Monday, April 18, 2011

A Good Ending to a Dog's Tale

It takes creativity and persistence to find a new home for an older dog. . .Dog has found a new home with a good person who knows her and loves her, and who knows and loves her artist friend. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Dog Named "Dog"

Shirley and Dog
About ten years ago, Shirley lived in the "Four Corners" where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah are joined.  The Four Corner's are said to be a spiritual place and are not far from the Native American ruins at Mesa Verde.  I visited Shirley while she was living there, and aside from touring Native American ruins, and hiking with the Ute Mountain Ute's, and seeing the museum in Blanding, Utah which featured her work, I became acquainted with a dog.

It wasn't difficult to remember the animal's name for the dog was named "Dog." 

"Dog!," Shirley would yell to the shaggy creature who romped in the back yard of Shirley's little white home.  "Dog, it's time for din-ah!"

And, Dog would come bounding up to the back door, ready for her meal of kibbles.

Dog accompanied Shirley on her near daily sojourns to the Blue Mountains, or to "Indian Rock" where hieroglyphics were painted many moons ago by ancient peoples, or to a mountain peak adorned with cottonwood trees.  Together, they traveled in an old van, replete with a water dish for Dog, and an old thermos filled with coffee for Shirley.  An old grocery bag would be filled with a sandwich, apple, an old bone for Dog, and sundry items to keep them sustained throughout the day.  And, Dog would lay in the shade while Shirley took out her canvas, and her palette, and began to paint, beginning with a wash of burnt umber, and later fleshing out the details with painstaking patience, even to the tiny bird that sat upon a branch of a tree. . .

Now, 83-years old, Shirley can no longer care for Dog.  She is struggling to care for herself, and finds even getting out of her bed takes considerable energy.  Dog watches Shirley from the corner of her bedroom, knowing that her best friend is considerably ill; Dog feels helpless.  A cold nose presented and pressed into Shirley's old hand, Dog wants Shirley to know that she is there watching over her, and protecting her as best as Dog can.

The Artist and her Van
But, now it is time for Shirley to part with Dog, and with great reluctance.  Rescued by Shirley ten years ago, Dog had been hit by a car, her shoulder and leg damaged; Dog was left with a permanent limp.  But this disability has not dampened Dog's spirits, nor affected her keen intelligence, or love of people. Dog is still spry, and still likes to run after a scent. 

An Australian Shepherd mix, Dog is medium sized, in good health, and well traveled.  She enjoys daily walks, if not sojourns throughout the country side, and she is a people-lover.  An older dog, Dog is still learning new tricks.

Please contact me by email if you are interested in providing a new home for "Dog."  Dog has requested a bath and a trim, a little bit of primping before sitting for her portrait.  The photo of Shirley dates back to 2009 on a summer day. . .very thin. . .she had put away the canvas and brushes for a little while.