In April of 2014 ElderDog Canada and photographer, Robert MacLellan, launched a photo project called DIGNITY.  Since then we've photographed some 24 adorable senior canines over four locations in N.S. – and that number continues to grow monthly.

Of those 24 models, we released samples image of three of them to date – Venus, Martin and Ranger. Today, we pull back the curtain on our fourth release – Fred. 

A 13 year old Basset Hound / Beagle mix, Fred is on your screen today solely due to two random acts of kindness and compassion – one by a veterinarian and another by Donnie, his adopted ‘Dad.’

Fred entered the ElderDog network after a Nova Scotian veterinarian called and indicated he’d been asked to euthanize an essentially healthy older Basset Hound mix when his prior owners, who were relocating, felt he was ‘too old to make the trip.’ 

Unwilling to euthanize a dog that, while notably overweight (at the time), but only afflicted with a couple of minor and very treatable health issues, the vet called ElderDog to arrange a second life for Fred. 

In ‘one of those’ acts of coincidence, ElderDog had received a call some two days prior from a senior, Donnie, who’d recently lost his faithful Beagle companion. He indicated that he felt lost without a dog at his side at home and in the passenger seat of his pickup and was looking to give an older dog a new home. 

Twenty-four hours after his vet’s act of compassion, Fred and Donnie met and it was love at first sight.

Donnie’s life as an avid hiker and outdoorsman, combined with a touch of modern veterinary medicine, has seen Fred drop the added pounds and roar back to solid health. 

This photo, selected from among many during Fred’s session, nicely encapsulates the theme of the project. When we look at this photo of Fred, we see DIGNITY and the noble carriage of an older canine.  

In case anyone is wondering, given Fred’s genetics, this is about as excited as he usually looks – barring brazen squirrels of course. He prefers to think of it as unflappable.

Thanks very much for reading this and viewing the image of Fred - and please join us in thanking all those organizations who have come forward with logistical support to help make this project possible.


Ardra and Rob