This is Bruno, minding the shop at Etty & Tyler’s, the motor cycle dealers in Forest Gate, east London. Photographed in 2005, he was my first subject in what became a long running project : Town Dogs. There was really no need to beware of this gentle giant of a dog. Any visitor who took him sliced ham or digestive biscuits was always welcome.
The first time I called, I got more than I bargained for. Needing new spark plugs, I was greeted at the door by this fully grown Mastiff. He looked friendly, so I greeted him back and stroked him. He rolled on to his back, so I rubbed his tummy. Then as he brushed against my trousers like a cat, I learnt an unwelcome truth about workshop dogs : their coats are nearly always covered in engine oil.
Leaving with my spark plugs and greasy trousers, I promised myself I would go back and take pictures of Bruno. The seed had been sown for Town Dogs.
To see more pictures from the project, visit the Town Dogs gallery at my website.