While some artists and photographers are inspired by their children, others look to more furry friends for that creative kick. Today, we take a look at thirteen people who introduced us to some highly adorable animals this year. From a rare half-donkey half-zebra to a globe-trotting dog, this group all made us appreciate the many living beings in this world.
13. Sweet Sheepdogs Sophie and Sarah
These two adorable Old English Sheepdogs live in a small village in the Netherlands. Their owner, Cees Bol (or dewollewei on Flickr), takes incredibly sweet photos of them against breathtakingly beautiful backdrops. “I like to take pictures – landscapes, nature, etc. – to show people what a great planet we live in,” Cees says. “And what’s greater than a sheepdog in these lovely places? They are both well-behaved and have real fun together.”
12. Sir Charles Barkley, the Cool French Bulldog
See if you can hold back a smile while checking out these adorable photos of French Bulldog Sir Charles Barkley. With a catchy name and over 114,000 followers on Instagram, the photogenic pup is a verified hit online as people follow his every move. Sir Charles Barkley, or “Barkley” for short, was born on May 7, 2012. Melissa, the owner, got him from a breeder called Skymeadow Farms in Washington where he was the smallest of the three boys in his litter.
11. Ippo the Rare Zonkey
Ippo is an adorable half-zebra, half-donkey that was born in Italy this year. The rare crossbreed, known as a zonkey, is the offspring of a male zebra and female donkey. There are a variety of zebroids (a hybrid of zebra and any other member of the horse family) in the world, though Ippo’s case is a rare one. In fact, she is the only zonkey in all of Italy.
10. Norm, the Personality-Filled Pug
Norm is the most personality-filled pug you’ll ever come across. Seattle-based Jeremy Veach has been the proud owner of his four-legged friend, since the pup was just 8-weeks-old. Soon after Jeremy got him, he started taking photos of the photogenic dog, inspired by some canine favorites like Maddie the Coonhound, and began posting them on Instagram.
9. Trotter, the Super-Stylish French Bulldog
Meet Trotter, the black pup with the crazy following on Instagram. Regularly receiving over 10,000 “likes” on his photos, Trotter is a celebrity thanks to her owner Sonya Yu who makes it her duty to snap Trotter in some wonderfully wacky outfits. Of course, it helps that the San Francisco Frenchie is both photogenic and obedient. As Yu said, “She is so patient! She will hold still, stay in the pose I put her in, and balance all of the props. Since she’s so obedient, it only takes a few frames to nail the shot.”
8. Champ, The Happiest Dog in the World
This year, 20-year-old Candice Sedighan was flown out by Yahoo! (the parent of Flickr) to New York City to be a part of a short interview about her incredibly sweet photography. Flickr posted that interview on their blog, sharing the behind-the-scenes story about the golden-haired subject that’s in most of her shots. Like Jessica Trinh’s photos, Sedighan’s feature a very happy and photogenic golden retriever. Surrounded by bubbles, autumn leaves and butterflies, 10-year-old Champ seems to be truly living the good life.
7. Ralph, the Superhero Dachshund
Posing proudly in his starry cape and helmet, while sitting on top of a shopping cart, the dog is the epitome of awesomeness. The image is just one of those you can’t erase from your memory. New Zealand-born, Australia-based photographer shoot her sister’s dachshund, named Ralph. As she says, “I nab him for photos because he loves the attention, which makes him wonderful to shoot with. Ralph is a very serious little man. He’s all about perfection and is ruled by greed, which makes him very easy to manipulate with food rewards – he’s a photographer’s dream.”
6. These 3-Week-Old French Bulldog Puppies
There is a deafening sound of “Awww!” heard across the internet thanks to baby Austin’s aunt Cindy Clark, a Pennsylvania-based dog breeder who decided to share these images of her then 3-month-old nephew with a few 3-week-old French bulldog puppies. Each pup’s chubby little body snuggled up with each other is too cute for words, but throwing an equally sweet baby in the mix is just cute overload!
5. Rupee, Former Stray That Became the First Dog to Climb Mt. Everest
Meet Rupee, he’s a former stray dog that just made history by becoming the very first dog in the world to climb Mount Everest! Found starving in a dump in Northern India, his owner, Joanna Lefson, decided to rescue him and nurse him back to health by feeding him a high protein diet that consisted of boiled eggs and rice. Slowly, he built back his strength and soon he was so strong he was able to climb mountains. Now, he’s the very first dog on record to climb Mount Everest, trekking side by side next to Lefson for 10 days to base camp, which is 17,000 feet above sea level.
4. Oscar, the Globetrotting Dog
Have you ever heard of a globetrotting dog? Meet Oscar—the Alsatian, Corgi, Cocker Spaniel, and Basset Hound mix (as revealed through a DNA test)—who just so happens to be the first dog to ever travel all across the world. It was only a few years ago that this adorable pooch was rescued by Joanne Lefson from the SPCA in Cape Town, South Africa. Ever since that fateful day in 2009, the little guy has been trekking all across the globe in an effort to bring awareness to the global problem of 475 million homeless dogs, many of whom wind up being put down in a shelter. Sadly, he is now deceased.
3. Flint, the Adorable Pomeranian
As far as pet photography goes, it doesn’t get much cuter than this. Flint is a happy-go-lucky Pomeranian that’s just as sweet and good-natured as he first appears. As his owner Robin Yu tells us, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him grumpy. You can wake him up from sleeping and he’s still his pleasant self. He’s also quite the law abiding citizen. He follows rules and even makes up some self-imposed ones because he just wants to be a good boy.”
2. Darcy, the Cutest Little Hedgehog in the World
Tokyo-based Instagrammer Shota Tsukamoto proudly snaps shots of his pet hedgehog named Darcy (best known as @darcytheflyinghedgehog), arguably the cutest little hedgehog in the whole world! The spiky little girl is the epitome of “aww-worthy” as she comfortably sits in a shoe, lounges on a deck of cards, curiously investigates a prickly brush her size, and takes a nap in the palm of her owner’s hand.
1. Hilarious Best Friends, Harlow and Indi
Earlier this year we met photogenic Harlow the Weimaraner and his fellow canine buddy Sage. Now, the household has welcomed a new addition to their dog party—Indi the Dachshund. The tiny pup has seamlessly entered the family, adding an adorable element to the already sweet collection of portraits on the dogs’ Instagram account. Funny-faced Harlow has had no problem stealing the show but now he selflessly shares the spotlight with Indi. The cuddly pair can be seen taking naps together, playing with one another, and dressing up in matching costumes.