Dog handler focuses on faithful friends

The Oxford Times: This shot of Harry the German Shepherd and Archie the Cockerpoo has won their owner second prize in a national dog photography competition This shot of Harry the German Shepherd and Archie the Cockerpoo has won their owner second prize in a national dog photography competition

BY DAY he has served as a police sergeant, working for the Met for more than 30 years.

But in his spare time Sergeant Simon Reynolds is an amateur photographer, snapping pictures of pooches, including one of his own pets.

It was the image Sgt Reynolds captured of Harry the German shepherd and Archie the Cockerpoo, featured on the front page, that won second prize in a national dog photography competition.

Sgt Reynolds, a Metropolitan Police officer of 32 years, had just introduced Archie to his new housemate when he caught the touching scene.

Archie was eight weeks old at the time (now one) and it was his first day in his new home at the Reynolds house in Chalgrove.

Sgt Reynolds, 50, has had Harry the police dog since he was an eight-week-old puppy, but he is now five-and-a-half.

He said: “We were just introducing him to Harry, so I had my camera out and it was just spontaneous.”

The two dogs both live at home with Sgt Reynolds, his wife Caroline, who is a teaching assistant, and their two children.

He submitted the picture to The Kennel Club’s annual photography competition and it won second place in the puppy class, beating about 8,000 other photos.

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Sgt Reynolds added: “When they told me I had won I thought, that’s nice, and when they told me they had 8,000 entries I thought, that’s really nice.”

The police officer has been an amateur photographer since his parents gave him his first Pentax K 1000 for his 18th birthday.

But it was not until he went along to the National Police Dog Championships in 2004 that he started snapping pooches. The rest has just come naturally.

The Kennel Club will be presenting the awards for this year’s photography contest at its annual show, Discover Dogs, in Earl’s Court, London on November 9.

However, Sgt Reynolds will not be there. He and wife Caroline will be returning that day from a holiday in the Maldives to celebrate his retirement today.

Sgt Reynolds said he is retiring from the force to focus on his dog photography.

As a leaving present the Met is giving Harry early retirement too, to enjoy it with his owner.

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