Page 21

LEFT & TOP RIGHT: The story of this storm-chasing duo is one of a boy and his dog and their interest and love of nature and storms. Photos by Alana Holt. BOTTOM RIGHT: Joplin poses in front of an EF-3 tornado south of Dodge City, Ks. Photo by Mike Mezeul II.

Weather Service. After the storm , M ezeul volunteered to help the people of Joplin recover. Joplin the Storm Chasing Dog didn?t yet have a nam e while she was just a sick pup and during that tim e, M ezeul had hoped against hope that she?d som ehow recover. ?It was am azing seeing the people in Joplin, M o. and how m uch hope they had after it was the deadliest tornado in news history,? M ezeul said. ?The am ount of hope that people had to just rebuild was inspiring. So, we nam ed her Joplin.?

STORM CHASERS The first tim e M ezeul decided to bring Joplin along on a storm chase he knew there was bad weather lurking in the Dallas area and he was too nervous to leave her hom e alone. He considered, ?What if I go chasing and a tornado hits m y place? What ?s she going to do?? And so their days of chasing began. On her first chase, M ezeul thought it would be the coolest thing to get a picture of Joplin with the storm . He becam e so

focused on the storm that day, however, that he forgot to get a picture of her and decided to bring her out on the next chase. ?What if I just took her out on every single one and tried to photograph her with different parts of the storm ,? he had wondered. This led him to storyboarding Joplin with tornadoes and storm s and writing out the potential shots in hopes of telling a story of her chasing tornadoes. It took him two years to do the series on her, which becam e The Dog Days of Chasing, and he intends to continue the series in the upcom ing storm y seasons. Around 2016, Joplin saw 13 tornadoes after every storm but three she chased turned into a tornado warning. To m any of M ezeul?s storm chasing buddies, she?s good luck because, as they say, she ?sniffs the tornadoes.? Joplin rides com fortably while her dad chases storm s and she loves hail. ?She?s fearless. Absolutely fearless,? he said of his furry storm chaser. But every decision he m akes while she?s there is with her safety in m ind

because ?she?s m y kid,? he explained. She always rides with a seatbelt that attaches to her harness and som etim es wears boots on hikes to protect her paws from the elem ents.

sleeping bag, but som etim e during the night she?d m ade her way into his sleeping bag, pressing up against him keeping them warm despite it being less than 10 degrees outside that night.

Storm chasing usually takes up m ost of the day or becom es an overnight event and he brings the proper am ount of food, water, doggy bags and boots for his kid. While he tries to bring her out for every storm chase, he does choose to leave her behind if the risk is too great.

M ezeul plans to continue his road trips and storm chasing with his kid and partner-in-crim e because she has a lot m ore of the world to see, m ore faces to clean and m ore sticks to chew.

FUR-VORITE M EM ORY M ezeul fondly recalled one trip they took together to Colorado in 2017. He?d converted the em pty space in the back of his Subaru into a bed and they spent a freezing cold night there.

If you want to keep up with her adventures, you can follow her on Instagram @joplinthestorm chasingdog or you can follow her dad @m ikem ezphoto. Additionally for m ore about the storm -chasing duo, visit m ikem ezphotography.com / blog/ 2018/ 6/ 14/ the-dog-day s-of chasing.

Twitter: @alana_holt

Joplin wore a jacket and they each had their own TEXAS DOG MAGAZINE | 21

Profile for TexasDogMagazine

Texas Dog Magazine | Spring 2019