NORTH CANTON Greg Murray, a nationally acclaimed author and photographer of the popular book, "Peanut Butter Dogs," stopped by the Little Art Gallery in North Canton on July 27 to help promote the Doggone North Canton programming. It was in collaboration with Pawsitive Ohio and the North Canton Public Library to highlight the weeklong Doggone North Canton 2017 events and dog adoption.
Doggone North Canton hosted a week’s worth of events just for dogs and the people who love them. The week is always topped off with a multi-Rescue Dog Adoption & Wellness Fair on Saturday at Witwer Park.
Murray appeared as one of the dog-themed programming and events presented by the North Canton Public Library Murray’s photographs of dogs had been on exhibit starting July 19.
Murray said the idea for the book came from his rescued mastiff named, Bailey. She was 1 years old when Murray and his wife, Kristen, adopted her. Unfortunately, they only had a year and half together before Bailey became ill and passed away.
"Bailey always looked sad because she had drooping ears and jowls and her eyes looked sad," Murray said. "I wanted to do something to make her look happy and I gave her some peanut butter to get a fun photo of her. The photo worked so well that I decided to do a book about dogs eating peanut butter. That was in early 2014 and soon after the idea and the photos started going viral."
The book is dedicated to Bailey. Murray wrote the following, "Although she (Bailey) only lived to the age of two and a half, we were able to give her more than a year of joy and adventure. She loved wrestling with Leo (Murray’s other rescue dog), drooling all over our home, and hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Bailey was able to give you this book. She was its inspiration, and my very first peanut butter photo."
Murray started out with a Kickstart online fundraiser to help raise money to self-publish the book. He said a publisher saw the photographs and called him with an offer to publish the book. He’s been featured on "The Today Show," and in "The Huffington Post," "Elle" and many others.
He also sells artworks of his canine and other animal prints and a number of his photos have been licensed for use by greeting card companies.
Keri Burick, outreach services manager and librarian at the North Canton Public Library, helped coordinate the event. She said the turnout was great with more than 100 people stopping by to talk with the author.
Murray, a Lakewood native, started his career in human resources management before striking out on his own to pursue his love of animals and photography.
The "Peanut Butter Dogs" book is filled with 125 portraits of dogs attempting to eat peanut butter. Dogs range from chihuahuas to great Danes and French bulldogs. Many of Murray’s photographs were on exhibit in the Little Art Gallery.
"We believe this was the best exhibit yet in the Little Art Gallery in terms of the number of people stopping in to view the show. The feedback from guests viewing the show and those attending the book signing was highly positive. Greg was pleased with the turnout and said he wants to come back next year to help us promote Doggone week. It was a great night," Burick said.
Burick said Murray donated proceeds from the sale of any of his photos on display to Doggone North Canton.
To Learn more about Doggone North Canton hosted by Pawsitive Ohio, visit the website at pawsitiveohio.org. Greg Murray’s work can be found at http://www.gmurrayphoto.com/.