Meet Bowen's best friends in a new book all about island dogs

“The dogs, they’re small, big, old, young and that’s really nice, because it’s like Bowen with that diversity,” says co-creator Chrissy Silva

Some of Bowen’s most famous personalities are immortalized in the pages of Mario and Chrissy Silva’s new book.

A white-haired giant stares placidly at the camera; a scruffy fella hangs out by USSC; an elongated but small character strikes a pose. 

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Little Island Dogs, now available to order, features 50 of Bowen’s beloved dogs (and some of their people) visiting everything from Cape Roger Curtis to Applefest. 

“One of our goals was to incorporate this beautiful island, not only to show the dogs themselves but also the landmarks,” says Mario. 

The book has been a labour of love for the Silvas, combining Chrissy’s work as a dogwalker and Mario’s work as a photographer.

Island Dogs
Source: Mario Silva

The Silvas arrived on Bowen Island from Germany in 2013. They were immediately thrust into Bowen’s world of dogs, as they stayed at the Missy Foundation sanctuary for old dogs, and became friends with Coast Animal Welfare & Education Society (C.A.W.E.S.)’s late co-founder Iris Carr. 

“We’ve always been involved with dog rescue and animal rescue,” says Chrissy. “And we thought it would be nice to give something back.” 

Back in 2017, Iris put out a call on Facebook asking for people and dogs willing to be included in the project. The pooch suggestions kept coming and coming and coming. Little Island Dogs started out as a calendar but grew as canines kept getting added to the roster. 

 “So many people were also asking us ‘could we participate?’ And then we said, okay, let’s go for more then,” laughs Mario. 

Over the two years of the project, the Silvas met many a breed of dog, and in the process also founded their pet photography business, Anchor and Hound. They also met many, many islanders. 

“Some people have been here for 30 or 40 years, some are newbies on the island, so all kinds of different backgrounds, different family stories, different lifestyles,” says Mario. “So this was, for us very interesting, to get to get to know these people with their dogs.”

One of the people featured with her dogs in the book is Angie McCulloch, a former president of C.A.W.E.S., who died in June. The Silvas say Angie saw the photos but passed just as the book was going to print. 

The book is in black and white. Each right-hand page features a photo and each left-hand page features a doggy quote and a blurb about each character. 

“The dogs, they’re small, big, old, young and that’s really nice, because it’s like Bowen with that diversity,” says Chrissy. 

 “Since it’s calledLittle Island Dogs, this could be a kind of a kickoff for the other islands,” says Mario. 

Each book costs $40 (it’s a hard cover) and the order is going out soon. To order, email the number of copies you would like to Chrissy at christianeprimsilva@gmail.com ASAP. All proceeds go to C.A.W.E.S. 

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