Viral ‘Poetic Dogs’ Photo Series Transforms Shelter Pups into Authors

poetic dogsPhotographer Dan Bannino, dog dad of a former pound pup, wanted to do something to help get more homeless dogs adopted. In June 2014, he came up with the inspired idea of transforming shelter dogs into his favorite authors, photographing them and then posting the pictures on social media.

His project, “Poetic Dogs,” has gone viral since it debuted in late November.

“I’ve realized how dogs are similar to writers: speaking through their expressions, sounds and movements, they’re telling you everything while saying nothing, just like an author would do with their fine words in a poem,” Bannino, who lives in Italy, wrote on his website

Early last year, Bannino adopted his dog, Rothko, from a shelter. “From that day my life has changed,” Bannino wrote. “When I adopted him, I realized how many dogs are in the same condition all around the world, and how a single adoption could change their lives and help support the situation in a dog shelter.”

Bannino is raising funds online to take more photos and publish them in a book.

Here’s hoping the stories of all these “authors” have happy endings.

Nespola as Mark Twain

poetic dogs mark twain

“Nespola gave us a smile from the first moment we saw him,” Bannino writes. “With his white tousled fur and his incredibly funny yet elegant ways we couldn’t associate him to anyone else than the ‘greatest American humorist.'”

Aky as Leo Tolsky

poetic dogs leo tolsky

Aky, a Golden Retriever mix, was dumped at a shelter when he became too old to work as a search dog. “Since his arrival, everyone at the shelter is taking good care of him and now he’s patrolling the area, solving cases of missing cookies,” Bannino writes.

Biscuit and Crumb as the Brothers Grimm

poetic dogs brothers grimm

“Like Hansel and Gretel in the Brothers Grimm’s tale, Biscuit and Crumb are two little clever puppies,” Bannino writes. “The only survivors of a litter of eight, they were found under a bridge on a very cold day.”

Wall Street as Charles Bukowski

poetic dogs charles bukowski

The oldest pup in Banino’s photo series, 14-year-old Wall Street was brought to a shelter after his owner passed away. “When I saw him he suddenly reminded me of the famous writer Charles Bukowski,” Bannino writes. “He didn’t like staying too much with the other dogs, he always looks drunk since he’s very old and not standing a lot on his feet, but as soon as you establish even the smallest contact with him, it looks like he’s telling you all his incredible stories.”

A Few More Author Doggie Dopplegängers

Ernest Hemingway

poetic dogs ernest hemingway

 Emily Dickinson

poetic dogs emily dickinson

 Edgar Allen Poe

poetic dogs edgar allen poe

William S. Burroughs

poetic dogs william s. burroughs

Charles Dickens

poetic dogs charles dickensPhotos via Instagram

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!