Photographer Pete Thorne placed an ad asking to photograph “really, really old dogs”. He wanted subjects for his “Old Faithful” photo project, a project to create simple, intimate portraits of dogs in their golden years.
I think it’s the perfect approach because the portraits let the dogs’ faces tell their life story of their life! And the captions from the pet parents describe just how much these dogs are loved!
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“Hey folks meet Elmo, a 14yr old Pit Bull and the first old doggie I shot for the Old Faithful photo project. He’s straight up grinning for his portrait.”
“Hey y’all meet Hazel. She was named after Hazel McCallion, the Mayor of Mississauga. This tough old Gal had both her eyes removed due to pain and no tear production, and has 5 microchips from being re-chipped every time she was sold to a new puppy mill. Luckily she was rescued and adopted by www.pugalug.com.”
“Ok homeys meet Weezee! Although this 10yr old Pug mix looks a little nervous about having her photo taken she was very well behaved and one of the easiest to photograph!”
“The ‘Old Faithful’ did it’s first house call yesterday to meet and photograph Mance here. Mance is a 13yr Old English Bulldog, a breed close to my heart. He has bone cancer that adds a lot of character to his face. He’s in a pretty fragile state so I made my first trip out of the home studio to photograph him, in all his asymmetrical charm.”
“I photographed Clovis short after his 14th birthday and sadly he passed away soon after. In glad I got to meet him. “
“Hey guys meet Benjamin. I’d tell you all about him but his owner Jesus does a much better job: Benjamin, the dog that found Jesus In Venezuela, On New year, 2001, Jesus was having coffee with some friends. Angelo pointed out and asked: what’s that? It was a tiny dog. It was dirty, skinny and scared. Jesus thought that Benjamin was mute, since it didn’t bark at all. After trying to find the owner and placing posters all over, Jesus decided to adopt him. After taking the small dog to the vet, the doctor said: “He’s in very bad shape. He was abused and mistreated. The best thing that has happened to it was being found by you. But let me be honest to you, he must be around 4 by now. Just take him home, give him love and food and he’ll live a year or two. Today, 2014, Benjamin is still around. He’s happy, he’s a father and a grandfather. When jesus was granted a Visa to come to Canada, he told his wife: If they don’t accept the Benjamins (Benjamin and his son) we are not going. Happily, 3 years ago, the whole family came. Now Benjamin has no teeth, he has cataracts, he’s lost his hearing, but he’s the happy old guy. People say that he was lucky that Jesus found him. Jesus says that it was the other way around. But, thinking about it, it was a live meant to be and they found each other.”
“Meet Emmy, the 14yr old wolfhound mix. This proud bearded lady got so excited for her shoot that she pooped in my roomies shoe. :)”
This is Colonel Sanders. “Here’s a little bit about him by his owner: The Colonel is a 10 year old Chinese Crested. He is a purebred show dog with best in show lineage dating back several generations to Asia. He was born with only one testicle so he was unable to show. He has been with me since he was 3 months old and we hitch hiked across Canada together. The Colonel travelled in a pouch on my chest and we snuck him into places under the guise of a baby.”
Meet Bodley. His human writes, “After deciding to adopt a dog, I found Bodley, a Boxer and Staffordshire Terrier mix, using Petfinder.com at an animal shelter in Keswick. He had been abandoned and was almost skeletal when he was brought in. Though given some warning that Bodley didn’t like men and would destroy my apartment, I paid no heed and brought Bodley home almost 10 years ago. He loves men. He loves the couch. And he loves baked goods (which I must keep locked away or he uses his above average cunning to open cupboards, and reach amazing heights for a tasty treat). Now, at the age of 12(ish) Bodley has slowed down considerably. We no longer chase squirrels, only hunt them down with intense staring. Though his arthritis limits his flexibility, it does not limit his enthusiasm for walks and exploration through brown crunchy leaves. His eyes might be weakening, but there is nothing wrong with his nose which still can sniff out a delicious discarded pizza crust at 20 feet.”
“Here’s Benjamin who has graced many a post and cover recently and has been seen around the world like many old doggies involved now and in the future. From Sandy his proud parent: ‘Benjamin was found as a stray and ended up in a shelter about a year and a half ago. Pugalug Pug Rescue took him in and we were his foster parents. Due to his age and his medical problems, Ben was put in the “Abode Program”; he would be a long term foster. We thought it was important that he have a forever family so we adopted him; we are foster failures (again). He is estimated to be about 14 years old.'”
“Hey y’all meet Maximus, a 15yr old mixed Norwegian Elkhound and Husky whose pictures I took reminded his owner how much she loved her dog.”
“Today’s old doggie is 11yr old chocolate lab Mason, here’s a little bit from his owner Judith: Mason is now 11 years old. We got him from the Humane Society when he was two. According to his file he comes from a long line of show dogs but I guess our boy didn’t quite make the cut! He came to us with paws smooth and pink like a puppy and a little bossy. He was a lucky boy because his new owners had patience and a pet store and he never lacked for toys or treats again. He knew Buddy (of Buddy Belts) and Buddy, despite their size difference, would always try to have his way with him when he lay down. Mason sometimes didn’t even notice! Mason has slowed down a fair bit but still finds that one dog in the dog park that he wants to play with. He continues to steal the toilet paper! We love him so much.”
“Meet Stella the 12yr old, one-eyed wonder Chihuahua! The little head tilt gives this tough girl a bit of deserved attitude.”
“Meet Lucky, the 14 yr old Schnauzer (turning 15 in less than 5 months). Lucky (aka Luckster, Pupster, Lobster, Poopster, etc…) was born Dec 21st 1999. He’s from another Millenium!! He was first in his Training Class, so smart that the trainer asked to use Lucky as her model for other classes. When I practice my music (piano / cello / sing) he’d lays down beside me and gruff in disapproval when I’d mess up. When he was 10 I got him a little sister. Being not fixed, I asked the breeder and my vet if it was going to be a problem. They both said he was too old to get a female dog pregnant. “His soldiers are dead”. Against all odds he got her pregnant, TWICE, and is the proud Papa of 15. Four years ago he was attacked by two American Bull Dogs. The vet said he probably wouldn’t survive the night due to blood loss. He greeted them with a wagging stub-of-a-tail the next morning! They said he’d have a punctured / collapsed lung. Nope! They said he’d lose an eye. Still uses both. They said he’d lose a leg. He doesn’t even limp on a rainy day! He is mostly deaf now, his vision is only so-so, he needs help to jump on the bed, and he lost most of his teeth… but he’s my little buddy and still the master Cuddles. Hopefully that inspires you :)”
“Hey gang meet Finnegan! Finnegan is a Brussels Griffon smooth coat or a Petit Brabançon. He has a red coat. He is 12.5 years old. He weighs 6 lbs and is small for his breed. When he lived in Montreal, he went by his French name: Finni le Poo. He has a heart murmur, and has had multiple teeth pulled, otherwise he is in great health for his age.”
“Meet Jackson, a 14yr old Black Lab mix I photographed recently for the Old Faithful Photo Project. There’s something about his expression that feels like he is peering into our souls.”
Simply beautiful! Peter has put together a collection of his photographs in the book “Old Faithful: Dogs of a Certain Age” available through Amazon.
Be sure to share these touching photos with your dog-loving friends.