Sugar – DIGNITY Project 

Started in April 2014, the DIGNITY project has photographed senior dogs across Nova Scotia to help raise awareness of the challenges facing elderly K9s, their (often) senior owners and to aid ElderDog Canada. 

With photography for the project winding-down, there are but two shoots remaining – the first of which is scheduled in mid-January in Halifax.  Upon completion, DIGNITY will have photographed roughly 60 elderly dogs – many of whom are sadly no longer with us.

To mark the 20th image release from the project (and the first in 2016) we have Sugar, an 18 yr. old  (Hairless) Chinese Crested. She was photographed at Vetcetera Animal Hospital in Bedford, N.S. 

In case anyone is wondering why Sugar’s tongue is doing a some air-sampling, it’s the  by-product of genetics. 

Unlike the long-haired or ‘Puffball’ variant of the Chinese Crested, the Hairless, along with no body hair, tend to have very poor teeth in terms of size, shape and how easily they’re lost, even with careful dental care. This poor dentition is so common it’s accepted in the show ring. 

As a result, the long narrow nose combined with the small & missing teeth (acerbated by age) will often see a (Hairless) Chinese Crested’s tongue go where gravity wills it.  

Adopted by Amanda and Doug after her original home was hit by divorce, Sugar had some initial health issues that, once addressed, quickly had her back on her feet.

While fully entitled at the tender age of 18 to be grumpy and set in her ways, Sugar is anything but  - happily welcoming many a foster dog into her home and becoming the oldest therapy dog in the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program. 

She eagerly takes in all the attention she can get during her weekly visits to seniors facilities.   
As with many our models, age has taken a toll on Sugar’s eyesight and Amanda does see her starting to slow down. That said, you’d have been VERY hard-pressed to believe that during her shoot.  She put the focus system of our cameras to the test.

As we approach the end of the project , we’d like to thank all those businesses and individuals who’ve supported the project. Their promotion of DIGNITY in the media, on the web, and their gracious donation of space as shooting locations will not be forgotten. 


Ardra and Rob