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Project DOG

project dog

Project DOG

The following post comes to you from our Project DOG guest blogger Kira Stackhouse:

Hello, my name is Kira Stackhouse and I’m a San Francisco-based pet photographer.  Five months ago I embarked on a journey to find and photograph all 173 of the AKC’s recognized dog breeds from around the United States – both a purebred and rescue dog of each breed; an undertaking I call Project DOG. This project has literally taken over my life and I want to tell you a little bit about it. (The AKC is not affiliated with this project).

I got my first puppy a year and a half ago, New Year’s Day 2009.  I never thought I would consider myself a dog person since I grew up with cats.  Now I understand the dog craze.  The past year and a half have been a total whirlwind, and I’ve learned a lot about myself, about dogs, and about “dog people”.

One of the things I’ve learned pretty quickly from being in the “dog scene” in San Francisco is that rescue-dog and purebred-dog people don’t really mix.  On occasion you’ll meet the rare person who has one of each (purebred/rescue) but most people are either one or the other.  The unspoken angst between these two parties bothered me, especially since I support animal welfare and regularly volunteer at nonprofits, and I found myself having to defend myself simply for having a purebred dog.

This is the reason why I decided to start Project DOG. I wanted to create a compelling “project” that not only visually illustrated equality between rescue and purebred dogs, but also brought together people into the same space to share their stories and experiences.  Project DOG is about celebrating dogs – and the one common bond that everyone shares – LOVE OF DOGS.

Do you think dog people are divided?  Why or why not? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Check out and submit your dog to Project DOG!

About Guest Blogger @Trupanion

Interested in guest blogging for Trupanion? Send us an e-mail at socialmedia@trupanion.com! Learn more at: http://trupanion.com/blog/guest-blog-for-trupanion/

4 Responses to Project DOG

  1. Jazz Velain says:

    I truly understand what you are trying to do and applaud it~! I have had both purebred & rescue dogs
    there is a huge divide & prejudice within dog owners, rage about any breeding of “mixed” dogs (ie labradoodles, puggles,maltipoo, ect) I hope you & your photos can bring some visual understanding
    of what I come to understand….a friend is a friend,even if they have 4 legs

  2. Anne Shirley says:

    I’ve alternated between purebreds and rescue dogs – not rescuing dogs from a shelter, but keeping strays I’ve found when I couldn’t find their owners. I currently have two purebred border terriers, but wouldn’t hesitate to bring another rescue into my home. My terrier cross Josie was the love of my life – I had her for 18 years after finding her abandoned at the age of 6 weeks.

  3. Anna Nirva says:

    Gosh, I’ve parsed that tension a little differently. Instead of thinking purebred vs. rescue, I wonder if puppy-buying versus rescue-adopting might be the conceptual frame that makes sense in some regions of the country.

    In Wisconsin where I volunteer heavily for a no-kill that serves a large rural county, our shelter almost always houses a few purebred coonhounds and labrador retrievers. Also, we see a fair number of smaller “designer mix” breeds. It’s hard in this corner of the world for many people to make conclusions based on visual expression of breed that indicate rescue or purchase. You have to have a conversation with someone to understand whether their purebred was adopted or not, or if their cute mix was purchased as a puppy.

    I actually sense more tension around the idea of dog sizes. Big dogs wait much longer than little ones, and there is some stigma in the rescue community around here about owning cute little dogs unless they are seniors or something.

  4. Kelly Parks says:

    I’m for anything that supports rescue and applaud what you’re doing, but to be honest – your explanation of Project Dog doesn’t really make sense.

    Rescue-dog and purebred-dog are not mutually exclusive terms. In other words, pretty much every AKC breed has rescue organizations. I have three rescues – all of which are purebred. One even earned a champion title in the show ring… before his breeder didn’t need him anymore and dumped him in rescue (this happens more than you know).

    I hope this doesn’t sound too critical – I do applaud your efforts! – but you really ought to refine the way you describe the project.

    Good luck!

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