Mondays get a bad rap. So do pit bulls. The parallel is what inspired New York City resident Tanya Turgeon to make her dog, Elsie, the star of a photo series she calls "Movie Mondays."
On the oft-dreaded first day of the workweek, Turgeon shares a movie-themed photo on Elsie's Facebook page, which has more than 1,000 followers. In each one, the dog is dressed as a famous cinematic character.
Turgeon said she posted the first photo on a whim, but Elsie's followers were sincerely engaged and ever since, expect a new one every Monday. Turgeon's family and friends love coming up with new ideas, providing props and assisting with the shoots.
At 15 years old, the rescue dog has experienced a lot of health scares and operations. But Turgeon rarely posts this kind of information on Elsie's page. "I call her page a 'safe page,'" she told The Huffington Post. "When you come to her page, it's always going to be something funny and inspirational ... If you're having a bad day, you'll hopefully find something there to make you smile."
Turgeon doesn't share her own "anxiety about [Elsie's] age and health because I don't see a point to it. I want to celebrate and share her life," she said.
And Elsie has a lot to share; she's a joy-inducer. According to Turgeon, the dog revels in the attention, and people love her right back. "Every time we walk and people meet her they tell me, 'Thank you, you made my day.'" Elsie is incredibly gentle and always wagging her tail; "The icing on the cake," Turgeon says, "is that I can say she's a pit bull and came from a shelter."
Elsie was abused before being saved by Animal Care Centers of NYC, and Turgeon is taken by the dog's graciousness. "The fact that she doesn't hold any grudge against humans -- there are so many lessons that you can take from her and pit bulls in general. Their capacity to forgive and move past a situation is so incredibly big."
Turgeon hopes her darling, hilarious, warm and fuzzy photos of Elsie help to break down the stereotypes associated with the breed in a new way. "Instead of just talking about it, if I want her to be accepted I should not make a big deal about her being a pit bull," Turgeon said. "When I first got her, I was overwhelmed with how easy she was. I wanted to share her with everybody and take her everywhere. She's not really mine. It would be a disservice to her to not share her with everybody."
For the second year, The Huffington Post is holding a week-long, community-driven effort to bust the myths and raise awareness about pit bulls, a maligned "breed" that often bears the brunt of dated, discriminatory legislation that can make it near impossible for these dogs to find a forever home. You can follow along with HuffPost Pit Bull Week here, or on social media where we'll be using the hashtag #PitBullWeek.
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