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These Dog Photos Aren't Just Cute -- They're Making A Difference

A New York photographer is capturing canines at their cutest -- and shining a light on pups in need.
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When Elias Weiss Friedman Instagrammed a photo of a dog he encountered in Vienna in 2013, it got more likes than anything he'd ever posted. "He was a boxer, and I just loved how goofy he looked," says Friedman, who was traveling after he'd been laid off from his job in brand strategy. "So much subtle emotion came through in that picture. I knew I was onto something."

The snapshot became the first image on The Dogist, Friedman's street-style blog featuring subjects on the sidewalks of New York and other cities. With the help of kneepads and some squeak toys, he captures charming portraits: a 6-month-old corgi with its head cocked inquisitively, a pair of regal greyhounds out for a walk in the park, a fluffy papillon wearing tiny yellow rain booties. "The challenge with photographing people is making them look natural," Friedman says. "With dogs, it's the opposite: How can I get them to pose?"

Friedman also visits shelters around the country to take pictures of four-legged friends in need of homes. In February, when The Dogist featured a 4-month-old shih tzu from the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York, the center's phones rang off the hook. "Every shelter dog I've posted online has been adopted," he says. That inspired him to launch his "Give a Dog a Bone" campaign: Donate $50, and Friedman will deliver a rawhide bone to an adoptable pooch, then post a photo of the pup with its treat.

This month Friedman released a book that includes 1,000 of his canine portraits and collaborating with local animal shelters for the book tour. "So many dogs are mistreated or irresponsibly bred," he says. "I want to give them a voice. Plus, I get to play with dogs all day without picking up after them!"

From top to bottom: Noodle, a 6-month-old shiba inu; the boxer who started it all; Bruno, a 4-month-old German shepherd; Dream, a Shih Tzu; and Odin, a 5-month-old German shorthaired pointer.

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