Paul H. Williams, Contributor
Marie Baillie loves animals, and she knows that the Jamaica Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA), of which she is a client, is strapped for cash. So, this trained nurse-cum-banker-cum-nurse sent her caregiving mode into overdrive, and has come up with an idea to raise funds for the ailing institution, which might soon have to give up the premises on which it is operating at 10 Winchester Road, Kingston 10.
She has produced a DVD of pictures accompanied by music, showing "dogs in all aspects of life, dogs in rich people house, dogs at the beach, dog playing the piano". "My passion for animals - I don't like seeing them suffer," she said, is her rationale for this 30-minute montage, which was done specifically to raise money to buy an ultrasound machine, which costs US$2,400.
"I wanted to play my part," she further said, and has come with Dogs' Tales.
But before she embarked upon her role, she signed up for photography class at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. "Yuh can't use layman ting to put supp'n on the market. You need to be professional," said the woman who "didn't know how to hold a camera". Having learned such, and about angles and perspectives, among other things, she travelled around the country capturing the canines in their colourful diversity. When she was finished, she turned to Dr Kai Meng Lui for the editing of the pictures, and the laying of the music.
The entire project lasted March to October this year. It wasn't easy, she said, as some of the dogs wouldn't stay still, and she had to chase others to get a particular shot. It was hard work, but she enjoyed it, as there was much fun. Another challenge she faced, and is still going through, was that some people who had pledged to help her financially did not reconcile with her, so she had to dig into her own pocket to partially fund the project.
GRATEFUL TO SPONSORS
Dogs' Tales is an expression of love, Baillie said. "I would do it again". And she is quite grateful to her sponsors, Winn-Con, AIMS, Purina, Heroi, Nadwearl, Eukanuba, It's A Dog's World, Stocks and Securities Limited, some of whom were already giving support to the JSPCA. From her friends, too, she has got much support, and she thanks the people who had allowed her into their homes to take pictures. Her two favourites are the one of a dog at a piano, the other of one on the beach at Port Royal looking back at a powerful wave coming towards it.
"It gave me great pleasure to do it, and I hope that, with the effort I put in with the people who cooperated with me, it will be successful, and that it will address the current needs of the association," Baillie said.
Dogs' Tales was launched on Saturday, November 20 at Webster Memorial Church Hall, in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, and is available at It's a Dogs' World and Monarch Pharmacy at Loshusan Centre, both in Barbican.