"The way that we are with our dogs is really a reflection of who we are as our deepest selves," he says. "The work that I'm doing is all about telling the story about people via our dogs, how the dogs are conduits."
It wasn't until a serendipitous meeting a little over a year ago, though, that Freidin's vision gained a specific new direction. Enter Dr. Rob Garofalo of the Lurie Children's Hospital. "My father and Rob were sitting next to each other at this conference," Freidin said. "Rob was showing my father the pictures of Fred, his new baby yorkie, on his phone. My dad mentioned that I was a photographer in San Francisco. Rob reached out and we had a really wonderful session." Through this session, Freidin learned that, in addition to leading the HIV prevention center at the Lurie Children's Hospital, Dr. Garofalo is also HIV positive.
"His relationship with Fred was so beautiful. There was something really present about that bond that they shared," Fredin says. "When he got his dog, he had just survived cancer, and he was just coming out about his own HIV diagnosis. And having a dog really helped him survive that process."