I am undoubtedly a dog person, but I have a cat, an unintentional adoption after a breakup a few years ago. As much as I am grateful to have a companion in my home during these long months of quarantine, I love dogs, their obsequious nature, their unyielding loyalty, their ferociousness and humor.
At the beginning of the pandemic, there were images of puppies flooding my social media and they were soothing, but also made me jealous. I have received numerous texts and photos from friends about their newly adopted puppies and dogs and I have filled out applications to rescue a dog of my own, but so far have not found my canine soul mate. A friend remarked that if it were not for her dog and having to walk him, she would not have left her house much last year and this statement has resonated with me, in my search for the perfect dog.
According to the Washington Post, the number of applications for dogs at animal shelters across the country doubled and that many shelters have run out of available pets to adopt. Shelter Animals Count, a database for tracking shelter and rescue activity, reported that after analyzing about 500 rescue organizations there were 26,000 more pet adoptions in 2020 than in the year before, an increase of approximately 15 percent.
For so many of us, loving and caring for a pet offers countless opportunities to reorient and comfort ourselves during the uncertainty and forced isolation of quarantine. In exploring what has brought us joy and comfort over the past year, we decided to create images of some of the “art dogs” who inspire and motivate us, and stare up at us with adoring, hungry eyes no matter what. What brings more pure unadulterated joy than a four-legged friend?
Jill Fannon photographed these art dog superstars at their creative parents’ respective homes and studios. They include Monty and Adja, Katie Pumphrey’s Pitbull mixes; Zeke, Amy Boone-McCreesh’s Mini Australian Shepherd; Theodore Roosevelt, Suzy Kopf’s ChowChow mix; Mr. Big and Louie (now sadly deceased), Cara Ober’s rescue Chihuahua and elderly Pomeranian; Kiki and Ghost Eye, Phaan Howng and Malcolm Majer’s Carolina Dog/American dingo mixes; Murray, Alex Ebstein’s Puggle mix; Biggie, Emma Childs’ English Staffordshire Bull Terrier rescue; Leica, Jackie Milad’s Greyhound rescue; Pickle, Siân Evans’ Pitbull mix; Ansel, Micah Woods’ Weimaraner; and Hikuri, Erick A. Benitez and Ariel Foster’s Mexican Husky.
We’re working with a local printer to create a limited edition 2022 calendar featuring the Art Dogs which will be available for purchase soon. Please fill out this form if you’d like us to contact you when the calendars are available for purchase!