A Leg Up to Pound Pups—"Rescue Me!"
Iyengar yoga teacher Richard Jonas has been friends with renown photographer
Richard Phibbs since the ‘90s, when both worked in advertising—Phibbs as an art director, Jonas as a writer whose lines were uttered by the likes of Cindy Crawford and Melanie Griffith in national TV spots. (Revlon’s "Don’t lie about your age; defy it,")
In 2003, the two founded Children of Nowhere, raising $200,000 to help Romanian children with AIDS. More recently they turned to the plight of abandoned and abused pets, collaborating with the Humane Society of New York and Aperture to publish Rescue Me! a beautiful book featuring Phibbs’ charismatic photos and Jonas’s eloquent biographies of 70 rescued dogs.
A bad back brought Jonas to the mat in 1990, and when his ad agency folded a decade later, a generous severance package subsidized his start as an Iyengar yoga teacher. Jonas spoke to Margot Dougherty about Rescue Me!, his role as a dog godfather, and how his yoga has changed over the years.
Margot Dougherty: How did you get involved in writing this book?
Richard Jonas: Richard [Phibbs] was involved first. He’d been photographing dogs and some cats at the Humane Society and posting them on social media and the Humane Society website. About three years ago he lost a great dog, Huck, whom he’d found in the Caribbean, and he was reluctant to adopt again—there’d never be another Huck—but he did. The executive director of Aperture, Chris Boot, whose offices are in the sam