It’s a funny thing about dogs. More so than cats. Dogs become more a part of your life than those feline furry friends who want you to feed them, not walk them, not take them for a ride in the car, not take them down the beach for a jog and a swim and certainly not to learn any tricks! I have owned the occasional cat, two I think, but I have always had a dog.
Okay, we’ve established that I am a dog-lover but you know, it’s more than that. I have owned dogs for all but the last 7 years of my life, and only because I decided to travel for a while. My dogs have lasted longer than some friendships with humans. We can all admit that it’s a lot easier to have unconditional love from your pet pooch than some flaky friends!
My first dog I had for 11 years – a German Shepherd. The next dog was also a German Shepherd – another 8 years. Then followed a mongrel, origins unknown, only 3 years before it got too close to a motor vehicle. Then I had a RedCloud Kelpie. This dog, my greatest pet love was with me for 15 years. After losing Rusty, it took me a while to get over it, so I went a couple of years without a dog. My last dog was a Lhaso Apso, terrier, white fluffy beast called Alfie. I had him for 6 years.
That’s 43 years of doggy life and I am the kind of owner that includes my dog in everything. Outings in the car, trips to the hardware store, bicycling along the foreshore, days at the beach, I even took Rusty to parties at the home of friends and relatives. It was a case of, “Can I bring the dog? No? Sorry can’t make it. Oh, I can? Great, see you there Saturday night.” It got to the stage that if you invited me to a party, that meant I would be accompanied by my dog. (He was well-behaved, of course. Didn’t smoke, drink or flirt with the wives of other guys!)
To be able to capture your dog can be done a couple of ways. Photographs of course, but I came across a friend who had his dog’s portrait painted. I also had a friend who stuffed her cat, but that was too bizarre for me to consider. The painting can be done from a photograph, but it can also be done at a sitting or two and some of these artists can do unbelievably amazing jobs. It’s important to catch the expression in the eyes, always a good way to pick the character of your mutt. By the way, you can get portraits painted of cats, turtles, birds, your favourite fish and even a pet spider. Having seen some examples of the finished product, I’m convinced that it’s a winning way to capture your best mate for a lifetime!