Woman playing with her beagle dog at home with a ball

It’s no secret dogs have won the hearts and minds of a large portion of the human population. Our furry, and often funny, canine companions have stood by us for thousands of years, and have been a valuable support system for many families. Hunting with us, securing the homestead, keeping us warm at night, and offering unconditional love, dogs are both man and woman’s best friend.

The Woman’s Best Friend Project shines a light on the invaluable support dogs provide people, specifically women. Kristen Kidd, founder of the project, as well as Kristen Kidd Photography, had heard numerous stories from women about how their dog(s) changed their life. While spending her time capturing pets and families on camera, she absorbed the heartfelt stories she listened to about pets and decided they warranted a book. Kidd felt others should be able to enjoy and celebrate these stories.

Kristen Kidd

Photo Courtesy: Kristen Kidd Photography Website

“I picked up my dad’s 35mm Olympic SLR when I was sixteen and haven’t looked back since. Over a decade of photography experience has lent itself to amazing adventures and cultivated opportunities to see places and people in new and extraordinary ways,” reads the “about” section on the Kristen Kidd Photography Facebook page.

The section continues: “In those years I have photographed for non-profit organizations not only locally, as well as abroad. Whether I’m capturing images at a wedding, a portrait sitting, in the community, or around the world; the passion is the same: to tell a story, to share a truth, to capture a memory. Each photograph bares the fact that no matter where a person is or where they come from, they have an important story to share with the world around them. My goal is to find that story and tell it.”

woman and dog on couch

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

In 2019, the first volume of the Woman’s Best Friend Coffee Table Book was published, and now the Woman’s Best Friend Project is getting ready to publish its third volume. The first two books featured more than 90 women who shared their stories about their beloved dogs. The project was based on the question, “When was your dog there in a way humans could not be there for you?”

The Woman’s Best Friend Project is focused on raising funds for local rescues by using strong stories about the bonds women share with their furry family members. The project also aims to raise awareness about the stigmas placed on grief, depression, and anxiety, and how animals can help. The Woman’s Best Friend Project is currently seeking submissions for the 2021 book. All of the profits from book sales are donated to a specified animal rescue.

woman and shepherd

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

This year’s animal rescue that benefits from the proceeds is the Women’s Animal Center, serving the greater Philadelphia region. The nonprofit organization is an animal shelter and adoption center. It also provides veterinary care, as well as behavioral training.

Dogs have been trotting alongside humans for thousands of years, but research has shown women played a large role in the evolution of the human-dog relationship. According to the researchers who analyzed cross-cultural data, women appeared to bond immediately with canines, and welcome them into the home as part of family life.

“Humans were more likely to regard dogs as a type of person if the dogs had a special relationship with women. They were more likely to be included in family life, treated as subjects of affection and generally, people had greater regard for them,” said Jaime Chambers, author of the paper, according to Washington State University. This served to tighten the bond between canines and humans.

woman and dog and tablet

Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

But women, in particular, seem to share a tighter bond with dogs, according to researchers and scientists who have been studying the human-dog relationship for years. In 2017, researchers looked at men and women, and how they responded to canine vocals during specific situations. The study, published in The Royal Society, found women were able to understand a dog’s behavior better than men. Perhaps it’s this understanding that has led to other polls and studies revealing women sleep more soundly when their dogs sleep on their bed.

The Woman’s Best Friend Project highlights the incredible bond women share with canines, through both photography and the written word. Submissions of heartwarming stories are currently being accepted for the 2021 edition.

Featured Photo Courtesy: Pixabay