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These photographs aren’t really about dogs. They’re really about relationships. Deep ones.

So deep a man inked his deceased dog’s likeness onto his chest. So deep another man admitted his dog feels closer at times than his wife and kids. So deep that one woman responded to my question, “What would your life be like without her?” with the stark reply, “I would have no life without her.”

As Gertrude Stein noted, it is a relationship tied to identity:
“I am I,” she wrote, “because my little dog knows me.” It is a tethered proposition; two halves, one whole, umbilically linked by the ends of a cord commonly known as a leash.

This collection of dual portraits was made in and around New York City’s Tompkins Square Park during 2016.
Dustin & Bridgette
Adam & Harley Jane
Madalyn & Theodore Leonelle
Johnny & Entourage
Rebecca & Valentina
Christian & Nova
Lauren & Eno
Peter & Jasper
Marja & Bibi Chibi
Sung Lee & Bong
Emma & Ozzie
Phil with Hank
Leila & Chief
Ricky & Addy
Willie & Precious
Kian with Ava
Dominick & Girl
Anthony with Tommy
Evelyn & Pandy
Robert, Mr. Zed & BeBop
Gaby, Levon & Nico
Eddy with Red
Elenora with Rudy
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All images © Robert Kalman. All rights reserved.