Dogs of Our Lives

John Beale Trex, an American Kennel Club Field Champion, dives into a lake near Zelienople to retrieve a training duck thrown by his owner, Curtis Fry of New Brighton. In 2011 Trex was the No. 1 English Setter male in the country for field points. Trex, an American Kennel Club Field Champion, dives into a lake near Zelienople to retrieve a training duck thrown by his owner, Curtis Fry of New Brighton. In 2011 Trex was the No. 1 English Setter male in the country for field points.
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Dogs play a significant role in the daily lives of many in our region. In Allegheny County, there were 102,289 dogs licensed in 2011.


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Dogs can add to quality of life both as companions and in service, as exemplified by “Daisy,” a Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle mix who is trained as a diabetes alert dog.

As Daisy’s owner Brenda Pearlman watches her daughter, Laura, during soccer practice, the dog paws at Brenda’s side. She asks, “Too high or too low?” Daisy drops to the ground, signaling that Laura’s blood sugar is low. Laura is summoned to the sidelines for a check, and, after a quick snack, returns to practice.

These photos showcase local canines of all kinds — from man’s best friend, to service dogs, a hunting champion, pampered pets, and a dog struggling to survive.


John Beale

A former Pittsburgh Post-​Gazette photographer, John Beale teaches photojournalism at Penn State’s University Park campus. His photography has been published by many major newspapers, magazines and websites; including ESPN​.com, Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times. His photography has been included in more than a dozen books and has been honored with numerous regional and national awards.

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