Pits & Posies is a project that Chris & I started volunteering our time with in May of 2016. We LOVE our herd of rescue animals here at The Honey Bee & the Hound and we decided to volunteer our time and flowers to a project that could help rescue animals in Corpus Christi. After reading the book "The Lost Dogs - Michael Vick's dogs and their tale of rescue and redemption" and coincidentally stumbling onto the work of Sophie Gamand "Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution" we decided that helping to shed a better light on this misunderstood dogs would be an excellent project and use of our time. We dove in head first and now each and every one of these dogs is in our hearts and our prayers each and every night.
Sophie Gamand has some powerful information about pit bull breeds on her website. Here I have quoted just some of her research:
"America euthanizes upward of 1,000,000 pit bull-type dogs every year. It's a quiet massacre. These dogs make people uncomfortable, which has led the country to be faced with a major pit bull crisis. Around the world, they are equally victims of prejudices that associate them with ultra-violence and make them disposable dogs. Through my series Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution, I decided to photograph them with flower crowns, to infuse a softer energy into their imagery. I wish for this series to challenge the way we look at pit bull-type dogs, and ultimately the way we treat them.
All the models from the series are shelter dogs who were waiting for adoption at the time of the photograph, and were thought to belong to the pit bull group (studies have shown that most of the time, the identification of pit bull-type dogs by shelter staff is inconsistent).....
Pit bull-type dogs are like any other dogs: they need proper care, training and socialization. Unfortunately, because of their bad image, they have the false reputation of being more dangerous than other dogs, hence attracting irresponsible primary owners who are looking for a "scary dog", and seek to develop those traits in them. Pit bulls' downfall is to be exactly the way we created them: strong and loyal. With this series, I wonder if art is a tool powerful enough it can change pit bulls' fate.....
I realized pit bulls were always portrayed in very urban, gritty photographs. The imagery associated with these dogs is often harsh, very contrasted, conveying the idea of them being tough. So I decided to challenge the way we look at these dogs by portraying him in soft, feminine images.
I build the flower headpieces and bring them to shelters where I photograph dogs who are waiting for adoption. Because of the stigma attached to these dogs, they usually languish in shelters for months, years, before finding adoptive homes.
Flower Power is about challenging myself to approach pit bulls with a fresh perspective and an open heart. I invite the viewer to do the same." -http://www.sophiegamand.com/flowerpower/
As a cut flower farmer and lover of all dogs, I was both charmed and absorbed by the work of Sophie Gamand. She is a photographer that made a sweeping change in the public's view of pit bulls by photographing the dogs with flower crowns. Our version of the project is called Pits & Posies and we will be inspired by Ms. Gamand's work while doing our version - bringing each dog from GCHS to our flower farm to photograph each dog romping around as a flower farmer instead of a fighting dog. We will be providing the Gulf Coast Humane Society with all of the photos to display on each dog's kennel and we truly hope that it will encourage people to adopt. With around 24 bully breed-type dogs currently living at the shelter, their average amount of time living there so far is right around 435 days - well over a year's time. The chance that their day will come is somehow drastically hindered than all other breeds of dog due to the discrimination against their breed. We hope to raise enough funds so that each dog can have an expense-paid 4-6 week obedience program to attend with their new owners once adopted. This will give the owner a chance to have some residual training with a professional to help ensure that they are comfortable with their new companion, while giving the dog the chance to learn some new tricks!
What We've Achieved GOALS
- We have managed to visit the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Corpus Christi and have a meet and greet with every "bully breed" type dog currently in the shelter.
- We have begun the process of photographing each dog.
- We are actively raising awareness of breed discrimination and helping to educate people about bully breeds specifically.
- To photograph each dog individually so that we may have a product to put together showing our project in completion.
- To find a loving home for each and every one of these dogs.
- To raise enough money so that when these dogs are adopted, the new owner may be able to attend obedience school with their new companion free of charge.