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So many lovable animals in shelters are hoping to be discovered by a happy family — and one creative woman came up with a fur-tastic idea to help make it happen.
Photographer Ricki Beason, whose photos are dedicated to showcasing dogs available for adoption, put together what she dubbed the "Dad Bods and Dogs" calendar, featured on Megyn Kelly TODAY, as an adorable way to promote these furry friends looking for a home — with the help of some awesome men.
To find the perfect pups for the shoot, Beason teamed up with Dallas-area rescue shelters The Love Pit, Rescue Row and Astasia's Angels Animal Rescue. Each calendar month will feature a photo of at least one dog and one dude.
"I wanted to pair rescue dogs with guys doing your typical dad activities, like going to the grocery store, grilling out for the Fourth of July or having a pool party," Beason told TODAY. She previously photographed "Heartthrobs and Hound Dogs" calendars — which paired the pups with conventionally hunky men — but this time, she opted for a more relatable approach.
"(The guys) are more relatable because they’re doing day-to-day activities versus being super big and buff, like they can bench press a piano," she added. "You look at them and see your average awesome guy."
She found her models through social media and "friends of friends of friends of friends."
"They were all about it, which is the best part," she recalled. "No one was too cool for it."
As for the dogs, Beason loves that potential adopters can see their personalities shine through the photos.
"One of the reasons I got into rescue photography was you see all these pictures of dogs behind shelter bars, and they look so sad and rejected," she said. "And while you get peoples' sympathy and you get their pity, you don't want them to constantly view the dog like that. That was the before, now look at the after. They've been saved. They're happy. Look at that smile. I wanted people to see the after."
All the proceeds from the calendars — which are currently available for pre-order and will ship out in September — will go directly toward the three rescue shelters. The calendars will also feature different photos than the teasers shown here.
If you're in search of a furry addition to your home, many of these pups are still available for adoption, including Milo (who's not pictured, but will be featured in the calendar's March photo), Marty (July), April (September) and Woody (October) from Rescue Row; Bardot (not pictured; March), Betty White (not pictured; April) and Tux (May) from The Love Pit; and Linus and Lucy (not pictured; February), County Road (September) and Jensen (September) from Astasia Angel Animal Rescue.
"We have so much negativity and there’s so much reason to not smile," Beason said. "I want to bring lightheartedness back into peoples’ lives and I’m hoping (the calendar) does that."