…In a beautiful old city resting between the banks of a mighty river and the dark green edges of the swamp there once lived a little dog. She was brown and white with a belly covered with speckles. Her eyes were gold, her velvet ears a smooth, chestnut brown. The dog belonged to no one, and except for a crescent shaped swirl of fur on her chest, there was nothing particularly noteworthy about her. She was a little stray hound of questionable heritage and pedigree and that was all she ever expected to be.
The story of Swamp Dog is a sweet and simple one. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, she was found on an old gravel road between the banks of Bayou Lafourche and a sugar cane field in a small South Louisiana village called Napoleonville. No one knows for sure if she was a victim of the Great Hurricane, or simply a victim of sad circumstances, the kind that find so many strays abandoned and alone. Her rescuer, a good man from the swamp, took her home and made her whole again. He named her Shiloh, unaware of the journey he would soon take with her, a journey from her humble beginnings as his little stray hound of questionable heritage and pedigree into the world of Swamp Dog.
Shiloh began her career in front of the camera rather suddenly. One day, Robin Bell and her business partner, Jennie Alexandry, traveled to the swamp to visit the man. Their sole purpose was to photograph an old blue pirogue soon to become firewood for an upcoming bonfire. The man prepared the pirogue for towing, then helped the two women into his boat. When the perfect photo-shoot location was found, the small pirogue was tied to a large cypress knee. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Shiloh came running through the brush on the lake’s bank. The man from the swamp had forgotten his new family member and, apparently, she was not going to stand for it. Without warning, Shiloh jumped into the shallow water and proceeded to swim through the cypress knees towards the little blue pirogue. When she reached the boat, she climbed in, desperately trying to inch closer to her Papa. Within seconds, Shiloh was standing up in the boat, looking out over the water. The photograph that was soon to become Swamp Dog was staring right back at three surprised onlookers. Shiloh cried, barked and begged for Papa; then, just at the right moment, Robin did what she does best – she snapped a memorable photograph. After Shiloh’s impromptu photo-session, Robin turned to the man from the swamp and remarked, “Do we have a picture to give your wife for Christmas!” Yes, he did have a unique Christmas gift. As for Robin, Jennie and Swamp Dog, the rest is history!
Thank you Shiloh…for opening the door to our dreams and unleashing the power of the Magic Swamp.