It’s an often lamented fact that dogs don’t live as long as their human companions.
But while their lifespans are shorter, the joy their companionship brings can last forever.
In an effort to capture the essence of dogs throughout their lives, American photographer Amanda Jones tapped into her Dog Years Projectcapturing images of the animals throughout their lives.
In each of the pet profiles, the first image shows the dogs as young as six months, combined with a photo of them years later, often as young as 16 years old – showing the stark contrast.
These images were published in a book called Dog Years: Faithful Friends And Now, which presents “portraits of each dog as a puppy and again as a senior dog,” to “reveal the unique spark of personality that will last a lifetime.”
Cosmo, an Italian Greyhound from Oakland, CA, lost an eye in the 13 years between his portrait sessions. But enjoyed all those years and lived a great life.
The result is described as “a celebration of every dog and a tribute to the relationships we share with our four-legged friends.”
Amanda Jones said of her project: ‘think people can identify with the visible aging process that the images show. I think older dogs generally arouse strong emotions in people.’
Discussing some of the dogs and their families that appear in her snaps, she said, “In working on this book, I rejoined dogs, couples, and families I had worked with years ago,” Amanda explains.
“Some dogs had been lost to illness and accidents. Most of them live amazingly long and happy lives in a perfect environment.’
Morgan, a Rhodesian Ridgeback from Dorset, VT, has changed considerably in the years between the two photos, growing taller and developing gray hairs
Olive and Mochi were inseparable all their lives. Their pet parents dressed them for years for the town’s pet parade in elaborate costumes. They were always crowd favorites!
Bella, a dachshund from Houston, TX. In the five years between her two portrait sessions, she has aged beautifully
Amanda snapped herself with her dachshund Benny, who she says has helped her immensely in her battle with breast cancer over the past few years
Winston and Lola had their first portrait together, but unfortunately only one of them made it through to the senior session
According to Amanda, Abby was one of her clients/models for many years. She said, “I was lucky enough to see her grow from an active young Havanese into a beautiful older girl!”
Max is a dachshund, whom Amanda described as aging into “a gorgeous older boy with a powdered sugar snooter”
Schumacher’s portraits show another little dog that has aged gracefully over the years, becoming more and more gray as the years go by
Fleur is a Boykin Spaniel – a cross between Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels and American Water Spaniels. The passing years can hardly be seen in her
Hazel and Juno grew up together as the best of friends. They are both from Williamstown, Massachusetts
Two of Amanda’s three dogs. According to the snapper, Ladybug and Benny have been friends for years
Speaking of how the animals aged, she said: ‘The visual impact of comparing young and old varies greatly from dog to dog, as it does from person to person.
“Some don’t seem to age at all, but others show the signs very openly in their eyes, their jaws and their gray hair.
“It’s this likeness of ourselves and our souls in their eyes that gives us such a deep bond with dogs.”
“What remains constant is the love humans and dogs have for each other. That doesn’t change no matter how many dog years go by.’
You can learn more about the Dog Years Project here