Renowned photographer Amanda Jones first photographed her dog Lily, a longhaired Dachshund, the day she brought her new pup home. In the 16 years that followed, Jones photographed Lily many times over, a practice that became the creative spark for her Dog Years Project. The aptly named photography series, ten years in the making, captures the lives of 50 dogs. In portraying each dog at both young and old ages, Jones reveals the unique spark of personality that lasts a lifetime. It’s a heartstring-pulling tribute to dogs and the life we share with them.

Two pictures of the same dog taken years apart to illustrate dog aging

“My hope was to share with dog lovers the beauty of dogs as they age—the wisdom gained that shows in their eyes, their scars that have accumulated over the years,” says Jones.“I fear that people find the images a little bit sad, but I feel like they are inspiring. They should remind us to enjoy every minute we have with our dogs. It goes by so quickly!”

Two pictures of the same dogs taken years apart to illustrate dog aging

Her moving photography collection certainly conjures all the feels: the purity of the love we have for our canine best friends and the lamentable brevity of our time together. But most of all, it’s a nudge to live every day to the fullest and hold your dear ones close. These beautiful portraits offer a poignant reminder of how fast it all goes by, and that life really is better with a dog by your side. >>

This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!