What if you could have your beloved canine friend immortalized forever in a glossy coffee-table book?
For a price you can.
But that price is a tax-deductible donation to PAWS of Jackson Hole, which actually makes your pooch’s 11-by-11-inch full-color portrait, taken by professional photographer Andrew Grant, priceless.
In 2009, Grant — an acclaimed commercial advertising photographer from Los Angeles — embarked on a book called “Rover” that features dogs of all stripes and breeds. The goal was to bring awareness to pet rescues.
He calls the book, which is now in production for its fifth and final edition, a “timeless tribute to dogs.”
Ninety percent of man’s best friends in the book are dogs that were rescued from shelters or that were living in shelters when they were photographed, Grant said.
The first edition of “Rover” was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres television show “Ellen” and on “Extra.” That gave the project a huge kick start.
“The whole idea here is to raise money for rescues,” Grant said. “I am proud that my effort has raised more than $1 million for shelters across the country through ‘Rover.’ People can have their pet immortalized in a book while supporting rescues.”
He said the canine compendium is a great tool to bridge relationships between deserving rescue organizations such as PAWS and generous donors.
“But beyond that money I take great pride that we can connect the parties to each other,” he said.
Grant was here in 2012 to photograph Jackson Hole doggies for the third edition of “Rover.” Those pets are also featured in the “Rover: Bow Wow” and “Rover: Greatest Sits” collections.
The 2012 photo shoot raised $30,000 for PAWS for its programs, including support of the Jackson/Teton County Animal Shelter.
Grant is back in town through the end of March and hopes to raise at least $50,000 from the donation cost of the sittings, $5,000 per pup.
Each session typically lasts one to two hours because Grant wants to make sure he captures the personality of each dog. He also works with the pooch’s owner to select the image for publication.
The photos in the “Greatest Sits” edition — and all previous “Rover” books — illustrate each dog’s soulful or playful eyes, every coiffed or wild and fuzzy hair in its coat and all manner of perky, at rest or downright amusing ears.
One Jacksonite who participated in “Rover” three years ago not only donated thousands of dollars to PAWS by having her dogs pose but later made a $30,000 donation to another rescue center elsewhere in the country, Grant told the News&Guide.
“The goal all along is to convey the fact that people can get a really healthy, smart purebred from shelters anywhere in the country as well as here in Jackson Hole,” Grant said.
“Before we agree to help a rescue we tour the facility and meet with the directors and often interact with the dogs available there in shelter,” he said of the way he and his girlfriend, Amanda Hedlund, work. “Thirty percent of the rescue population are purebreds. Some people perceive shelter pets as being inferior, but the fact is that great dog breeds are available.”
Grant and Hedlund hope the “Rover” books help people overcome some of the lingering stigmas about rescue pets.
“A lot of people who end up putting their purebred into the book wind up adopting a dog from a shelter afterward,” Hedlund said. “It is like a badge of honor for them.”
This year’s “Rover” tour stops include Sun Valley, Idaho; Chicago; Santa Fe, New Mexico; New York City; Greenwich, Connecticut; Atlanta; and Washington, D.C.
“Rover” is being sold at Twenty Two Home, 45 E. Deloney Ave.