Old Faithful: Elmo

All photos: Pete Thorne

What better way to honor our elderly canine companions than with a heartwarming portrait that reflects the many years of loyalty they have bestowed upon us? Photographer Pete Thorne does just that in his aptly titled project"Old Faithful," leading him on a quest to tell the stories of the most charming geriatric pups he can find.

Seen above in all his grinning glory is Elmo, a 14-year-old pitbull, and the first dog photographed for the project. The photos will eventually be the subject of a gallery show and a photo book.

Think your beloved pup would be a great addition to the series? Check out the "Old Faithful" Facebook page to learn how you can be involved in this moving project, and continue below to see more of Thorne's touching portraits along with the photographer's comments about each one:

Old Faithful: ginger pug

"Finnegan is a Brussels Griffon smooth coat or a Petit Brabançon. He has a red coat. He is 12.5 years old. He weighs 6 lbs and is small for his breed. When he lived in Montreal, he went by his French name: Finni le Poo. He has a heart murmur, and has had multiple teeth pulled, otherwise he is in great health for his age."

Old Faithful: Jackson

"Jackson [is] a 14yr old Black Lab mix. There's something about the expression on his face that seems like he is peering into your soul."

Old Faithful: Clovis

"I shot Clovis shortly after his 14th birthday and sadly he passed away not too long after this portrait was taken."

Old Faithful: Bodley

"At the age of 12(ish) Bodley has slowed down considerably. We no longer chase squirrels, only hunt them down with intense staring. Though his arthritis limits his flexibility, it does not limit his enthusiasm for walks and exploration through brown crunchy leaves. His eyes might be weakening, but there is nothing wrong with his nose, which still can sniff out a delicious discarded pizza crust at 20 feet."

Old Faithful: Hazel

"Hazel [was] named after Hazel McCallion, the Mayor of Mississauga. This tough old gal had both her eyes removed due to pain and no tear production, and has 5 microchips from being re-chipped every time she was sold to a new puppy mill."

Old Faithful: Stella

"Stella [is a] 12-year-old, one-eyed wonder Chihuahua! The little head tilt gives this tough girl a bit of deserved attitude."

Old Faithful: Mance

"Mance is a 13-year-old English Bulldog, a breed close to my heart. He has bone cancer that adds a lot of character to his face. He's in a pretty fragile state so I made my first trip out of the home studio to photograph him, in all his asymmetrical charm."

Old Faithful: Weezee

"Say hi to Weezee! Although this 10-year-old Pug mix looks a little concerned about having her photo taken, she was very well behaved and one of the easiest to photograph!"

 
* * * 
 
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.