My mother has always loved animals. If she had her way, she would have lived on a farm and been surrounded by them. But in the tight quarters of the northeast, a dog, and occasionally a couple of cats, was all we could manage. I inherited her love for dogs, the animal that is, perhaps, closest to her heart. The older I get, the more strongly I believe that a person's treatment of animals speaks volumes about their level of overall decency. While fierce when needed, my mother has always been kind and gentle with the vulnerable. As a career news photographer in the city of Lynn, Massachusetts, she documented the city, and the challenging lives of many residents, with great respect and compassion. She always had time, and often a warm, gentle touch, for the city's most feared and neglected. She taught me about the world, with all its beauty and imperfections and about the power of photography as a method of connection and exploration. I'm very grateful for all that she's done and to spend these early spring days with her.