Dogs are absolutely the center of my world. They were the most consistent and joyful part of my life as I was a kid growing up in an abusive home. I’m heavily tattooed and I’ve chosen to memorialize my relationship with dogs through dog tattoos many times. I have paw prints for all the dogs who were part of my life as a kid/teenager in a band on my arm and I have portrait tattoos for the three dogs that I share my life with currently. I also have a dog agility course tattooed on the back of one of my legs with a quote about loss — I competed actively in dog sports as a teenager, but had to quit when I became homeless and lost my dogs.
Tattoos are how I document important experiences and relationships in my life, so, of course, I have dog tattoos!
Tattoo of a painting of Scott’s late dog, Sprey.
“I got Keener shortly after my first dog died. We took a whole bunch of classes together. I knew I wanted to try nosework with him and we both loved it. That’s why I chose to have his nose in the tattoo. We’ve traveled a few thousand miles together for training, seminars and competitions. He opened me up to an awesome new world. We have met so many great people. I never in my life thought I would have it in me to travel ‘alone’ (wait, I guess it’s not alone when your dog is with you) out of state.”
“We’re in Toronto Ontario. I’m from the U.K., so she’s my only family here and she’s the absolute love of my life. She makes me so happy every single day.”
“This is a portrait of my Corgis (Machete Corgéz and Knives the Corgi) based off a painting my friend Amanda gave me for Christmas one year. [This tattoo was] done by Alex Dawes. [It’s] not a memorial tattoo — just a lot of things I love all in one.”
“I live in Los Angeles. The tattoo is by Graham Chaffee. Butch was my heart dog, my little shadow and my constant traveling companion. I’m a crime writer and he attended several conferences with me, which is where he got the nickname Noir Dog. This tattoo is on my left calf, so that he will always walk by my side.”
“Although [it’s not a tattoo] of my dogs — it will happen, trust me, I have two dogs, I’ve had foster dogs and I volunteer at my local SPCA — I had this infinity symbol with paws done to represent my dogs, my fosters, and the many dogs I’ve loved and cared for in my lifetime that [have] offered me unconditional love and companionship. They are man and woman’s best friend.”
“I have a tattoo of my retired guide dog’s paw (to scale) with a purple Hamsa in the middle because his collar is/was purple. He guided on my left, and his eyes were my eyes and protected me from so many near-misses with cars, random cut-outs on sidewalks and finding my way home.”
Tell us: Do you have a dog tattoo? Please tell us about it in the comments!
Thumbnail: Photography ©zhobla91 | iStock / Getty Images Plus.
Sassafras Lowrey is an award-winning author whose novels have been honored by the Lambda Literary Foundation and the American Library Association. Sassafras is a Certified Trick Dog Instructor and assists with dog agility classes. She lives and writes in Brooklyn with her partner, a senior Chihuahua mix, a rescued Shepherd mix, a Newfoundland puppy, two bossy cats and a semi-feral kitten. Learn more at sassafraslowrey.com