January 14, 2013

Faithful, Loyal and True

6 x 8, oil on canvas

Dogs...how grand would the world be if humans were capable of learning what dogs instinctively know? They do their best to teach us, but we just aren't smart enough.

I first met this girl when she weighed only 3 pounds and had tiny needles for teeth.  She had three sisters who were lively, joyful and congenial, while this "little tarantula" as my son called her, was the runt of the litter, had fleas and absolutely no interest in us. So, of course we chose her.

Was it because we saw great potential? Nah... if I am honest, it was because we ever-so-arrogantly assumed that she needed us. But of course it doesn't take long to realize it is humans, with all our flaws, who need animals. Our little tarantula grew up and eventually traded her chewing tendencies for barking and begging for treats from anyone who would listen. I began painting around the time we brought her home, so she has been my studio companion for every painting day since. (The fact that she snored through most of them was never lost on me.) Over the years, she shared her unique knack for comedy and certainly tried her best to teach us by example.

Faithful, loyal and true. That is just what dogs are. They tirelessly attempt to teach us how to live in the moment, avoid grudges, and love unconditionally. Always studying our emotions and moods, they suddenly appear by our side when we need them most. With equal astuteness, they pick up on negative energy and danger. The difference between us and them is that when they recognize a potential threat, they don't shrug it off in order to "be polite" as humans so often do. Instead they trust their instincts. An important lesson to be sure. And what about that 6th sense that allows them to know their owner is approaching home, so they are waiting by the door when we arrive? Or their ability to sniff out cancer, predict epileptic seizures, and a whole host of traits we haven't even discovered yet? Inspiring, to be sure.

So, in honor of all the "little tarantulas" who come into our lives to teach us the Big Lessons, it is my privilege to donate a commissioned pet portrait to be auctioned at the January 19th Fur Ball,  a local fundraiser with all proceeds benefitting the humane society. To learn more, please go here.

 And to see another pet portrait, you may click here.

"Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures
 we place with curators in museums;
others we take for walks."
Roger Caras


Katherine Thomas said...

Aw, you capture the soul of these dogs so beautifully, both with words and paint! Dogs truly are special creatures, no doubt about it. Good luck with the auction, that's a wonderful project!

Debi Murray said...

What a precious little face - her eyes exude love. And you know I love the Golden. They are such special "people". Beautiful renderings!

Log Cabin Studio said...

I love your painting and your write-up.
Dogs are amazing creatures.