A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a very smart, polite, 10-year-old boy named Wyatt Milton. He had heard about my forthcoming book on military dogs, and was eager to learn more about military working dogs for a school report he was putting together. He asked me for answers to several interesting questions. I was happy to help Wyatt, because this topic is clearly a big passion of his. His dad, Stephen, is in the Army (airborne infantry), and the family got to know about these dogs a bit during their last two years at the Yuma Proving Ground, in Arizona.
When we were done with the interview, Wyatt and his mom, Amy, sent me a photo of the family dog, Maddie. The family now lives in Nebraska, where Stephen is liaison officer for the Army Missile Defense Agency to STRATTCOM. It gets mighty cold in the winter – kind of the opposite of Yuma’s stifling heat in summer. Maybe to help Maddie acclimate to the rigors of winter, or maybe just to make a beautiful Lab mix that much more stylish, Amy dressed her in this super colorful, fun scarf and took this photo at the end of a snowstorm last week. And a stunning portrait was born.
From her gorgeous eyes to the way the snow has settled on her head to her sweet expression and white chinny-chin-chin, Maddie is a portrait of the prototypical loyal dog – happy to don whatever fashion options come her way, content to move wherever her people go, roasting, or freezing, to be part of her family.
Since segments of the country are socked in by snow, this seemed like a most appropriate photo for today. Thanks for the photo, Amy, and Wyatt: Knock ’em dead with your report! It’s going to be A++ material from what I can tell.