Freddie is a very patient girl.
She’d have to be, now that her walks around the Foster-Powell neighborhood have turned into daily photo shoots. A few years ago, Craig Giffen started taking pictures of his 8-year-old chocolate lab posing next to—and occasionally wearing—the miscellaneous junk he’d find left out around the neighborhood.
“She’s a really low-key dog,” Giffen says. “She knows this is what we do. Even when we see objects on the walk, she’ll just sort of slow down, figuring, ‘Oh, OK, we’re gonna take a picture next to it.’”
He began chronicling their finds on the Instagram account @pdxfreecrap—whether it’s a banged-up old dresser, a toilet, a game of a Cranium or a dress that’s just Freddie’s size. It’s just the sort of random project Giffen, a computer programmer, is wont to do—he last appeared in Best of Portland for creating a website dedicated to the shirts of ’80s cult classic Heavy Metal Parking Lot.
But @pdxfreecrap didn’t take off until Giffen’s friends at the Laurelhurst Theater asked if they could use the photos of Freddie to break up the ads that scroll by onscreen before each movie. Now, the account has over 3,000 followers.
The account’s main appeal, of course, is the sight of Freddie’s warm, sweet face, presenting the lost treasures of Southeast Portland. Sometimes, though, it’s the crap that attracts the most attention.
“Some stuff is just like, ‘Nobody’s gonna want that,’” Giffen says, “but some I’ll post and get like 10 comments within the first half-hour of people saying, ‘Where is that?’”