Stray Dog Arts


There are certain dogs with certain names that I just fall in love with. Truman is one of them.

Lately, I've been meeting some really great dogs. I mean really, REALLY great dogs. I recently did a photoshoot with Truman in preparation for his portrait that I'll be painting in celebration of his mama who just turned 40. He is loved beyond words and the whole family knows it. They know it so well that Mama Truman's dad and siblings commissioned his portrait as a gift. It is an extra treat for me because they just happen to live in Minneapolis which means that I was able to meet Truman, the wonderful, in person.

Truman reminds me a little bit of a dog I once met while hiking in the Himilayas of Nepal. The hike itself was nearly a month long. But one day I met a white dog who was laying on top of his home's low, earthen roof. That dog felt like a being from another world to me. He was so peaceful and alert all at once. Like Truman, it was a light colored lab. Most likely, it was a mutt. Perhaps a puppy from an unwanted litter, this was one of the few dogs that had actually been taken in by a family. I could tell that dog was loved--it was obvious in ways that are both felt and seen. Like Truman.

I've learned a lot about dogs since my wanderlust days in the Himilayas. And, yet, I never cease to be amazed by the beings I meet. Each dog is so unique, so full of their very own character. It just about bowls me over. I start to understand something that I never understood before...something unspoken, something very hard to explain but that makes me feel closer to myself and, therefore, the world around me.

I look forward to starting Truman's painting. I think it is a really cool way to celebrate a person's life journey. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that I should get to have a job that I enjoy so much. But, I'll tell you, I am thankful for it every single day.

Happy Birthday, Mama Truman! You are a lucky mama, indeed. :)


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