Not far from my neighborhood, in a small pedestrian alleyway, there is a wonderful bunch of paintings decorating the wooden fences. The paintings, created by an artistic homeowner for neighbors in the immediate area, memorialize their beloved pets — dogs of all sizes, cats, birds, horses, and even an opossum. The number of pets included keeps growing every year. I’d seen the artwork a few times before, but I never realized how special this place was to the residents until one day in the summer of 2017. As I was in the middle of shooting pictures of a couple of the paintings, some ladies approached me; we began to chat, and they described how and why the paintings were created, how the project has brought the neighborhood together — and how they hoped to keep it a local secret. They worried that giving the spot publicity might make it a target for grafitti and vandalism.
I held on to the two photographs I shot that day nearly four years ago, never sharing them until now. That humble memorial still remains — I won’t say exactly where it is, but no one has vandalized it and hopefully they never will. It’s such a wonderful little spot that I just had to go back again to capture more of these sweet tributes to loving, and deeply loved, animals who will never be forgotten.