How the heckfire did Seth Casteel even come up with this idea of photographing dogs fetching balls and sticks and other lures of underwater canine submersion? Its hilarity--with one wrench of pure horror in the form of a snarling yellow lab thrown in for good measure--is kind of brilliant. Underwater Dogs exposes the underbelly of simple, carefree games of catch. What owners typically perceive as a sprint, a leap, and a splash, now emerges as a heretofore unseen subsurface circus.
Truly sensational images depict Fido's fight to retrieve as a bubbling Mecca of bared teeth, flailing paws, and ears succumbing in all directions to the force of the water's impact. And though the publisher claims Casteel's photos allow each dog's "distinct personality" to shine through, I find that they pretty much just confirm all my stereotypes of these breeds: English bulldogs can't swim, and are too lazy even to fight when faced with drowning; Boston terriers all look like Steve Buscemi; and dachshunds have python DNA.
Underwater Dogs includes over 80 shots of canines sure to make even Nicole Kidman and January Jones crack a smile. Casteel's coffee table conversation piece stems from his passion for animals, and membership in the animal rescue community. As an award-winning photographer of friendly beasts, he has earned recognition from TIME Magazine, The Today Show, and The Humane Society of the United States.