Well... it is here... my 30th painting! Today's feature rescue dog, Bear - sounds like a bit teddy bear! His owner (and my previous colleague) Cate shared this sweet guy's story:
"Bear came to us from Athens, Ohio by way of the London Humane Society. We already had a toy poodle, but my daughter was insistent that we needed another dog. We went to the Humane Society intending to adopt a dog, but she had just been taken by another family. So, we took a look at the other dogs, and instantly fell in love with Bear. He was so quiet compared to all the barking dogs, yet playful and friendly. Everyone always comments on how handsome he is!
Since then, he has found his "voice" and has become very protective of our family. He loves to gallop around our back yard and to snuggle in bed -- when he lies down for a rest, he usually gives a big sigh, and that's our sign that he's totally relaxed :)"
Thanks so much Cate & Bear!
Also - a big thanks to everyone who has followed along with me over the past 30 days!! While lots of work and some emotional ups and downs -- overall it was so awesome and very worth it!!!
Today’s feature dog is a spunky Jack Russell Terrier named Rusty. His owners Bonnie & Brian are good family friends and shared the following facts about their #1 JRT:
Originally from a rescue shelter in Brantford, Rusty was originally the cherished dog of Brian’s mom and dad. After their passing, Brian and Bonnie adopted Rusty. His favourite past times include playing fetch with his dog-dad Brian and going to bed at ‘reasonable hour’ (like clockwork, he puts himself to bed each night as soon as the sun goes down). They shared Rusty is a dog of routine, and likes to follow the same schedule every day. Rusty also enjoys watching TV, particularly animal shows where he barks and jumps at the TV. At 12 years of age – sounds like Rusty is still pretty spry.
Thanks for sharing Brian, Bonnie, and Rusty!
It is my pleasure to introduce today's feature rescue pet, Mew. Mew's belongs to my good friend Rebecca - which means I often get to hear stories about this blue-eyed lady (many of the stories include her love of food!). Even after a rough start in life - Mew is a living example of just how resilient our pet friends can be. Here is Mew & Rebecca's story:
"Mew was adopted from a rescue in London, ON called "Holys Hope". Apparently she was part of an abandoned breading operation and was found in a cage with many other cats who were all quite sick. Due to the poor living conditions she has a damaged ear. Mews original name was Bella but was renamed Mew as this is the noise she sqeaks out when she wants attention. Mew loves being around humans and isn't shy at all! She will make sure everyone in the room spends time petting and cuddling her. Now that she has bonded with her brother and sister (Zeus and Lily) she spends alot of her time playing aorund the house. Mew is a sweet and loving cat and I am so happy to have her as part of our family."
I would certainly say that Mew is very lucky to have ended up in such a wonderful home. Thanks for sharing Rebecca!
Today's feature rescue pet is a stunning boy named Kingsley. His story is one of refuge and heartbreak; Kingsley is also a lesson that there are no time limits on love. Here is Carol's (Kingsley's cat-mom) story (probably best to have some tissues near by):
"We chose Kingsley off the SPCA sight on Facebook and drove up to the Miramichi to adopt him. He was very stressed and had several problems, such as fleas and ear mites. We had him treated by the Vet and he settled into our house very nicely. From the very first night he arrived he made his sleeping quarters right beside my chest with his head laying on one arm. He stole my heart. Unfortunately, he also had a feline disease, FIP, which claimed him recently. He was with us 9 months. At least we know that he died happy, with parents to care for him. It's hard to lose a pet. His sweet little face keeps coming to my mind. We are planning on replacing him with another rescue pet from the same area. It is close to our hearts now, since it was Kingsley original home."
Carol - my deepest sympathy to you and your family on this loss; my deepest gratitude for sharing this incredible story - and it warms my heart to know Kingsley had a wonderful last 9 months to his life.
Today's feature rescue pet, Max is a true example of why they say dogs are "mans best friend" and demonstrates the therapeutic connection between humans and animals. I am delighted to share dog-dad Jeff's story:
"Max is a rescue who came into my life in September 2013, and we haven't looked back. I saw an ad posted in kijiji and decided I would check out Max, since he was the first in a long list of dogs I wanted to check out. Well, I would say that it was love at first sight and Max and I have been together ever since. The person I bought Max from had treated him unfairly and it has taken a lot of time for the trust to build up, but what was there from the beginning was love. Max is quite possibly the most loving dog I've ever met. Max also loves attention, so much so that he will take things he shouldn't and chew them up and then bring them to you, so you can chase him to get them back. These things have included, and certainly are not limited to: my mom's dentures, everyone's underwear, my parent's cellphone, several of my shoes, and a host of other interesting objects. When I read, 'Who rescued Who?', I thought, that's exactly right. It wasn't me rescuing Max, he was (and continues to) rescue me. I was in a depressed state at the time of getting him. I didn't want to leave the house and felt as though I had failed at life. I got him and from that day on, I haven't had time to be depressed. Max keeps me busy, and active, as Border Collie/German Shepherd mix Max is active and that means several walks a day and reading extensively on dog behaviours and activities. My life, and my family's life have changed because of Max and all for the better - as far as I am concerned. "
What an amazing story... and Jeff - hat's off to you for being such a dedicated, responible guardian for Max. Thanks!
Today's feature rescue pet is a sweet & cherished young lady named Marlee. I delighted to share owners Sandra and Gordon's story:
"Having lost our 14 year old black Lab last April, Marlee came into our lives at a perfect time. We adopted her in June as a rescue through PetSave in Sudbury, Ontario. Marlee was the pup who was picking on her siblings, full of energy and ready to play. She loves people and animals and thinks that everyone is her friend. She is the one dog at puppy class whose tail never stops wagging no matter how difficult the task is. Now 10 months old, she is a big part of our family and is truly loved. Marlee has taught us that the best way to heal is to pay tribute to the pet that has gone by sharing your love with another. Marlee definitely rescued us."
As some of you might remember - during my search for rescue pets to include in this challenge - I mentioned I would be giving away one painting. Well Sandy and Gordon were the lucky winners! To my astonishment - despite this, they still wanted to donate some money for the painting - 100% of which will be donated to our pet rescue organizations! Thanks for your generosity Sandy & Gord!
Today's feature rescue pet is one cool dude and has a pretty cool owner. I know Reggie's dog-mom Katie from the St. Marys Vet Clinic - where she has always been so kind to our dog Wylan (she affectionately calls him "Wy-Wy"). Here is what Katie had to share about her awesome dog, Reggie:
"Reggie was adopted from Kismutt Pet Rescue 2 years ago. He was picked up by animal control.
He is my best friend. He loves cats, other dogs and kids. His hobbies are running long distances, playing at the farm and napping. He excels at reaching for food off of counter, consuming it and leaving no evidence.
His favorite foods are chili, nacho dip, steak and cucumbers."
Wow... he sounds like the David Copperfield of making food disappear!
Incidentally - my favourite childhood dog was also named Reg. I couldn't resist sharing a photo of my Reg!
Today I have a truly wonderful story to share about our feature dog Jillie. This story comes from dog-mom LeeAnn, a long time family friend. LeeAnn has also been an amazing supporter of my art! Here is what LeeAnn had to share:
"Jillie was born on November 7, 2005 in a puppy mill north of Mitchell, Ontario. Following her birth she was rescued by Kismutt Dog Rescue. Only Jillie and her sister survived from this particular litter. During this time our family had gone through many wonderful changes - our baby, Rebecca, was born on in July 2005, we built a new home in the country (down the road from where Kathy grew up), our oldest daughter, Kiersten, started grade one and our middle son Brad was an active 3 year old newly living in the country with his Mom and new baby sister. My husband, Kelly, and I started discussing a new pup for a family possibly in the spring. However, I stumbled across Jillie's picture online and it was love at first site for all of us. I knew she was meant to be ours when her birthdate was the same day as Rebecca's baptismal day and my Grandma Dot’s (Hopson) birthday.
Jillie timidly joined our home in January 2006. She was very cautious about the type of floor she walked on and loved to snuggle with Kelly watching tv at night. Jillie slept by Rebecca’s playpen during afternoon naps (and has stayed by her side ever since). Jillie ran the fields with Brad and through the bush and continues to explore when there is any type of activity outside. If one of our children are away at a sleepover or an overnight camp Jillie will go back and forth between Kelly and I worrying as she knows someone is missing their bedtime. I never would have dreamt nine years ago that our puppy would go to bed with our children (literally in bed with Rebecca) - if they are late going to bed Jillie starts pacing waiting for them! As soon as the kids go out to play Jillie is at their side - I truly believe she thinks she is their protector. Jillie rarely barks but she does whine if she needs attention or is worried. I honestly believe that this goes back to her early days in the puppy mill. I always know when someone has arrived at our home because Jillie starts to whine; if it is a friend at the door she greets that friend with a kong or ball for them to throw. I can't imagine our life without Jillie! She is the sixth member of our family!"
Wow! I'm speechless... What a dog!! Thanks so much LeeAnn and Jillie!!
Today's feature kitty is truly a royal lady; but her life wasn't always so charmed.
Ashley found Miss Charles (yes, she's a lady cat) at the Humane Society in Calgary 6 years ago. Charles was just a kitten and had obviously been mistreated. She was extremely scared of humans and would have nothing to do with them. She was brought into the shelter in a box with her brothers and sisters and was the smallest and most timid kitten of them all. It took a lot of coaxing but after a few visits, she finally trusted Ashley enough to come say hello and since that moment she has been Beauty Queen Charles.
She still has trust issues with people she doesn't know but she loves her humans and she lets them know with loud meows and lots of head-butts.
Ashely and Charles the Beauty Queen -- thanks so much for sharing this heart warming story!!
Today's rescue pup is a sweet girl named Luna (short for Lu-dog). She was a rescue dog from the Capital Regional District (CRD) pound by her owner Pete. Luna's story is another of rags to riches - she was found in the garbage can -- extremely underweight and had developed mange. Luna has come along way - now having all the luxurious of a loved pet!!
Thanks so much to Pete & Luna for sharing this story!
Today's feature pooch is Talisker... while he looks like a tough guys, as you'll see below - he is a bit softy! His owner Jessie shared the following about this one of a kind canine!
"His name is Talisker (named after the Scotch). We adopted him from Doberman Rescue Ontario when he was 3 and a half (he is 5 now). At that time, his name was Lucifer and we definitely did not want a dog named Lucifer. In changing his name we tried to pick something with the same number of syllables and similar overall sound: hence, Talisker. He's a very sweet boy but is a little rough around the edges. He's a big dog who is always trying to (adorably) cram himself into small spaces. He loves to nap in his snuggie and will do anything for food! Once, while we were at work, he ate an entire 3 lb. bag of apples!"
Thanks so much Jessie & Talisker!
PS - I can relate to a dog who will do any thing for food. As just one example -Wylan once drank about a cup of vegetable oil (he has some unpleasant side effects from this)!
Today's feature rescue dog is Murphy, a handsome Golden from south of the border. He and his owner Randy (also an artist) reside in sunny California (yes, I am very very jealous of this fact... as here in Ontario we are knee deep in snow and cold temperature).
Randy so kindly shared the following story with me:
"Behold Murphy! He's a great dog rescued by Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue in California. He loves the outdoors, running like the wind through the forest and diving into the lakes and streams of the Sierras. He doesn't retrieve much but that's OK. He is a goofy 4 year old and still thinks of himself as a puppy...he can't wait to get on my lap. He loves our cats and gets along with all the dogs he has met. He would love to have his picture painted!"
Wow!! He sure sounds like an all around amazing dog -- proving that yes, amazing dogs can come from Rescue organizations.
Thanks so much Randy & Murphy for sharing!
PS - check out Randy's stunning art at http://www.honerlahfineart.com
Today we are featuring a very handsome boy named Horse. Don’t be fooled by his name, he’s 100% canine!! Dog owner Sarah adopted this guy about 4 years ago and says the following: “he’s been an amazing training partner for me and I love him!”. Training partner you say?? Yes…. Sarah is certified dog trainer and owner of Paws Forward (you can check out all the awesome services she provides by clicking here).
It was clear that Horse is a very special dog when I found his very own profile on the Paws Forward website. And clearly there is more to him than just his good looks… he is a very accomplished. Here is what Sarah shares on Horse’s profile “I have trained horse in various sports and he holds various obedience titles including schutzhund, french ring, rally obedience, competitive obedience, agility, tracking just to name a few. He is an excellent protection dog and very social”.
Thanks so much for sharing Sarah!
Meet today’s feature rescue dog – sweet little Blanche. This lovely lady is around 8 years of age and was adopted by Janice from a wonderful rescue group – A Dog’s Dream Rescue. Originally from Kentucky, Blanche is now a full fledged Canadian! She is full of life and loves her daily walks. Her dog-mom Janice shares that her tail is always wagging and she is always smiling. And what a beautiful smile it is!
A Dog’s Dream Rescue is one of two organizations I will be donating 25% of sales to from this challenge. This is also happens to be the organization I adopted our beagle Wylan. Based out of Oakville, Ontario – A Dog’s Dream Rescue rescues beagles mostly from Kentucky and Ohio that are on the list to be euthanized in high kill shelters. Rescues such as this are these dog’s last hope. When A Dog’s Dream Rescue brought Wylan over to Canada (he was from Ohio) – he was just one day away from being put down. Thank goodness for this group who saved both Wylan's and Blanche's life!
Finally - in the spirit of talking about the importance of animal rescue, you might want to check out the trailer for “An Act of Dog”. This documentary shares the incredible story of how artist Mark Barone is using his animal paintings as a means to raise awareness and save shelter animals. Personally, I can’t wait till this documentary comes out!
When I received the following email from dog-mom Rebecca, I was truly moved by her and Dharma's incredible story. I am so delighted to share the following (warning... you might want to have a box of tissues handy)
"There is no single word to define dharma, in any of the western languages.
In Hinduism it is duty, law, the nature, and/or the path. Buddhists define dharma as cosmic law and order, and for Sikhs, dharma is the path to righteousness. (Taken from Wikipedia)
Dharma is a force of nature. She is a lesson in perseverance, trust, and love.
Dharma and I rescued each other three years ago. I saw a picture of her four years ago on the ARF website. It took nearly a year for me to meet her. I was told Dharma was a special case, I was told there are other lab type dogs I could get. I simply said thanks, but no thanks. 6 months later, at a charity event I saw Dharma still had not been adopted. I inquired again, and finally was able to meet her. A special case indeed. She was a stray dog in Taiwan, with a badly deformed leg. She either was hit by a car, and it healed badly, or had her leg caught in a trap. Both occurances are rampant in Taiwan. She was then, captured by a rescue group in Taiwan, and spent the next three years of her life in a shelter with over a thousand dogs. She would get to go outside once a week, I think. She was flown to Canada in February 2011, where she became an ARF dog. Dharma and I found each other in September 2011. When we first met, we both knew we were meant to be for each other. Dharma had never lived in a house before, but had extremely good manners right from the start. She did have much to overcome though. She was afraid of men, doors, doorways, brooms, loud noises, bicycles, and much more. Together, with the help of her dog brother Dillon, she has learned to be a dog. There were moments when she would forget all her fears, and just be. As time went on, those moments came more often. Dharma is my best friend. I love her more than anyone or anything. She has taught me that there is always hope. After having lived the life she did... and learning to trust... she shows me daily, what resilience is. Dharma is love."
Thanks you so much for sharing this amazing story Rebecca
I'm super excited to share today's painting (...have I mentioned I love beagles?!). Also, dog-mom Lealie is a friend from my university days.
Today's I'm featuring Dylan (on the left) and Chole (on the right)- have a pretty unique story among this challenge. They were both beagles adopted from a local university, where they were used as vet training dogs. Laelie shares the following story:
"Both dogs were well cared for, but more lab rat than dog when we brought them home. Now, Dylan's tail literally never stops wagging although he is so stubborn if he decides that he's walked long enough he'll flop onto his back and have to be carried or dragged home. Chloe has gone from afraid of her shadow to the most loveable and patient companion a toddler could imagine - and Ben pushes those limits daily"
Thanks so much for sharing Laelie!.. Dylan and Chloe were so lucky to find such a good life and home.
I also have to say it is great that this University adopts out the dogs when they are no longer needed. Check out the Beagle Freedom Project an American Organization dedicated to rescuing and finding homes for beagles used in laboratory research.
"Can't help falling in love" ... that's what you'll be singing after you meet today's feline friends. My friend Carol shared the following heart warming story about her two fur-boys:
"Elvis (on the left) was rescued from the London Humane Society. He was a loner kitty but had that glint in his eye. He spent the first few weeks in the ceiling tiles of the basement before he felt at home. Presley came along about 6 years later. He was found on the side of the road and given to an elderly lady who passed away a week later. He befriended loner Elvis and these two guys helped fill the void when my husband passed away that year."
As you might have guess by the names of these guys, Carol loves Elvis Presley! In the spirit of the original King, I used gold paint in the background and the eyes (it's a bit hard to tell in this photo.. but in real life the gold really pops!)
Thanks for sharing your story Carol!
Friendship. That is the theme of today's rescue pet story. Here is owner Kaisa's story sweet story:
Today’s painting features Pepper, who is approximately 6 years old. Pepper’s pet-mom Alison describes that this sweet girl had a rough and unfair start to life-- “She was the mama dog at a puppy mill for years”…” when they rescued her, she was missing a lot of hair, had rotted teeth, infections, and was a sad dog with a tail tucked between her legs”.
Today’s rescue pet goes by Teddy and his story is truly one of rags to riches. Rescued from a strip mall by his cat-mom Sheila during a very cold winter -- he was found badly matted, starving, and very sick. Ten years later, he is happy and healthy and Sheila describes Teddy as “my joy”. He has come along way from that hungry cat at the strip mall. Thanks so much Sheila and Teddy!
Today’s lovable rescue canine is named Kinsey, and she is around 4 years of age. While little is known about her life prior to being rescued, she has settled into a happy life with a loving family. Her owner Meaghan shared the following about this gentle girl:
“She is a Shepherd/Collie mix and the sweetest thing on the planet, always wanting to be with her humans, nuzzling them or simply resting her head on whatever body part she can reach. She loves a good belly rub like no other dog I've ever met. We believe she was used to breed when she was younger as she is very protective of the people she loves, making sure we're always okay (checking in on us when we're in the bath, working out or on the computer)."
Thanks Meagan for sharing Kinsey’s story.
I'm am please to share today's rescue kitty -- Toeni -- an adorable 5-year old black and white cat. Wonder where she got her name? Well.. she has one just one black toe... all the rest are white. She was adopted by my friend Kate and her family. From humbles beginnings of living outside a lumbar yard as a kitten, Miss Toeni is now living a cat's dream in a happy, loving home. And this girl is more than just a pretty face. Kate tells me is super cuddly and also has a bit of a curious streak.
Kate - thanks so much for sharing Toeni's story!
Today we feature 3 furry friends, who just a few months ago found a wonderful new home and life with Kathy and her family. Being a friend and colleague to Kathy, I have had the pleasure of listening to many cute and funny stories about these three over the past few months. It is very cool how each kitten has it's own unique personality. Here is some interesting facts on the boys:
(From left to right in the painting:)
Tiny Tabby (a.k.a.Ben Nevis) - while this brown tabby is outgoing and curious, he is also very serious about napping. In Kathy's works "when he stops he drops".
Mr. Fluffy - this fluffy grey kitten, who happens to be the brother of Tiny Tabby, is very much a feline Buddha - a kind, gentle, observant soul
Ollie - this orange tabby is a real mama's boy and loves cuddles and snuggles. Similar to Tiny Tabby, he is also serious about napping - with one of his favourite nap places being the sink (he likes it best when there is water dripping on him!)
These little guys were adopted from an organization called Furry Friends in Barrie Ontario. Kathy spoke so highly of this organization, emphasizing the fact they go the extra mile to fit the right cat with the right family. Here is an excerpt from their website:
"The Furry Friends Animal Shelter is a non-profit, no-kill organization dedicated to providing shelter and love to abandoned, lost or rescued animals in the Barrie community. We provide care to almost 1,000 animals each year - mostly cats and kittens, though we also care for abandoned dogs. We do not euthanize healthy animals for any reason" ~ taken from Furry Friends website
Today’s featured pet is very near and dear to my heart … as like Calli’s owner Chantal – I am a beagle owner and lover!
This sweet girl’s name is Calli, a beagle cross that Chantal rescued from Second Chance Auction Animal Rescue (one of the organizations that I will be donating to for this challenge). Here is what Chantal had to say about Calli (warning… this will pull on your heart strings):
“Calli is a sweet Beagle X, who fits in perfectly in our family as she loves to sleep, eat, and socialize with anyone who walks by. It breaks my heart to think that for years she was a puppy mill mom who was forced to breed; however, it brings me joy to see how much she has come out of her shell and has allowed herself to trust us completely. The main thing I absolutely love about Calli is...her snoring!! She snores all the time and she is always changing her sleeping position.”
Thanks you so much Chantal for the beautiful story.
Today we are featuring a little feline lady with a really cool name…. And a cool story. Here is the story her owner Christina so kindly shared with me:
“Her name is Happy Dewali Sparkles. She was dropped off at a friend's house as they own a farm...so common as you know. We picked her up on Dewali, a day where light prevails over darkness. So that's what we named her! We lost our 14 yo cat a few months ago to cancer and I am still heart broken. But I saw her as a kitten and I wanted to give my children the chance to do the same. All life ends but in doing so, at some point it must have began. Which is a beautiful thing, right? Well she has settled in as you can see.”
Thank you so much Christina!! I would agree she certainly has settled in!
Find out why I had to pursue a career as a dietitian to figure out I wanted to be an artist: