Awkward Family Pet Photos

Mike Bender and Doug Chernack.

Pet owners have a reputation for overindulging their animals and “Awkward Family Pet Photos” is proof positive that animal lovers have a special—in some cases disturbing—relationship with their pets. According to coauthors Mike Bender and Doug Chernack—professional screenwriters who identify Babe, Finding Nemo, and Any Which Way But Loose as their favorite pet movies—the criteria for inclusion of a photo was simple: “If it surprise[d] us in some way or made us laugh, then it deserve[d] a spot in the book.”

“Awkward Family Pet Photos” is divided into eight chapters—dogs, cats, birds, farm animals, and exotic pets—plus one devoted to portraits and another featuring holiday themes. The final chapter is titled “Awkward Pets,” and contains photos in which it’s the animal behavior that is cringe worthy. (Think excessive licking, strange positions, and “animal instincts that can’t be controlled.”)

Most of the animals seem to enjoy—or at least accept—being photographed, but some don’t seem to share the owners’ enthusiasm. In many cases, the authors provide the backstory via a quote from the owner. Most disturbing are the nudes, along with my personal favorite: A couple posing with the remains (the skeleton) of their cat. I’m guessing that most pet owners will find the book comforting, as it ought to make their own families seem not nearly so embarrassing.

Related content:
Awkward Family Photos: The Book