Mick Dodge, the star of National Geographic’s The Legend of Mick Dodge, is the original wild man. He lives off the land—and off the grid—with his dog, Gabu, near the Hoh Rain Forest in Forks, Wash.
For more than six million worldwide fans of the show, Gabu is a modern-day Lassie, a celebrity TV dog who shares her deep-forest adventures with Dodge while he teaches viewers to restore healthy connections to the Earth as the creator of Earthgym Foot Camp.
Pet photographer Lori A. Cheung caught up with Dodge and Gabu at Lake Tahoe in May, taking photographs of man and dog for images to go into a forthcoming children’s book. At their meeting, Cheung named Gabu an ambassador for Pets for World Peace, an honor Cheung bestows on special pets with the expectation they will assist her in efforts to inspire, educate, and help fundraise for animal shelters and animal welfare nonprofits.
An Australian cattle dog and husky mix, Gabu has one blue eye and one brown eye, which Dodge suggests respectively reflect the waters of the glaciers and the deep brown of the soil. She has a white mark on her chest that is shaped like a thunderbird and seems to take flight as she runs. Dodge named Gabu after his martial arts mentor from Okinawa.
“It was both an honor and a joy to photograph Mick Dodge and Gabu surrounded by the exquisite beauty of Lake Tahoe. I felt Gabu’s incredible presence, as if I were with royalty,” Cheung said of the experience. “She radiates a joy of freedom. Out of all the dogs that I have photographed, Gabu has spent the most time living in forests. Her sharp instincts and ability to find Mick, even when he is over a half an hour away, is remarkable.”
Main article photo by: Lori A. Cheung, The Pet Photographer