A set of charming photographs document the ‘friendship’ between a young Great Dane and his cuddly teddy bear, as they travel everywhere together.
In one beautiful shot, seven-month-old Lance looks out across a lake while the brown bear appears to put a friendly paw on his shoulder. In another, Lance gazes into a hazy sunset while two bears sit huddled beside him. The dog is also shot peering through the grey stone arch of a ruin, while a smiling teddy bear rests on the wall next to him.
Photographer Andy Seliverstoff, 58, captured the magical images in locations around St Petersburg in Russia. Dad-of-one Andy, from St Petersburg, said: “For children, their toys are beings – every little child gives a name to his toy and talks with him.
“These actions often make adults smile, probably reminding us of how we were once children. I wanted to convey these feelings and look at the teddy bears with the eyes of a child. The protagonist of this series of pictures is a brindled male Great Dane called Lancaster or just Lance, who is owned by a family friend.”
Andy took the photographs while he, his wife, and family friends were on a long three-hour walk with the dogs.
He said: “Our friends helped with the photoshoot, working with the dogs so that they sat where intended. The dogs understood that the bears are toys, and after the shoot they gladly used them in this way, but none of the bears were hurt during or after the shoot. In one of the walks when we went far enough away from my friend Natasha’s house, she asked: “Do you want to see something special? We were enthusiastic, although we were all rather tired and hungry by that time. However, what we saw shocked us, and we forgot about our fatigue. In the middle of a huge field was a towering wall with a window overlooking a hill. There are no buildings near there, and it is difficult to understand what building this ruined wall was part of.”
He added: “Each of these images has meaning and emotion. Depending on my mood, my favourite photo might change, for example between Lance at sunset or Lance and the bears in the doorway of the mysterious walls. I’ve invested a lot of time and a considerable amount of my soul in each of them.”
Decide if the sentences below are true or false.
1. The photographs show a seven-month-old baby and his teddy bear. T/F
2. The photographer’s dog was shot dead while close to the ruins of a building. T/F
3. The photographer had a dog called Lance. T/F
4. Children treat their teddy bears and toys as people. T/F
5. The photographs make the adults think of their childhood. T/F
6. The dogs were sitting, rather than moving, in the pictures. T/F
7. The photographs were taken during a long walk to a mysterious wall. T/F
8. The pictures are filled with a lot of emotion. T/F