Charlotte Dumas photographs the rescue dogs of 9/11 a decade after their heroic work, while Nancy LeVine spends years photographing elderly dogs throughout the United States. From a 19-year-old dachshund to a 14-year-old black lab, artists celebrate the golden years of man’s best friend in this collection of work from artists and dog photographers.
First up in our roundup of dog photographers is Amanda Jones, who created Dog Years, a book of portraits of dogs in their youth and old age, after being inspired by her dog Lily. “Lily Jones taught me that there is beauty and joy at every age,” the artist says. “Even when you get old and your skin starts to sag, you can still run on a sunny beach or chase a squirrel, maybe just not as fast.”
Benny was Catherine Panebianco’s first dog. Well, she’d had dogs as a child, but Benny was the first who was just for her and her husband. Every morning, he drank the milk at the bottom of her cereal bowl. She took him for two walks each day, and when she stopped petting him, he’d put his paw over her hand to ask for more.
Benny Was A Good Boy is the photographer’s tribute to her best friend. It began about a year and a half before Benny passed away, when Panebianco first saw the signs of old age creeping into his daily life. She set down her camera and chose to make the photographs on her phone instead, mostly during walks when it was just the two of them. “He knew that these were our special times,” the artist remembers.
Senior Dogs Across America is Nancy LeVine‘s stirring tribute to dogs large and small and their bond to the human beings who care for them. She visited private homes and sanctuaries and rescues for homeless animals. She met dogs who lived with one family their whole lives and others who were still searching for a home of their own.
It’s impossible not to get misty-eyed turning the pages of Senior Dogs Across America—for every reader, there will almost certainly be one particular dog who hits home for one reason or another— but this is most decidedly not a book about sadness. It’s a joyful tale, told by countless woofs and tail wags.
Next up in our collection of work from dog photographers is Old Faithful by Toronto-based photographer Pete Thorne. For this series, the artist invited dogs to sit for him in his home studio and sometimes made special trips to visit those who, in their old age, are unable to make the journey. Thorne’s wet-nosed subjects come in all shapes and sizes, expressing dispositions ranging from the introspective to the playful.
During the attacks of September 11, 2001, approximately 100 dogs were sent to the scene; they searched for and recovered victims trapped within the former World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Photographer Charlotte Dumas recalls these canine faces from the news cycles that rerun in her memory; 10 years later, she discovered 15 of the dogs still living, and followed them to their permanent homes across the country. Retrieved is a collection of their portraits.