Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dogs- In real life!

So in case it’s not apparent by now, my life has a lot of dogs

in it. I work part time at a doggy daycare/boarding kennel, I used to be heavily involved in dog rescue (not so much now, I’ll get to that) and I now have two wonderful pups of my very own.

I’ve worked at the kennel, Paws Playhouse in Ames, Iowa for about a year now. It’s an awesome job, I love the work, and the staff, and (the majority of) the dogs. Now and again there’s a pooch that drives me completely nuts, but for the most part they’re wonderful pups and I look forward to seeing them each day.

Scooter with his new mommy

The last dog I posted about, Scooter, has long since gone to a new home. He had the surgery done to his leg, healed up beautifully, and now lives with a great family over in Des Moines. After a full summer without a dog around, my friend Holly called me to ask if I could take two fosters for her- their transport had gotten screwed up and she was out of town. I said yes, and was told I was picking up two shepherd mixes. Which turned out to be a terrier mix and a black tricolor pitbull. I kind of knew I was in trouble from the start- I have a serious weakness for pitbulls, and this one was no exception. The terrier, Nina, got adopted out to a family in Nevada, Iowa, and Bailey stayed. She’s here for good. She’s a perfect dog, I love her to death. I could go on for years about the awesomeness of this dog, but I’ll save it and show you in multiple other blog posts extolling her attributes instead.

So for a long time it was just Bailey and I. A friend of mine in Ames was still actively fostering and took in a six month old Australian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix. Tucker was very, very scared and shut down. He had come out of a foster home previously that had way too many dogs. He was the smallest so he was picked on constantly, and got very little positive human interaction. He was removed from that home and sent to my friend when a huge dogfight broke out and one small Sheltie got the ever-living snot ripped out of him. Even at my friends home, he wasn’t doing especially well. Basically, she had a few dogs in the house, and a child, and it’s kind of a hectic atmosphere, and she really did not know how to handle a fearful dog- give her a crazy, bouncing off the walls neurotic dog any day and she’ll work magic, but fearful and shy is not her thing. I offered to foster him at my place instead- I have a very boring, quiet house with only Bailey, who had to get over a lot of fear of her own when I first got her, I have the patience for scared, shy dogs.

And so Tucker came. And he got better. He still has a ways to go but he’s made a huge improvement from where he was. Within a few weeks he was learning how to play with other dogs and act like a puppy again. He and Bailey became good friends. And when I took him home for a weekend with my family, I was told I had to keep him, and I really rather agreed. He still has adjusting to do- it takes him FOREVER to warm up to new people, and he has a disturbing, banshee-like howl he uses when he’s scared of someone- seriously, it almost sounds like a human screaming, and it’s crazy loud. The one good thing about this is that he makes one heck of a good home security system. No one gets near my house without Tucker sounding an alarm that could probably carry for miles.

So that’s the basic lowdown on my beasts. I’m sure I’ll blog about them more, as they’re kinda like my kids (Bailey is like having a stubborn teenager, Tucker is like a toddler.) and I do have a hard time shutting up about them. I don’t do much of rescue anymore for a few reasons. Primarily, with two permanent dogs in my place I really do not have the space for a foster dog- three in the house would make way too little room for me, and since I’m paying for the space, I think I deserve to be able to stretch out without running into a canine. The next part was the general stress- are the dogs healthy? When can I get to a vet appointment? Will they be good in the house or do I need to kennel them? Are they housetrained or will they have tons of accidents and ruin stuff? It gets to you after awhile. I lucked out, both Bailey and Tucker are excellent house dogs. Finally, the people probably got to me the most. You would think that with a central goal of helping animals that people could get along. Far from it. There are a lot of different philosophies in rescue, and people can fight like ally cats over even the littlest things. I’ve also seen rescuers become a little crazy, turn into hoarders, and the ensuing chaos that causes. So, for those reasons, I’m mostly out of the active end of rescue right now. I have no regrets about getting into it, it was one heck of a learning experience, and I got two great dogs out of it.

Seriously, cuteness squared.

Back to more dogs!

You know I couldn't stay away long from posting more puppies :)

Here's a general sampling of the dogs I've painted in the past year. Various sizes, all in acrylic on canvas.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Blog! It lives!

Okay... I promise to catch you all up on why exactly I went on a darn near 2 year hiatus. Safe to say it was a crazy couple of years and a lot went on, but I'll get to the important stuff.

In the meantime, this is the latest complete painting, just finished it this past week. It's large, 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide. This is an image I've had in my head for years, I just finally got around to actually painting it. There's something of a story behind it, but I'll save it for later. For now, It's pretty and I'm happy with it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hello Brucemore!

Holy Cow! Where in the world did another year go?

Ok, I'll admit it- as far as this blog is concerned, I fell off the face of the earth for the last six months (that puppy in the post below this? Yeah, he's not a puppy anymore- he's not mine anymore either, but I'll address that later this week.)

I'll explain my abysmal failure at keeping you updated over the next month or so- it will be a very entertaining story with lots of brightly colored pictures, I promise. Maybe even some you can print and color on, who knows what fun there will be!

Right now I'm just wrapping up preparations for the Brucemore Garden Art show tomorrow, I'll be there, with a recap of the acton to follow. For anyone just joining this blog who picked up my card at the show, and is thinking "hey, you never update this thing"- Stick with me, it gets good from here, Promise

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Everyone Meet Scooter!

This is Scooter, my foster dog. I am fostering him through Hounds Haven Basset Rescue here in Iowa. I've had him for about four weeks now, and he's a very awesome little dog!

I haven't gotten the time to blog lately, partially because of how busy my classes have become, and partially because I'm busy with him. He was a handful at first- VERY BUSY! He was into everything, all over the place. I think he had just gone stir-crazy from being bounced around from his owner to different shelters, to the rescue transport, and had a lot of pent-up energy to express. But it was apparent that once he got his energy out, he was a huge cuddle monster and super-sweet boy.

Unfortunately, he started limping badly about a week and a half after I got him, and trips to the veterinarian have confirmed that he will need corrective surgeries on both of his elbows in order to fix some bone injuries. He's doing well right now, he's been put on a great medicine that acts as an anti-inflamatory and pain killer, so he's no longer limping so badly. He will have his surgery in 2-3 weeks (one of the injuries will take time in order to properly show up on xray, so until then they can't really do surgery on it.)

There is a fundraiser going on right now to cover the cost of Scooter's surgery. I am raffleing off a custom "8 x8" painting of any dog of the winner's choice . Tickets are $5 apiece, or buy 5 get one free. Raffle tickets are being sold through the Three Dog Bakery in West Des Moines, Iowa, (you can also call them and purchase with a credit card) and through the Hounds Haven Basset Rescue website (via Paypal-include your contact information.) If we raise more than the cost of the surgery (which will be between $1,300 and $1,800), then the rescue will have extra money in their veterinary fund in order to help dogs in the future.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm on a yarn kick again

With so much painting right up until the holidays, I was a little bit 'all painted out', so I was eager to get going with some other projects. I had bought some yarn for my Grandma to use, but she didn't want to start on anything while she still had a project going (she's in the middle of a full sized crochet afghan), so my Mom decided to learn how (and I should have remembered to take a picture of her project to put on here, because she did a really good job :) .) I decided that I wanted to work on an idea I'd had for awhile, a mustard yellow cowl scarf.

I had the idea of using multiple strands of a lighter yarn together to make a thick, chunky stitch. I used Vanna's Choice yard, 4 different strands, and it worked out really well. I meant to make it a mobius scarf, but I quickly screwed that up (just didn't figure out how to twist it until a few weeks later) so it's just a tube. I also accidently made it looser than I wanted, but I found a great broach to pin it more tightly. I really like how the finished project turned out, and I'm going to be crocheting quite a bit more for awhile.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sir Pugsly Puggington II

When my friend Steph told me that she wanted to commission me to paint her fiance's sister's pug, I was happy. When she sent me the photos and told me that she wanted it to be wearing a smoking jacket, it became one of the best commissions of all time.

Seriously, someone needs to actually buy this dog a smoking jacket, he needs one. Look at how awesome it looks on him.