Quick! Wrap your scruffy old senior dog up in your arms and give ’em a big kiss, ’cause you won’t be able to contain yourself after seeing this photos.
If you haven’t heard of the Old Faithful Photo Project, you’re in for a real treat. Photographer Pete Thorne has created an incredible collection of photos of senior dogs, an idea he said came to him while photographing his mother’s 100th birthday celebration.
“I started noticing how distinct older dogs’ faces were compared to more youthful ones,” Thorne recently told BarkPost. “All the telltale signs—lumps and bumps, gray hair, chipped and missing teeth—point to a life lived. Older dogs just had so much more character to their faces: there was a history behind those eyes.”
Thorne observed that older dogs often get passed over in favor of younger pups, even when it comes to photography. When asked what surprises he encountered along the way, Thorne told BarkPost, “I was naive going into it.”
His initial intent was to take pictures of old dogs as caricatures of old humans. As he got to know the owners of the older dogs, the emotional connection people had with their old pups humbled him.
“I realized the impact that my images were having when one of the dogs that I photographed had passed away shortly after the shoot,” he said. “The owner’s gratitude for having a final portrait of their loved one” was deeply touching.
Thorne became more aware of his photos ability to connect with people after he began to share them through his Facebook page. “People began posting pictures of their own dogs and sharing their own pets’ stories. This was the beginning of the Old Faithful Photo Project.”
Given the geriatric theme of Thorne’s project, we had to ask him point blank: Do you think puppies are dicks?
“Ha!” he said. “Little brats!” Then went on to say, “Older dogs are generally much calmer but I have met a few whose energy level puts some pups to shame.”
Though currently dogless, Thorne says he really enjoys getting to spend as much time as he does with the great dogs he photographs, and hopefully he’ll have a dog real soon.