(WBTV) - A Massachusetts photographer is tugging on heart strings across the country with a new project, years in the making, featuring man's best friend.
Amanda Jones published a book of photography called "Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now." The book follows the lives of 30 dogs, who Jones photographs and chronicles, through their lives.
The book was inspired by Jones' own dog, a long-haired Dachshund named Lily, who was a member of her family for more than 16 years.
MOBILE USERS: Click here to see photos from the book
"Running into the middle of a girls' soccer practice at the local park and causing total havoc, chasing her on the beaches of Maine, and watching her chase after moths in tall grass were just a few of the pleasures she brought us in her early years," Jones recalled of Lily. "Dear Lily was there with us—passing the time, being by our sides, joining us in our adventures of life."
Jones says Lily grew from a "goofy puppy to an experienced elder" as joined Jones through cross-country moves, home buying, and the arrival of a baby.
"From adorable mischievous puppies to wise old souls, capturing these moments is my life work," Jones said in the book. "A dog's life is a span that marks so much in our lives."
"The connection over time deepens, and as our dogs age, the tides shift and we tend to learn more from their teachings—to relax, to be joyful, to throw caution to the wind, and enjoy the simple pleasures of everyday life," she continued. "Life really is better with a dog by your side."
That journey inspired "Dog Years," a book in which Jones revisited some of the dogs she photographed in her career to document the lives lived by these lifelong friends.
"My shoots are about so much more than the photographs; they are about the dogs and the people who love them," Jones said. "They are about honesty and trust. There is a deep understanding that these are more than just animals. They are partners by our sides as we travel through life."
Jones said through the years the owners and dogs had "aged, become gray, wrinkled in the eyes, and less spry."
The visual impact of comparing the young and the old varies greatly from dog to dog, just as it does from person to person. Some don't seem to age at all, yet others show the signs "quite openly in their eyes, their jowls, and their gray hair."
"It is this semblance of ourselves and our souls in their eyes that gives us such a deep connection with dogs," she wrote. "One thing that remains constant is the love people and dogs have for each other. That does not change, no matter how many dog years go by."
"Dog Years" is Jones' fifth book of photography. Click here to check it out.