feb 2008

 Photograph by Amanda Jones