When photographer Nancy LeVine‘s two dogs entered their senior years, she began to think about her own journey through life.
“This was at a time when I had lived enough years to start imagining my own mortality. I entered a world of grace where bodies that had once expressed their vibrancy were now on a more fragile path,” she said.
That’s when she realized something uniquely special about how our canine companions age. She explained:
“I saw how the dog does it; how, without the human’s painful ability to project ahead and fear the inevitable, the dog simply wakes to each day. Though their steps might be more stiff and arduous, these dogs still moved through each day as themselves – themselves of that day and all the days before.”
So, LeVine set out to capture the unwithered souls of older dogs throughout the United States. In addition to capturing their unbreakable spirits, she saw something else: unwavering love from their humans. She recalled:
“What I witnessed in my travels was people caring for the most vulnerable dogs. Whether the senior dog was part of a family where the dog/person devotion knew no bounds or one of the elders being tended compassionately at an animal sanctuary or rescue organization, I saw something important about where we live and the best way to die.”
Below are some of the stunning snapshots from LeVine’s collection. Check out www.nancylevinephotography.com if you’d like to see more photos or work with her to take portraits of your own dog.
Curley, 14 years old, Kanab, Utah – Best Friends Animal Society
Red, 12 years old New Haven, Connecticut
Mason, 12 years old & Bailey, 15 years old, Cle Elum,Washington
Hank, 13 years old, Rattlesnake Lake North Bend, Washington
Gussy Sue, 15 years old, Laurel, Montana
Bottom to Top: Phyllis, 12 years old; Englebert, 9 years old; Loretta, 12 years old; Eeyore, 14 years old; Enoch, 5 years old, Denver, Colorado
Lulu and Lisa (human), middle aged, on the Bainbridge Ferry, Washington
Lulu and Maxi, middle aged, Skagit Valley, Washington
If you have an older dog, we know you can relate to these heartfelt photos, and what it’s like to have unconditional love for your loyal companion, which only grows through the years.
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