Heartwarming ‘Old Faithful’ Photo Series Proves Senior Dogs Have A Lot of Love Left to Give

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“Senior dogs end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, sometimes because of neglect or abandonment, sometimes because their owners simply cannot care for them. The health of older dogs is at high risk in a shelter environment, and as a result, they may be less adoptable then the younger dogs (or perceived as such by the public),” reports senior dog advocates and all-volunteer group The Grey Muzzle Organization. Photographer Pete Thorne, who we discovered on Co.Design, puts a spotlight on the senior dog community in his series Old Faithful. His portraits capture the character and determination of old dogs — from a bone cancer survivor and several blind pups, to those abandoned in shelters and passed around puppy mills during their lifetime. These dogs have seen it all and their faces tell many stories. Meet some of the pups in Pete’s photos series in our gallery. Visit the artist’s website to stay up to date on how you can purchase his planned book.

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“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.”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“Meet Jackson, a 14-year-old Black Lab mix. There’s something about the expression on his face that seems like he is peering into your soul.”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“Hey folks meet Elmo, he’s a 14-year-old pitbull and the first old doggie I shot for the Old Faithful photo project. He’s straight up smiling for his portrait!”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“Ok gang say hi to Weezee! Although this 10-year-old Pug mix looks a little concerned about having her photo taken, she was very well behaved and one of the easiest to photograph!”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“The Old Faithful project did its first house call yesterday to meet and photograph Mance here. Mance is a 13-year-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.”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“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.”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“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 Blanche Axton at http://www.pugalug.com.”

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

Photo credit: Pete Thorne

“I [photographed] Clovis shortly after his 14th birthday and sadly he passed away not too long after this portrait was taken.”