Puppy school is all well and good, but Lithuanian graphic designer Diana Molyté thinks education starts with the human. In 12 postcards, she offers a year’s worth of useful advice and clever dog-rearing tricks, each charmingly illustrated using various textures in collage-like form.
Molyté’s family run a Rhodesian ridgeback kennel and her chats with soon-to-be puppy owners revealed a common misconception: that purebreds inherently come with an expected shopping list of traits (Labradors are friendly, poodles are smart, etc.). This got her thinking about training for people rather than pups. “For all the best character qualities to shine, every dog (purebred or not) should get a lot of care, attention and be properly socialised,” she says.
Painting each scenario from a hound’s-eye-view, Molyté explains how our own behaviours might skew our dogs’ assumptions, and how to avoid some classic miscommunication. “Dogs are very perceptive: over time they learn to anticipate our actions. But we humans are confusing creatures, acting differently depending on various circumstances,” she says.
In each of her lessons, the key is consistency – whether you’re teaching your dog its new name or how to keep it together when you get home. “I love when people recognise themselves and their pups in these illustrations,” she says. “They flip a postcard, smile and say, ‘I wish we knew that when we brought Max/Bella/Luna home.’ Then they start sharing their own funny stories.”
A heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, artists, illustrators, and writers who trusted us, dived in, and brought us delight, grace, excitement, courage, wilderness, and wonder over the last five years. Their work not only reflects the bonds we share with our animal companions, it also celebrates their spirit.
None of this would be possible without our four-legged counterparts who sprinkle magic dust time and time again, and our readers, who embraced this kooky idea, rallied around us, and made this world theirs too. With friends like these, who needs nine lives?
February 5, 2019