Jan. 31, 2012 at 12:00 PM ET
On Jan. 31, 2005, Jon Sung launched Dogblog, where he posts photos of dogs in his San Francisco neighborhood on a leashes tied to poles, patiently waiting for their owners, complete with his own commentary on their internal "thoughts" and personalities.
Today, 7 years later, Sung has posted a total of 579 photos on the blog (now on Tumblr), and has no intention of stopping anytime soon. The 32-year-old freelance advertising copywriter, musician, and self-described ''minor baron of the internet'' was psyched to let us post some of his photos (shot with a point-and-shoot digital and his smartphone) and tell us about a hobby that has turned into just a little bit of an obsession.
When and why did you start this project? I used to live in the Noe Valley district of San Francisco, where a lot of people tend to walk around with their dogs; when they see a store they want to go inside, they just tie their dog to a parking meter and go inside (though this behavior isn't limited to the Noe Valley, it was the first time I encountered it). Something about the dogs and the looks on their faces struck me as hilarious, so I just started taking their pictures with the digital camera I had on me most of the time. These pictures went into a folder on my computer called "Pictures of Forlorn Dogs," which I kept for my own amusement. After a while, it occurred to me that people might want to see these and laugh at them, too, so I put them up on the internet in a series of extremely crudely constructed hand-coded HTML pages. After I'd gotten to about 100 dogs, maintaining the links between each page got to be tiresome, so I switched to Blogger, and later to Tumblr. Wait, this got off-track. I started doing it because I thought these dogs were the funniest thing I'd ever seen, and put them up on the internet both to share the hilarity and find out if anyone else was seeing what I was seeing.
Do you own a dog? I don't personally own a dog; the realities of city living make this a tough prospect for me, but I've had occasional housemates who've owned dogs, and that's been good enough. Growing up, I had a German shepherd named Mac who was mostly an outdoor dog, but cemented my love of large, furry dogs with triangular ears.
Have you ever seen a dog who perhaps was abandoned or who didn’t look well taken care of? I've never encountered an ill-treated dog here in San Francisco. I did see one once with one of those cage-like muzzles around his snout, whose need became obvious when I paused to consider taking his photo and he lunged at me, barking angrily. The Hannibal Lecter of dogs, or at least Hannibal in a bad mood.
You’ve been doing this for 7 years now – did you ever imagine you would do it this long, and do you ever plan to stop? I'm positive I never intended to maintain it this long, but I'm not sure I had a clear end date in mind when I began, either. I think I underestimated the comedy potential of dogs: You can see an evolution of a sort in my commentary style from the start to where it is now, which I can't really explain. Dogs will never stop being hilarious, I think is the key takeaway.
Do you have a favorite dog ever? It's really hard to identify a favorite dog in my frankly somewhat daunting archive, but I can tell you that I get extra excited when I see a Welsh corgi tied up to something. The corgi is hands-down the funniest dog currently in existence; I think it has something to do with their disproportionately tiny legs and constant doggy grins.
See all of Dogblog's photos here. (Warning: Some of the captions contain some profanity, so just be forewarned!)
We're looking for your adorable mutts. Send us your photos and they may be posted in Animal Tracks.
This was posted by TODAY.com supervising producer Susan Houriet, who doesn't own a dog but loves looking at photos of them all day.