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Orphaned children and the abandoned dogs they love
In Bangladesh, an Australian photographer finds a tight-knit, motley family
 

There is a small park in southwest Dhaka where several Bangladeshi children live side by side with dogs.

The kids find squirt guns and carry out rambunctious water wars. They fight, make up again, share what snacks they can rustle up, and then, when night falls, they hunker down to sleep.

They are street kids, separated from their families or orphaned, who have found companionship and some semblance of safety with each other — and the ten stray dogs that have also made Robindra Shorbod park their home. The boys, girls, and dogs are a family, of sorts.

Photographer Sam Edmonds captured the moving relationships in his series, Robindra Boys.

(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)



(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)


Edmonds discovered the community through Obhoyaronno, an NGO based in Dhaka that works to save street dogs, which are often mistreated or killed.

"When the director of the NGO told me about these children who live in a park and take in a lot of dogs, I instantly thought, 'This is going to be a story that needs telling,'" Edmonds, 25, explained in an email interview. "The boys and girls were so welcoming, just really fun and energetic to be around. I spent a couple of days with them, and they all loved being in front of the camera, and were always getting the dogs into frame also."


(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)



(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)


Eventually, Edmonds asked each child to step in front of the lens with his or her favorite dog, and then pressed the shutter. Edmonds instructed the kids not to pose, but rather just stand as they usually would with their furry friends. One image — which he calls "The Backpack Puppy" — stands out.

"The photo of Sumaia is quite memorable, to me," Edmonds said. "She is so young, and so small, so when it came to her turn, the other boys helped put the dog over her shoulders and she had a bit of a laugh."


(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)


To get by, most of the children collect discarded plastic objects that float down a nearby river, selling their finds for very small amounts of money, or just trading them for morsels of food. Despite that hand-to-mouth existence, they share everything.

"These kids and their dogs are such humble beings, in this incredibly huge and bustling city, and they really look out for one another," Edmonds said. "Like any family, they get along sometimes, they fight sometimes, but they all share and they are all surviving together."



(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)



(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)

Before Edmonds left, the photographer printed the images at a nearby camera store and then returned to the park to give each of the excited children their own official family portrait.



(Sam Edmonds/Corbis)



**To see more of Sam Edmonds' work, visit his website, or follow him on Instagram**

 
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