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A Photo is Worth 1000 Songs – Best Friend

A series exploring photos, words, and songs.
Photos: Arik Solberg
Words: Dave Shiffman
Songs: ♫ on Spotify


Your love is pure and unconditional. I feel it in the excitement you display when I return to our home, how you constantly long for my affection, how you never leave my side when we’re together.

Your loyalty is unparalleled. I see it in your obedience, the way you watch me with purpose, poised for duty, waiting for a sound or a sign from me to dictate your next action.

You are my scout, my guardian, my constant companion.

Your lust for life delights me and reminds me to appreciate the moments our freedom allows.

Feeling the wind blow over our faces as we truck down the highway, your head thrust out the window of course.

Running through the snow with reckless abandon, chasing a critter just for fun.

Jumping into a lake on a hot day and taking a little swim.

Lounging by the fire on a cold night.

A snooze in the sunshine, basking in the warmth of the late afternoon sun.

I feel at peace when I see you sleeping deeply at my feet, not a care in the world. Your little cries at feeding time make me feel needed. During the darker, more challenging times that I’ve battled through, you gave me purpose and validation.

Partners have come and gone and come and stayed, but you have been there throughout, unwavering, accepting, an integral part of who I am.

Thank you, my friend, for bringing my life greater richness, depth and joy. You are perfection, a blessing, and I will be forever grateful for knowing you.

Boat Dog_Jus



Hiker Tongue_Jaz


Jus, Cuppy Cake, El Reyo, Jasmine_aka The Band

“The Band” aka Jus, Cuppy Cake, El Reyo, Jasmine

Mirror Longshot_Jus

Nose to Nose_Jus and a Wolf we met in Nederland

Jus and a wolf we met in Nederland



Tongue_El Reyo

El Reyo

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Ever since becoming deeply moved and then essentially obsessed with reggae music as a teenager, Dave has always strove to learn as much as possible about the history and culture of reggae music, Jamaica and Rastafari, the ideology and lifestyle intertwined with reggae. 

Over the years, he has interviewed many personalities throughout the reggae world including Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear, Lucky Dube, Bradley Nowell and many artists in the progressive roots scene.

Dave has also written and published a novel, “The Cosmic Burrito,” a tale of two friends who drive across the USA in search of the ultimate burrito. He plays ice hockey weekly for a recreational team he founded and manages, Team Rasta.

Reggae music has filled his life with a richness for which he will forever be grateful, and he gives thanks to musicians far and wide, past and present, whether they perform roots, dub, dancehall, skinhead, rocksteady or ska, whether their tools are analog or digital, as well as the producers, promoters, soundsystems, selectors and the reggae massive at large who comprise the international reggae community.

You can follow Dave on Instagram at @rootsdude and Twitter at @ElCosmicBurrito.

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