Photographer spreads joy with ‘lip-smacking’ images of rescue puppies

March 2, 2021

Cleveland-based photographer Greg Murray knew exactly what props and subjects he needed when prepping his studio for his latest book project: Jars of peanut butter, and 70 rescue puppies.

As the book’s title implies,  Peanut Butter Puppies—due out in stores on March 16—showcases puppies licking peanut butter off their faces. It’s a sequel to Murray’s 2017 hit,  Peanut Butter Dogs.”

Describing the shoot, Murray told NBC-TV’s Today show this week, “It was chaotic but in a really fun way. I love what I do,”

For the project, around 30 animal shelters and rescue organizations in northeast Ohio brought adoptable or recently adopted puppies to Murray’s photography studio in Cleveland (although one woman drove a puppy all the way from Texas for the occasion).

Featured puppies range in age from 8 weeks to 12 months. Murray is thrilled that all of them have since found forever homes.

To give back, the book’s publisher, Gibbs Smith, is donating $1 from every presale of the book made before March 16 (up to $3,000). Three rescue organizations that had puppies in the book will be chosen at random on that same day— and will split the money equally.

Murray, 39, is a strong proponent of animal rescue. His own rescue dogs, Leo and Kensie, were too old to qualify for the puppy book, but he managed to sneak a photo of them on the acknowledgments page.

In case readers are inspired to try using peanut butter to take pictures of their own dogs, Murray devoted an entire page of “Peanut Butter Puppies” to the importance of safety. He suggests using small amounts of all-natural peanut butter and stresses that xylitol, a sugar substitute found in some peanut butter, is toxic to dogs.

“Just be safe and be smart,” he said. “It’s a good treat, but too much of anything isn’t good. Be careful what you’re giving your dogs and always check the ingredients.”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

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