Park Dogs of London

New photography book Park Dogs London celebrates the
capital’s canine community… at the Imperial War Museum

Dog owners have always known how good they have it, but they didn’t know QUITE how good until Coronavirus. That is certainly the case at the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in London SE1, which is the home of the Imperial War Museum and a home from home for myriad local dogs who play daily in the adjacent Imperial Dog Park

The community formed around the dog park over many years, swelled with several litters’ worth of new arrivals since March 2020, is now being celebrated in Park Dogs London, a new photography book, created by a team of local dog owners

Park Dogs London… at the Imperial War Museum is 130+ pages of beautiful photography featuring 45 dogs in scenic locations around the park. Breeds featured include varieties of Beagle, Bichon Frise, Cockalier, Cavapoo, Cockapoo, Chihuahua, Dachshund, Bulldog, Greyhound, Jackapoo, Jack Russell, Maltese, Pharaoh Hound, Pomeranian, Poodle, Schnoodle, Shih-Tzu, German Pointer, Husky, Spaniel, Terrier and Whippet

This happy pack includes 18 “lockdown puppies”, purchased as a direct result of life during Covid, often by owners who had been pining for a pet for years

Each solo photo spread is accompanied by an introduction to that dog, with touching descriptions from the owners about their pooch, the park and their lockdown experiences. There are also group shots of canine “besties”.

Park Dogs London is the brainchild of Terri Paddock and Peter Jones, parents to a three-year-old cockapoo named Lottie. Like so many others, becoming dog owners for the first time transformed the couple’s life and, through the park, rooted them in their community in a way that they had not previously experienced in seven years residing in the area.

Last year, Terri and Peter formed the “Dog Lovers of IWM” WhatsApp group, now with more than 125 members. Park drinks, walks, playdates, farewell dos and doggy birthday parties have all been organised via the Group, which is also abuzz each day with swaps of pet paraphernalia, advice, jokes, and adorable videos and photos.

The couple explain how Park Dogs London also came about via the WhatsApp group:

“We’d seen other books about pets and thought our fabulously photogenic dogs of the Imperial War Museum deserved their own. As with everything in our park community, we posted a message in the WhatsApp group to gauge interest – the response was overwhelming.”

“As the UK’s second national lockdown approached, the project has been embraced as a way of everyone celebrating the dogs that have helped make this year bearable, as well as the beauty of the park that we frequent so much with them, particularly while people have been furloughed or are working from home.”

“Through the group, we found not only dozens of owners volunteering their pets for photoshoots – more than enough for many more volumes! – but also two incredible collaborators to create the book.”