It’s no secret: dogs have a supernatural ability to paw into the depths of our hearts, bring out our best, and remind us that pure love and good exists, while simultaneously testing our patience and pushing us to be responsible, balanced, and diligent in our care for them. Tapping into all of this with a remarkable sense of vision and hope is Marley’s Mutt’s Pawsitive Change, a dog-training program for prison inmates. Across multiple California state prisons, carefully selected inmates are grouped with rescue dogs for 14 weeks of rigorous training.
The program aims to prepare pups rescued from as far as China and Iran for adoption, and requires inmates to call on social and emotional tools too often neglected in prison, like cooperation, positive engagement, teamwork, self-esteem and constructive self-expression. Perhaps most significantly, for both dogs and humans to succeed, the participants must set aside all differences. And it works: each year, more than 400 inmates care for over 150 dogs rescued from high-risk shelters.
In his ongoing photo essay, photographer Shayan Asgharnia captures moments shared between the men and their dogs at California City Correctional Facility with a raw and beautiful intensity.
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020