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Saturday, August 20, 2011

This image I had posted a while back.. I recently found out that she finally found a home!
This is one of the many images that I have available on my etsy shop .
This is another of the photos available.. I don't know what happened to this little dog- but it was so adorable- crazy hair is the best hair.
This Dog ID#A13177518 is one of my mixed media paintings about dogs/cats escaping from the shelter.. this dog wasn't even given a name.. just called This Dog... so I put him in a boat and set him out to sea... this piece I have also loaded onto my online shop.

Monday, August 15, 2011

These are some of the drawings that I have done of the shelter dogs and cats.
I like to remove them from their environments and have a lot of negative space around them- to me it gives them space and peace.
They are pretty large drawings and when I first showed them I simply put velcro on the backs and attached them to the gallery wall- no glass or anything to protect them.
Today I have been adding them to my etsy shop for sale.. they really need to find homes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The perfect shelter

People argue online a lot about how a shelter should be run. Being involved in rescue work is a very emotional and draining yet incredibly fulfilling experience, but often times when involved it is hard to keep the emotion from the fact.. and I wonder how much of that leads to the failure in our country to keep from letting so many die in our shelters. I have volunteered in both "kill" and "no kill" shelters and it is most certainly easier to walk in to volunteer at the no kill than the other.... as a volunteer you have the luxury of getting attached... if you volunteer at the kill shelter and get attached you will most certainly have you heart broken- mine has been several times.

I wanted to post a picture of the dog above who had a person waiting for him in the lobby when I adopted Beula. I was going through my photos and it can be so depressing- but then this guy popped up and I had met the woman who was there to get him. He was a lucky guy and just happened to be Beula's neighbor when she was in dog jail.

When people buy my work, they often ask about the dog or cat in the image- did they make it out? they often ask.. and most of the times I do not know.. but sometimes I do and sometimes it is good and they were free- but more often than not they never found freedom... so I just wanted to post a picture of a dog- who I knew- had someone waiting for him on the outside.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The wonder twins are so in love with each other.. I was just thinking how happy I am that someone took the time to post Sylvia's sister on facebook... the two just want to be together every minute of the day. Because Beula is still calming down and a bit nutty- she takes a nap in her crate in the afternoon so I can get some work done without dog wrestling all around me... and when her sister is napping- Sylvia stares at me a lot and sighs.

Check out the white spots on the back of their necks.. they match!

I don't know when I will get to Miami again... it will probably be a long time. I have been job hunting for forever (It would be nice if the art paid the bills, but that is not the case at all).... so until I can afford the gas I really can't get over there. I wonder if I called them with their other siblings number- if they would tell me if she was adopted and hopefully not returned... but I haven't tried.. I guess I worry that they will tell me that she never made it out... or they won't tell me anything...

I want to make a picture book about the sisters.. whenever they do anything awesome though the camera is in the other room.. must just keep it with me all the time if I want to catch their greatness... I wonder if I should get any pictures of their destruction- Sylvia has an intense desire to eat photo paper- it seems like she wants to get things out.. I think she likes ripping up the boxes and getting things out.. so I have been working on giving them things to do.. they really love empty juice containers filled with dog food... they are smart dogs... they need things to do that challenge them mentally and it has me thinking of toys I could make for them... and it got me thinking of how great it could be if all the shelter dogs had toys that could challenge them- I can't imagine how terrible it must be to sit in a cage.. with nothing to do... at all. No wonder Beula was so unhappy when I found her... she was a genius dog stuck in a cage where no one could see her genius abilities.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Wonder Twins

Last Fall I traveled to the Miami Dade Animal Services in Miami, FL to take pictures of the dogs and cats- I fell in love with this little girl. She came to live with me and I named her Sylvia. She was at the shelter with two other siblings who had adoption holds on them.
Sylvia was a tiny baby with a giant head when I brought her home. She grew to over 60 pounds of greatness. I was so in love with her. She had a great personality so I enrolled her in basic obedience and she did fantastic. My goal was to get her Canine Good Citizen so she could visit people in the hospital and hospice. She has since been having some internal plumbing problems and I haven't been pursuing our therapy dog dream at the moment- so she had spent the days lounging and destroying paper towel rolls in the living room. Although she has a taste for paper towel and has to be medicated I still think she is pure awesome.

One day I started to wonder about her sisters- I wondered if they had good homes too. Did they also love paper towel rolls? Did they have the same medical issue as Sylvia? Where they well taken care of? Did they have big comfy beds to lounge on? But of course, in a huge city like Miami I felt I would always just wonder since how would I ever find their families?

At the Miami Dade Animal Services over 30,000 animals are dumped there on a yearly basis. It is horrible the numbers that they have to deal with. Last year over 20,000 animals lost their lives there. Before you get angry at the staff for killing them all- just ask yourself- who dumped them there? Aren't they the responsible ones? ... but anyway, as you can see it is not a good situation to be dumped in Miami..

.... so when someone posted a blurry photo of a dog at that very shelter that looked like Sylvia on Facebook it really caught my eye. I went and grabbed her adoption papers and saw that the intake number on that dog was only 2 from Sylvia's I thought can it be? Could this be her sister?

... I drove 2 hours to Miami to find out.

... there she was.
Sylvia's sister had been saved nearly a year before and had a home.... but they dumped her... they gave up on her... they brought her back. She lay in her cage and looked very nervous.. she was scared and she barked... but I knew it was her. I knew that if she was even a tiny amount like Sylvia that she also would be pure awesome if she could get out from behind the bars.
.. I found out very quickly that she was super friendly. She quickly became best buddies with a pitbull that was being saved and sent to a rescue just North of me. Since they got along so well, I offered to drive her new friend to safety. They were very active so it was hard to get a non blurry picture.. but it was nice to see the two girls that people had given up on having such a good time in the car. It was nice to know that they were safe.
When they first met it was already dark.. and I had my hands full so I didn't get any pictures. I can assure you that they remembered each other. I had never seen Sylvia so excited. She jumped around and kissed her sister over and over again. She ran around the yard full speed and showed her how she played chase with the other dogs and then began to dig furiously in her favorite hole to show her sister how fun it was. Since her sister has been home they either spend their time playing like young puppies or sleeping together.
Sylvia's sister is now named Beula Jenkins. (hey it's the one name she always wagged her tail too) One of Sylvia's favorite activities is to go to the park and she was able to take her Beula for the first time recently... Beula acted more like a puppy than Sylvia.. she has not had her basic obedience so she kind of barreled over the other dogs.. but she made some good friends. Sylvia showed her how she likes to dig holes with her good friend Rosie (also a rescue).
So far the wonder twins can't get enough of each other.. they both share an affinity for eating paper towels and throwing pieces of them around the living room. They both love to play with empty soda bottles and they both sigh when I ask them to do something they don't want to do. When they want something they can't have they both make a strange Chewbacca sound. So far Beula does not share the plumbing problem that Sylvia has ...and I think once she calms down a bit, I will start working on her canine good citizen. She, like her sister Sylvia, is pure awesome (but a bit more destructive and a lot more energetic).

So what are the odds? I was told by an employee that day at the shelter that at the time they had over 500 animals there. What are the odds that in a shelter that takes in over 30,000 per year and had over 500 on that particular day that I would see the one? I was feeling lucky and bought a couple of lottery tickets since then- but I don't know if I will ever beat the odds again.. although I really could use a lottery win right about now... because it appears that I will need to be buying a lot of paper towels. A LOT of paper towels.