This past July we had to say goodbye to our old, beloved girl, Hazelnut. She was with us for 15 years - a significant chunk of our lives - planting herself firmly and forever in our hearts. I chose this pose for myself alone. It's how she looked at me, her "One". It's how I continue to see her every day now that she's made that trek over the bridge. It's how I love to remember her.
I've painted Hazelnut several other times over the years, as gifts I've given to Dave and our son. One other painting I donated to the Stratford Animal Rescue patrol for their fine work in rescuing and caring for animals in our old hometown. Her image there has a special place in the foyer where residents are either reunited with lost pets or stand to pose for a photo with their adopted new pet. In that venue, she is Hazelnut the Patron Saint of Pet Adoptions as she looks upon the glorious reuniting and uniting of animals with human families.
Words can't express how much I miss this sweet dog, but having her with me in my studio every day, watching my process is comforting. Her presence in that painting - the soulful eyes and the unrelenting love she showered over me - is my muse. It's not just a work of art, but an addition to my soul.