Free to be you and me (and dogs).

Protests come in all sizes, from silent to rowdy. But an Australian artist may have topped them all with a peaceful protest using puppies.

Hundreds of dachshunds and a peppering of rouge, short-legged puppers took to the streets (and nearby beach) of Henley, South Australia over the weekend, calling for inclusivity and acceptance. Yes, really.

The close-to-the-ground canines and their suit-wearing owners were the subjects of artist Andrew Baines latest photo project. The work seeks to highlight the plight of overlooked small dogs and (by rather lengthy extension) marginalised and oppressed human members of society.

Baines said the puppies were more than their fur and short legs, telling Mashable that whole event was a metaphor for “inclusiveness of minorities in society.”

The project was borne of Baines observation that smaller dogs at his local beach would run the risk of being trampled by bigger animals. He told Mashable “I’d always noticed sausage dogs trying desperately to run at the front of the packs, they have a very determined character. At times they would be knocked over by the bigger breeds and left floundering … I realised they were a doggy minority.”

Beach time without fear of being trampled by bigger dogs.

Image: Andrew Baines

The pet owners in the photos were given specific instruction to dress in the suited uniform in which they appear with Baines explaining “I create a lot of imagery featuring suits in the sea as a metaphor for corporate escapism.”

While imagery of small dogs as a metaphor for societal inclusivity might be a bit of a stretch, maybe it’s the kind of stretching that gets cogs of change awhirring? Either way, it’s adorable.

Work, life, balance.

Image: Andrew Baines

Read more: