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Topher Brophy and his pup Rosenberg might be two of the greatest minds of our time.
The handsome human and dog pair are the talk of Instagram thanks to Brophy's account, TopherBrophy, which is filled with shots of the doggy dad and his furry son in elaborate matching outfits and identical poses.
You may have done a joint Halloween costume with your dog, but Brophy and Rosenberg take sartorial sameness to a whole new level.
The proud pup papa talked to PEOPLE about his darling Rosenberg and how the two of them created the project with help from TheDogStyler.
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How did Rosenberg come into your life?
Rosenberg came into my life two years ago, when I was going through a difficult time. I wasn't in touch with my emotions and to mask this, and to relieve tension and stress, I began to overindulge in playing competitive sports. All my time was spent playing squash, dressage, wrestling, rugby, fencing and weight training to make up for the emptiness inside of me. It was so obsessive I herniated a disk, and then was forced to stop everything. With my security blanket gone, and a lot of time on my hands, I realized the problem: I was self-absorbed and narcissistic. I badly needed meaning in my life and knew caring for someone else would be very healthy. This is when I started the adoption process for Rosenberg.
Becoming a dad was the best decision I have ever made. On top of being my son, Rosenberg is also my best friend. By continually putting Rosenberg's needs before my own, I am more self-aware and constantly focused on making other people happy. Having a son, I now feel a connection to every living being in the world.
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What are Rosenberg's favorite things?
Rosenberg is into normal dog activities: running in the park, fetching balls, concentration games, but he's also very introspective and likes to spend a lot of time each day observing human behavior. He likes to sit back and watch, while looking wise, regal and of course super adorable.
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In what ways are the two of you similar?
Out personalities are actually more alike than the way we look. Both of us love to play and are pranksters. We're also both very affectionate, athletic, detail-oriented, introspective and can be a little moody when we haven't eaten.
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Where did you come up with the idea for these photos?
Right after I adopted him, people kept telling us we looked alike. At first, we dressed in matching outfits as a joke. When we went outside, people made a huge fuss and it clearly brought smiles to their faces. This encouraged us to take things to the next level, so we teamed up with an amazing photographer, Chantal Adair (@thedogstyler), who is also the creative director of my account. I am the face, but she is the real talent behind this.
We dress up in different characters because we are proponents of diversity and want to pay homage to different cultures, religions, orientations and professions. We have a profound respect for everyone and consider ourselves citizens of the world. We also want to unite people together, so by playing these different characters, we aim to break down barriers and illustrate through metaphor that we're all really the same.
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What kinds of reactions have you been getting to these photos?
In the past week, we've gotten many thousands of new friends on social media, invitations to be on TV, endorsement offers, and have been approached by publishers who want us to do a book. We're in no rush to do any of this and are holding off until we find the perfect charitable fit.
We're humbled by the attention, because for us, it's all about bringing joy to people's lives and connecting with them.
We've been getting emails from people who recently lost a canine child and find our work therapeutic. This is more gratifying to me than words can express. Rosenberg and I consider ourselves so lucky to have found each other and [we] are on a mission to spread love, compassion, kindness, and understanding to as many people as possible.
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How difficult is it to get Rosenberg to pose and dress up? Any tips?
Its super easy, he loves being in clothes and usually helps by jumping right into them. He prefers to be the center of attention, which definitely plays into it. I haven't tried this with any other canine children, but my gut is that some kids have the right temperament for it and others don't. Forcing it wouldn't be right for them.
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What do you guys have planned for the future?
The mission of our project is to spread happiness, and at this particular time, people really need more of this. So we have a lot to do!
We will continue to develop and push our conceptual boundaries and will move more into video. We're also looking to partner with the right charity, to help raise money for people in need. At this early phase, we just want to keep growing as artists, and through that, figure out the most efficient way we can help make the world a better place.
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