Is your dog keeping you sane during this pandemic?
Do you want to honor your pooch for the love and support that they’ve shown you?
What about letting everyone know how great your dogs are and sharing your stories about how incredible they have been throughout this lockdown?
If the idea sounds appealing to you, you may be pleased to hear that Mindy Dutka’s latest project—Tales of Support—paves the way for you to do so.
Tales of Support is an aptly named response to the gift of emotional support that dogs give to their human companions.
After all, as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, one thing remains crystal clear for Mindy, who is also the Chief Storyteller at Dogs I Meet Dog Photography: all dogs are therapy dogs.
“In my opinion, all dogs are therapy dogs, but they really come through and shine truly as therapy dogs during this dark time that we’re in. They’ve provided support, they’ve provided comfort. People are isolated, people are lonely, people experience loss, and (the) unconditional love of their dog is really the main thing that’s getting them through,”
Believing that “every dog has a tale”—which, as it happens, is also their tagline at Dogs I Meet—Mindy became fascinated with the stories that people have about their dogs and the various roles that their furry best friends play to help these pet parents cope during this era of social distancing.
“I spent a lot of time thinking during the pandemic about the role that dogs have because they definitely have a role and a story throughout the pandemic. We’ve all heard the term ‘pandemic puppies’. Suddenly, you know, we’re home, and everybody’s like, ‘I need a dog!’”
(Click the “Play” button to watch the video)
As someone who admits to being obsessed with telling stories through pictures, Mindy has previously been featured on the Animals Innovation Show for her innovation with dog photography. For her most recent project, it seems that her passion for dogs and photography continues to seep through.
“The inspiration behind it, to me, was (that) I really wanted to document it. It’s an unprecedented time. It’s a time that, hopefully, you know, fast forward, it’s behind us, but then we look at it, and we learn from it. We remember it, and it becomes part of our lore, of the story of what happened during the pandemic. And the dogs have such an important role, their story should be part of it. So, I felt that by doing this, it’s documenting it, you know, becoming part of what was, and my hope is that it lives on.”
An ongoing series, Tales of Support was conceptualized with the belief that everybody’s story is different. Hence, Mindy approaches the project through photos and an in-depth narrative so as to capture the human-dog bond and each pet’s and pet owners’ story further.
As their website suggests, many canine companions today are the ones supporting us through our fear, loss, quarantine, isolation, and loneliness. Mindy experienced this firsthand when she lost her sixteen-year-old Goldendoodle around September of 2020.
As per Mindy,
“To me, actually, that was the silver lining of this pandemic, that I got to spent the last five months of her life with her every day, you know, (since) I normally travel a lot… And then, after she passed, I lasted a couple of months, and I was like, ‘I need to have another dog’… So, I really thought a lot about the pandemic and how it affected the dogs, the shortage of dogs, how it’s changing how shelters are run. So, it’s a variety of things.”
As a professional who has been crafting her pet photography skills for the past five years, Mindy understands how factors like location can affect a dog’s temperament. Therefore, she normally tries to adjust the photoshoot to the disposition of the dog and their story.
When asked what she hoped people would get from Tales of Support, Mindy replied,
“I want them to think about it, you know, because people are getting dogs. People are spending more time with their dogs, but I don’t know… Is everybody thinking—‘I think that they are one of the unsung heroes, the dogs’—and appreciating what the dogs bring to the table?”
It’s easy to see why Tales of Support would help serve as a gentle reminder for those who have adopted and fostered pets. In addition to the worry that some dog parents may not actually be as devoted to their dogs as their Fidos are and that they would just let go of their pups once everything opens up again, new research also indicates that it’s not just our well-being that we should be concerned about—we should also zero in on our lovable canines’ overall health and wellness.
“I hope this, too, is a reminder: ‘Hey, there were here for me. Look what they got me through. You know, let’s figure out how to make this work.’ I hope it does a little bit of that, and I hope it brings a smile to people because the stories are tinged with sadness, but really, they are very heartwarming. It’s just people getting joy from the unconditional love of dogs, so I just love to share how great dogs are.”
Want to honor your dog through Tales of Support?
Check out the “Tales of Support” tab at www.dogsimeet.com.
Email them at [email protected].
Follow Tales of Support on social media: