A few months ago, I was asked to paint a picture of a friend’s husband with their beautiful (and quite large) dog, “Big John”. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t do the portrait justice, as Big John is very black, and watercolors tend to lift, so you have to be very careful when painting. It took longer than most pictures, as it took many layers of paint to get the desired effect, but it is one of my favorites. I want to give a shout-out to my friend, whom this painting was done for, as she and her husband have the most amazing business called Woodsy Wonders Props, making beautiful props for newborn photographs (they have many other amazing things too). Check out her Instagram account @woodsywondersprops.
Dogs are known to be and often referred to be “Man’s Best Friend”. I miss having a dog, but my allergies were pretty intense as a child when I had dogs. Plus, I really don’t have adequate time to spend with a dog, or other pet, so I choose not to have any at this time. Perhaps down the road, when I am retired and/or have the adequate time to spend with my pet, I will do so again.
I appreciate the loyalty that I have experienced with pets. My first very own pet was a dog that actually adopted me. I was about twelve-years-old and in the 5th grade. My parents and I lived out in the country, about 8 miles from town. We had horses, but no other pets at the time. This short, little black and white mutt showed up at our house and I was absolutely elated. He didn’t have a collar, and we assumed he strayed from home. A few days later, we found out that he belonged to our neighbors just up the road. I was a little bummed that we found his owner, as I wanted to keep him, but at least I knew I could visit him, since he lived so close. I found out that his name was Spanky (a little homage to The Little Rascals series) and the neighbors had just adopted him the prior week. They tried to keep him home, but every chance he had, he would run down the road to my house, much to my surprise, and joy! After many weeks of trying to keep him home, the neighbors finally suggested that I keep him, since he clearly had adopted me, and they couldn’t keep him home. We all, including my parents, knew that he belonged with me, so that’s how he became my very first pet of my own and my best friend.
I LOVED that dog!!! He would actually wait for me at the bus stop each day when I returned home from school. He had short, stubby legs, but he could run surprisingly fast when he saw me, or knew I was coming. He brought joy to my world and often went with me as I explored the outdoors (this was long before video games, cell phones and DVDs). He was a Heinz-57, which ultimately meant that he was a various mixed breed of dog. I couldn’t even tell you what various breeds he may have consisted of, but it doesn’t really matter, because he loved me with all of his being, and he helped me get through a difficult childhood filled with instability and uncertainty. I have had other pets, and he is long gone, but Spanky will forever be special in my heart due to the unconditional love that we had for each other.