21-year-old Ohioan Miraj Neve
, clearly loves his dog, West. Not just that, he seems to revel and celebrate his dog dad status in the funnest ways possible. How do we know? Well, Neve posted photos of West and him in suits to a Facebook group
with this accompanying message:
I got West a suit and took pictures with him. Why? I don't really know to be honest but here they are.
As soon as we saw that, we knew we had to talk to him about his dog, his life as a pup parent, and the inspiration behind the photos.
BarkPost: How did West come into your life?
: I've had West since he was 4 months old. He's my first dog. I was at a point in my life when it just felt right to bring a dog home. Don't tell West this but honestly, I wanted a bigger dog. Somehow West just caught my attention and my family and I ended up driving a couple of hours to get him from a shelter in Columbus, Ohio.
BarkPost: Tell us a little about the relationship you guys share.
: He and I are inseparable. He comes along on all my shoots, as I work as a part-time photographer in Columbus while I finish up university. If I'm shooting in an area where I have to hike and climb he's right there with me. If I have to wade across cold water, he's right there with me. He's really cuddly towards me and when he sleeps it's generally on me or next to me.
BarkPost: Was the shoot really as breezy and simple as the photographs suggest?
: West is extremely smart, I can trust him to listen and follow for the most part. I keep him on leash near areas with cars because I don't ever want to put him at risk, but if he's in an open field I always take him off leash he follows along just fine and listens well, you can see in the pictures there's none where he has a leash on. He's very focused on me so that helped make the shoot fairly easy.
BarkPost: Why suits?
: His first dressed up picture was probably his 2nd birthday that's when he wore his first suit. In general, West enjoys dressing up. In fact, if I pull out one of his costumes he gets really excited and starts dancing around. :) The suit shoot was only because I'd recently gotten a new one.
BarkPost: What other fun, goofy things have you done with West besides this suit shoot?
: I do stuff with him pretty regularly and he actually has a lot of costumes, like tutus, lobsters, sweaters etc. So I have tons of pictures with him being silly.
BarkPost: What's West and your next big adventure going to be?
: I haven't thought of the next adventure yet. For right now, he's going to continue starring in @OvalDogs
where I post photos of dogs on The Ohio State University's oval.
You can check out Miraj's work over at his website