When Polish photographer Agnieszka Gulczyńska observed the bond between her toddler son and their three family dogs, she knew she wanted to document their special relationship.
Igor is 2-and-a-half years old, and he loves spending time with his dogs, Vega, Pikey and Canon. "Igor and our dogs give each other a sense of emotional safety and ocean of unconditional love. Looking at the relationship between my son and his dogs, I realize that no interactive toy would ever replace the touch of dog’s wet nose," Gulczyńska told The Huffington Post.
Having grown up in "a household where dogs were treated like family members," the photographer believes that close relationships with pets can teach kids important values. "Every day I can see my child learning empathy while taking care of his dogs," she said, adding, "I love when he shows affection towards them. He hugs them, delicately pets, brings treats, not because I ask him to but because he feels an inner need to do it."
Though Gulczyńska admits that having pets in a house with kids can lead to a fair share of messy moments (particularly at mealtimes), she says "there are definitely more advantages."
"Looking at a happy child running along with his dogs constantly warms my heart."
Looking at the mom's photos of Igor with Vega, Pikey, and Canon through the years, it's clear why.