Dogs are often called “man’s best friend,” and it’s no mystery why. Their loyalty, affection, and energy makes them great companions. Now, a project from author and photographer Kristen Kidd is looking to expand on that definition and you can get involved!
The “Woman’s Best Friend” project started in 2019 when Kidd was photographing animal shelter workers and their furry friends in Philadelphia. As she worked with the largely women-led staff of the shelters, she heard story after story of tragedy, triumph, and comfort that the women credited their dogs with helping them survive.
Kidd was inspired to collect these stories and profile the women and their pets in a photo book, which raised over $7,000 for Harley’s Haven Dog Rescue in Perkasie, PA.
A second volume followed shortly after, the proceeds of which were again donated to an animal charity — this time raising over $10,000 for the Brandywine Valley SPCA! The books emphasize the unique ways that dogs can be there for support when times are hard and things seem impossible.
“I get the honor of people entrusting their most vulnerable stories and their most powerful moments,” Kidd said in an interview with TODAY.
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In the books, Kidd has told stories like those of Hannah, whose pup, Owen, helped her through the loss of her mother, and Phyliss, who was enthusiastically welcomed home from the hospital by her loyal companion, Remy, after a suicide attempt.
“I really, really love creating a space in which people can fully celebrate what matters most to them in their life,” Kidd elaborated to the outlet.
Kidd’s own rescue pups, Hudson and Hermanito, helped her through the dark year of 2020 with love and loyalty. For Kidd and her husband David Weir, the pair is their “greatest joy.”
Kidd is collecting stories for a third volume of “Woman’s Best Friend,” to be published later in 2021. They are “currently accepting submissions from women and their furry best friends for the 2021 Woman’s Best Friend Coffee Table Book,” and encourages women from around the world to “[share] the story of you and your furry best friend!”
If your dog has been there for you in tough times and you’d like to share your story, you can submit your story now through May 1st!
Proceeds from the 2021 edition will benefit the Women’s Animal Center in Bensalem, PA, a women-led animal shelter and hospital that has been in operation for more than 100 years.
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