While pet photographer Carli Davidson may be known for her awesome Shake series where she uses high speed photography to capture dogs in motion, she’s recently turned her attention to another project that deserves some much needed attention. Pets with Disabilities was an idea that started two years ago while Davidson was walking alongside the Canon Beach in Oregon.
As she tells us, “There was this totally beautiful German shepherd in a wheelchair playing fetch with its owner. It was so happy, a dog doing what dogs do, totally undeterred by its disability. I felt inspired by the whole scenario. The owner made this choice out of love, to do a little extra work every day to make sure his friend was happy and comfortable.
“I thought a lot about this pair in the following weeks, and decided I wanted to create a project showcasing differently abled pets, telling their stories in order to show the world that they are happy, thriving companions. They are not sad, they are not in pain, and the owners and animals continue to be of great value to one another.”
Above: Corgi) Duncan has a spinal disorder that many corgis are prone to. Even though he can’t use his hind legs he is still extremely active. He throws toys across the room for himself to fetch, and his favorite treat is whipped cream.
(French bulldog) Little Man Rue is paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal disorder. He is a very active and happy dog nonetheless. Little Man lives with his owner and another French bulldog, Sweet Pea.
(Black Chihuahua) Inky is a Chihuahua that was rescued from a hoarder. Despite his early abuse he is incredibly good-natured and loving, and is even used as a therapy dog.
(Pug and Chihuahua) Diego, the blind Chihuahua and Buddy Nixon. Diego uses Buddy as a seeing eye dog by following the tapping of his nails as he walks around new environments.
(Poodle) Ramen Noodle lost both of his arms in separate accidents before he was two years old. Only three weeks after losing the second arm he was up and running on his hind legs. He also has a front wheelchair to get around outdoors, but prefers to walk on his own.
All of the dogs pictured here are from Portland, Oregon. Davidson started this project by asking people on Facebook to submit their handicapped dogs as models and word of mouth has spread the idea so far that she now has people approaching her on a regular basis, asking her if their dogs could be added to the series. Davidson is currently working on a book.
What does this photographer want others to get out of this series? “I really hope that what people take away from these stories is information to make decisions for their own pets, an appreciation for the resilience of all animals, and ultimately a sense of normalcy from the photos and stories,” she says. “Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, and our relationship and compassion towards animals continues to evolve. I think this book is simply following a natural path towards a greater acceptance of these pets.”