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In his work photographing dog shows in Russia and across Europe, Andy Seliverstoff has access to many gorgeous dogs, including rare breeds. He says he has learned that these dogs “aren’t just beautiful on the outside; they have amazing temperaments, and in particular the large and giant breeds have an innate gentleness that truly belies their stature.”

He became interested in photographing children and dogs when friends asked him to photograph their two-year-old daughter. “They showed up at the park with their Great Dane in tow,” he says. The St. Petersburg-based photographer was “blown away by the relationship between tiny Alice and gigantic Sean,” he says. He decided to incorporate him into the shoot.

Next came a photo session with a little boy named Theodore and Ringo the Newfoundland. “As with Alice and Sean, these photos touched me deeply,” he says. The images captured the special bond between children and dogs. “It’s a connection that doesn’t need words. Love, compassion, joy, trust, honesty and acceptance, to name a few, infuse the relationship. You can see it in their gestures, in their faces.” When he posted the photos on Facebook, he discovered that lots of other people felt that way, too.

In his 2017 book, Little Kids and Their Big Dogs, from which the photos shown here are taken, Seliverstoff aimed to capture and transmit the state of endless joy and mutual confidence between the children and the animals. The one big message, he says, is this: “Love for dogs and children makes people kinder.”

FROM LITTLE KIDS AND THEIR BIG DOGS. © 2017 BY ANDY SELIVERSTOFF, PUBLISHED BY REVODANA PUBLISHING, SEA CLIFF, N.Y. WWW.REVODANAPUBLISHING.COM

Alexandra and Zarmina
Alexandra and Zarmina
Andy Seliverstoff

Alexandra finds a willing model in her Great Dane, Zarmina.

Dasha and Jay
Dasha and Jay
Andy Seliverstoff

Jay the Rhodesian ridgeback dances at Dasha’s command.

Alice and Sean
Alice and Sean
Andy Seliverstoff

Alice with Sean, her Great Dane.

Arthur and Zeus
Arthur and Zeus
Andy Seliverstoff

Arthur and his friend Zeus, a komondor (also known as the Hungarian sheepdog).

Theodore and Ringo
Theodore and Ringo
Andy Seliverstoff

Theodore with Ringo, a Newfoundland.

Matthew and Misha
Matthew and Misha
Andy Seliverstoff

Matthew talks to his big friend Misha, a Saint Bernard.

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