Jetsom – The DIGNITY Project

In April of 2014 ElderDog Canada and photographer, Robert MacLellan, launched DIGNITY, a project capturing fine-art images of senior canines. 
Since then we've photographed a vast mixture of adorable senior canines over numerous shoots at donated locations across Nova Scotia – three of whom have sadly passed since their sittings. By years-end, roughly 50+ senior canines will have sat for the project.
The project stresses the grace, dignity and love of life of the senior K9 vs. exploiting the visual effects of aging (or prior neglect) or visually concocting viewer sympathy.  
Our release today is of Jetsom, a 12 year old Portuguese Water Dog. His image release is only the 9th so far for the project.  
According to Ardra Cole, founder of ElderDog Canada and Jetsom’s human, Jetsom can best be described as a “free spirit with a BIG personality” who is happiest when on the move– be it on a boat, in a car, or pounding across a grassy meadow. In short, he loves action. 
As Ardra mentions, “…watching Jetsom running full speed across a field, hair blown back, ears bouncing, is a heart-lifting sight.”   While particularly active days now see his post-play naps a bit longer than they used to be, his ‘play hard, rest hard’ attitude seems to be his secret to aging well.
A food thief extraordinaire, Jetsom can clean a plate, lighten a grocery bag, ‘organize’ a freezer, or raid a cupboard in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, for Ardra’s grocery bill, his dexterity and problem solving skills have only improved with age. 
Like a suave gray-haired cat burglar (so to speak), his finesse and technique have been refined from years of experience.
In addition to his pilfering skills, Jetsom’s larger-than-life personality seems to give him, for lack of a better expression, the ability to ‘fill’ a room with his presence. He seems able to capture and hold attention like a magnet and has developed an impressive capacity to draw people to him. 
Like so many senior dogs, Jetsom also has the enviable trait (for us humans) of aging gracefully, likely due, in no small part, to that canine love of life and sheer determination to make the most of every day. We so-called ‘more intelligent‘ species have much to learn accordingly.
We look forward to our upcoming shoots (the next being Nov 23rd) as well as the book, photo exhibit and other products forthcoming from the images; all of which will be used to raise awareness of ElderDog Canada and the issues facing senior canines globally. 
Please join us in thanking all those organizations supporting the project and, if yours would like to join in offering logistical or promotional support for the project, please contact us at any time.
Rob & Ardra