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Tim Racer’s Incredible Carousel Dogs

By Caroline Golon

Tim Racer, an Oakland, area artist, is known for his unusual work – carving beautiful, lifelike, custom carousel “dogs.”


Racer’s passion began while helping to restore old carousel horses. He enjoyed the work so much that he decided to try his hand at carving his own. “My pit bull Sally was a natural subject so I thought I’d give her likeness a try,” Racer says. “People really responded to that carving, so I’ve been busy carving carousel dogs ever since.”


These works of art are labor intensive. Each carousel dog requires up to 700 hours to create. Racer’s dogs are commissioned by enthusiastic dog owners looking for an unique way to celebrate their dogs. “It’s the best part of what I do,” Racer says. “Meeting like-minded people who have passions for their dog…and my art.”


Each piece is lovingly created, incorporating the dog’s personality. One model named Chloe is ball-obsessed, so Racer incorporated her favorite tennis ball into the sculpture. Graham, another subject, loved his mom’s dragon collection so much that she gave him a stuffed one, expecting him to tear it apart. He didn’t and, instead, took excellent care of it. Racer carved a sweet little dragon riding on Graham’s back.


Racer’s love and dedication to honoring dogs doesn’t end with his art. He’s also the founder of BAD RAP, a pit bull rescue that he founded in 1999 with his wife. Racer says they were inspired to start Bad Rap because of his sweet rescued pit bull, Sally. When they founded the organization there were few pit bull rescues and they wanted to help. In between Racer’s artwork, the rescue and the couple’s three dogs of their own, it’s pretty busy. “Never a dull moment!” Racer says.

We’re so inspired by Tim Racer’s obvious love and admiration for dogs that and Halo will donate 5,000 meals of Halo’s Spot’s Stew to BAD RAP.


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