The deposit had been made. We were going to get ourselves a Border Collie. We researched breeders and we found one who checked all the boxes: member of an association, approved by the provincial laws, etc, etc.
But a month before the puppies were born, I stepped out of my house, walked to the corner of my street and a small dog ran across and planted itself at my feet.
He wasn’t wearing a collar, name tag or anything. I picked him up afraid he’d get run over and I waited for someone to come running yelling his name. But nobody came. I brought him home, we printed some signs: “Dog found”, we called the SPCA and waited for almost a month and a half before calling him ours.
This is how Boris came to our lives.
I don’t need to mention how much joy a dog can bring, how much comfort, company, fun, laughter, etc. If you have a dog you already know. If you don’t… well, feel free to ask me.
I started doing sketches of Boris a little while ago, but found him hard to draw. He might be a snorkie, mix of schnauzer and yorkie or a morkie, maltese and yorkie. I tried to just sketch him at first, then timidly I added a bit of color, then I tried again on my iPad then I went back to pencil.
At one point I started to draw other dogs and it has slowly become a little bit of an obsession. Everything dog-related started to creep into my universe. My Instagram turned into a dog parade and I started filling up my Pinterest with dog images.
When you play with your dog, you cannot be anywhere else. You cannot think about anything else. You are there. If you get on the floor on all fours, play tug, tussle, or any other game, you will, for a few moments suspend reality.
When you walk with them you may be tempted to pull out your phone but if you can resist, just walk slowly and make believe that your sniffing companion is reading his own “twitter feed”, he is concentrated on a patch of grass, a parking pole, a crushed tomato.
Sometimes I do listen to a podcast when we go out. The walk, the dog, the headphones, stepping out from behind my computer. It’s like adult recess for me.
Not only dogs, I love to paint chickens and cows and I hope to one day be able to donate part of the profits to local animal welfare organizations. For the moment, I am offering illustrated dog portraits, you can find them here.
I like to use a painterly illustrative style. It’s not a photographic rendering, but an interpretation of the pup, I focus on the things that I find endearing and uniquely theirs. In this case, his ears and his posture, so proud and attentive.
While this Golden Doodle needed a visit to the groomer. His big beautiful eyes popped out from behind his fur. His mouth remained hidden behind his long curls, he’s serious but still curious!
I also enjoy drawing dogs in motion, in this case I try to simplify my line to the bare minimum. I capture dogs at their happiest, running towards the water, catching a ball, bowing to play… yes, I have a thing for dogs. As my dog enters his fourth year with us, little does he know he’s had a major part in my mental well being. As someone who spends a lot of time at home, his presence is a constant reminder that I breathe and someone needs me.
Do you have a dog? What is the most rewarding thing about having him or her in your life?