A dog’s love comes without judgment, without conditions, without limits. A profound force and an endless, soul-deep comfort that can teach us more than we ever bargained for. When Dogs Heal is a gut-wrenching collection of stories from people living with HIV, and the seismic influence of their dogs on their lives.
Created by award-winning dog photographer Jesse Freidin, the book is an anthology of individuals’ struggles in the lonely wake of an HIV diagnosis, but it’s also a celebration of human strength and spirit. Chicagoan Daniel on his dog, Loki: “It’s almost a mystical relationship—especially when you get a dog during a major transition in your life. Loki gave me a sense of home, safety and comfort that I desperately needed. As corny as it sounds, I felt like I finally had a home because he was there, and that really did change my life.”
From Lynnea, diagnosed with HIV at age seven, to Adam, uprooted by the bombshell of his diagnosis at 21, and many more, each story shares a common character: a loveable, loyal hound. “The stigma surrounding HIV didn’t exist to Laila—she still sat next to me and slept next to me,” tells Adam. Fuelled by the lessons learned—about themselves, others and the world—through the love and devotion of their dogs, Lynnea, Adam and scores of others overcome their darkest days, finding hope, self-love and acceptance.
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