In shelters, senior dogs are often looked over in favor of puppies as many usually want young, energetic companions. Yet, the truth is puppies also grow old, one day becoming senior dogs themselves.

Senior dogs, whether adopted in their wise, old age or cared for into their elder years, are undoubtedly wonderful companions because:

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  • They get comfortable quickly in an already established family.
  • They are knowledgeable about house rules (no need to spend time training!).
  • They love to relax and take things easy.
  • And they’ll offer you unconditional love in exchange for unconditional care.

There are plenty of reasons to love senior dogs, and, award-winning photographer and author of “A Dog’s Book of Truths,” Nancy LeVine is working to offer the public a glimpse at the true faces of America’s aging companions with her project “Senior Dogs Across America.”

LeVine started her project eight years ago as her own two dogs “began to approach the end of their days,” she says in her artist’s statement.

“I entered a world of grace where bodies that had once expressed their vibrancy were now on a more fragile path … Though their steps might be more stiff and arduous, these dogs still moved through each day as themselves — themselves of that day and all the days before,” she writes.

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From Washington to New York, she has photographed America’s senior dogs wherever she finds them enjoying the last chapter of their lives – in homes, parks, and the outdoors.

As the country continues to be divided on a number of issues regarding senior care, what she has witnessed throughout her project is something entirely different:

It was people caring for the most vulnerable dogs. Whether the senior dog was part of a family where the dog/person devotion knew no bounds or one of the elders being tended at an animal sanctuary, I saw something much deeper than our divisions, something important about where we live and the best way to die.

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Discover what LeVine saw with some of her senior dog portraits below, and be sure to check out her Facebook Page for additional photos.

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All images: Nancy LeVine / Facebook