Going for walkies: the best bonding mechanism — and physical activity — you and your dog can embark on together.
Andrew Knapp, a dog photographer and canine caretaker himself, has just made them even better.
Knapp, who is the owner of the Instagram account @momosface, started his online platform taking photos of his border collie, Momo, who would stick her nose directly toward the camera in every shot, with various beautiful backgrounds out of focus.
Momo passed away in 2021, but Knapp keeps her memory alive with adventures and images of his two other dogs: Yaya and Boo.
And to start 2024, he’s doing something even more special: Dollar Dog Walks.
What are Dollar Dog Walks?
The premise is simple: Knapp has opened up the subscription option on his Instagram page, where any of his over 600,000 followers can pay one dollar a month. (Well, $0.99 plus tax.) Those dollars will then be donated to mental health organizations.
“You give me a dollar, and all of that dollar goes towards a new mental health organization every month,” Knapp explained in a video.
He pledged to spend time outside with his pups every day in 2024, and encouraged his audience to do the same.
“The reason this all wraps together neatly is because it’s really dogs that have saved me in a very big and real way,” he continued. “They’re the reason that I’m here today, possibly. They’re the reason that I get outside.”
Knapp has long posted outdoorsy content with his adventuring pups, his Instagram profile an archive of beach days, hugging 400-year-old trees, and even lying in the dirt and forest bathing beside his pups.
“Getting outside has been so healing to me,” Knapp added in his video announcing the Dollar Dog Walks.
This isn’t the first time he has shared mental health-related content. Last year, Knapp posted a “guided meditation for dogs” and a heartfelt video about moving through the grief of pet loss.
He’s not the only person who has found solace in dogs — or nature. Of course, we know that both of these things are helpful for mental health.
The American Psychological Association shares: “Spending time in nature is linked to both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health and emotional well-being.”
Meanwhile, a survey from the American Heart Association concluded that 95% of pet parents rely on their pet for stress relief.
But finding access to natural spaces, mental health support, and even pet care can still be a challenge. While Knapp has not yet announced the mental health nonprofits he will be supporting through Dollar Dog Walks, he is eager to make a difference.
In an Instagram broadcast channel for the dog walking challenge, Knapp shared that he gained nearly 50 subscribers in just one day.
“Mental illness and addiction and mental health struggles are so prevalent,” Knapp said in his announcement video. “I hope we can make at least a tiny, little dent with this project.”
Header images courtesy of Andrew Knapp/Instagram