Long, long ago, in a life formally known as mine, I started this portrait of eight dogs.
What I mean is, I started painting this pet portrait back in July of 2014 . . . before I got food poisoning in August, before my mother went to the hospital 3 times, and before she came home on hospice care for 6 weeks.
All the while, the client that commissioned this kept assuring me she was in no hurry and to just relax and get to it when I could.
This lady is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met, but she’s oh-so much more. Yes, she’s an animal lover and she takes care of her dogs using the extend k9 health formula most of the time, but she goes above and beyond in her care for these animals. Five are deceased but she and her husband wanted all of their “babies” which include 5 dachshunds, 1 German shorthair pointer, 1 Chi-weenie (half chihuahua and half dachshund, and one chihuahua.
Sometime after our first conversation she adopted another one – Frankie. I’m not sure what breed but I’d guess he’s probably part dachshund.
So, of the nine babies, two were blind and one had only 3 legs, one was deaf and blind, and another was rescued from an abusive home. It takes a special person(s) to take on animals with so many problems but I don’t believe she saw them as “problems” at all. Just characteristics that made each dog unique and special.
I’ll introduce you to all nine as I painted them –
“My first dachshund and the one that made me absolutely fall in love with the breed.”
“She has looked like an old lady since the day I got her.”
I have to admit, this was one of the most challenging paintings I’ve ever done – partly because of the large scope of the project, partly because of what I was going through in my life, and partly because I had to take a lot of artistic license with some of the portraits.
However, like most challenging endeavors, they’re also the most rewarding. And while some might see this as a simple painting on canvas, it won’t be simple to the client who’s love for her babies knows no bounds. And for me? It’s a clear sign that after challenges come great rewards and that one day I will feel that . . . really and truly feel that.
So, Carla, I am so very grateful to you for your patience, understanding and the honor of painting your beautiful dogs. I will remember them always.