Stray Dog Arts

2008 Fundraising Promotion!

It was Monday, July 21st when I first heard the story of a dog that has since changed my life. Her name is Ode (pronounced O-Day), meaning "heart" in Ojibway. Ode, just a puppy, was found with both her ears intentionally burned off. She was the victim of unimaginable torture--but I am happy to say that she has been given an incredible second chance. Little did I know how deeply her story would affect me and how swiftly she would alter my life and work.

In early August I met Ode for a photo shoot in preparation for a portrait that I would eventually paint of her for a silent auction to help raise money for other animals in need. The day I met Ode was the day that I stepped over a threshold--and, when it happened, I knew that there would be no turning back.

As an artist and animal lover it is important that my work hold meaning. To live a purposeful and satisfying life takes great amounts of bravery. For me, that act of bravery was in taking the leap towards becoming a full time pet portrait artist. Recently, through Ode, that leap has grown to include a commitment to helping abused and abandoned animals. Over and over again, through painting, I am graced with opportunities that allow me to experience the deepest imaginable love. Pure. Egoless. Unconditional.

In honor of Ode, I will be donating 20% of all commissioned portraits and a substantial portion of greeting card sales to animal rescue efforts until December 31st, 2008.

By commissioning a portrait of the pets who have changed your life, you will be helping the lives of many more animals in need. A 50% nonrefundable deposit is required for all commissioned work and must be received no later than December 31st, 2008 in order to be included in this fundraising promotion. Your deposit will hold your place on the waiting list.

The Commission Process:

  1. Contact me.
  2. Send me photos preferably as email attachments. Snail mail is acceptable, but please no originals, since photos will not be returned.
  3. If possible and/or necessary, scheduling a photo shoot is an option if you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Travel and transportation per diem required outside 20 mile radius of Minneapolis, MN. When possible, I truly enjoy the opportunity to meet the dogs I paint.
  4. 50% nonrefundable deposit due. If definite size and/or dimensions have not yet been decided on, approximate payment must still be made to hold your place on the waiting list. Your place will not be held until deposit is made. If a photo shoot is scheduled, your deposit will be due at that time.
  5. Sign a Fine Arts Commission Contract once details have been decided on (two copies--one for each of us) .
  6. I will begin your painting as soon as possible. I currently have a small window of time open in November/December (2008) and will be booked again until late spring/early summer (2009).
  7. Remaining amount of commission due once the painting is completed. Full payment (+ shipping, if applicable) required before delivery.
  8. Hang your new painting on the wall for you and your pet to enjoy!
  9. Then feel good about the fact that a large portion of your commissioned pet portrait went to a very good cause. The rescued animals thank you. As do I!

Note: It is not necessary to decide on the exact dimensions of the painting since it is often best to let the photo do some of the deciding. However, if you know an approximate size or price range that you would like to stay within, I am happy to work with you to come up with something that fits your wallet, your walls, AND your pet!

Can't decide if it's worth it? Watch this video. Ode, my inspiration.

Video and photography by Marilou Chanrasmi.
Proceeds of fundraising promotion will be donated to Pet Haven.

Special thank you to Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue
and to all the volunteers of Pet Haven Inc. of Minnesota.

May all animals be happy!

*promotion excludes Dogs of Linden Hills project participants .
(exhibition participants please contact me if you're interested in donating)*


Spending power: Helping animals in need

Finally, what kitten lovers have been waiting for!

Dear Kitten Lovers,

You didn't think I would forget you, did you? Well, "kittens happen"! Kitten cards are available either singly or in sets of 6 at my Stray Dog Arts Etsy. Buy one for yourself and all your kitten loving friends!

50 cents per kitten card will go to help support animal rescue.

Go ahead--help a cat in need.

* * *

And reordered due to popular demand, these dogs are back in stock too!

"Let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of spirit."
~Kahlil Gibran

"The authentic self is the soul made visible." ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

50 cents per card will be donated to help support animal rescue.

In honor of Ode, our newly adopted puppy Ella (photos coming soon!),
and all the animals in need.

Visit Stray Dog Arts Etsy here.

Donations will be given to Pet Haven rescue with love from Stray Dog Arts

(donation applies to individually packaged cards only)

Ode's portrait

Ode--she is a brave spirit. So brave, in fact, that she changes every single person who comes in contact with her. Myself included. She is, after all, the one responsible for altering the mission of Stray Dog Arts.

Painting dogs has led me home (home, that is, to my truest self), but Ode is the one who opened up the heart of this home in a way that I was unable to imagine before her.

Ode, pronounced "O-Day," is Ojibwa for "heart"--and full of heart, she is! At 14 weeks old she was wandering with both of her ears burned off, scared, and in pain. Since that day, Ode has made an incredible recovery--not only physically, but emotionally as well. She is currently being fostered by in incredible family along with another puppy, Eve (who, I'm happy to say, we're adopting!).

Ode has opened up doors and windows and friendships and opportunities that have altered everything for me. This little pup who was horrifically abused and then abandoned has opened up my eyes to a whole new way of being. If there are angels on earth, then Ode is surely one of the most high spirited among them. Sweet Ode, what an incredible teacher she is.

This particular painting will be donated to a silent auction for Pet Haven's Fall Benefit. It is also the first painting in the series of many that will promote animal rescue efforts.

This is just the beginning....

* * *

Dear Ode,

Thank you for breaking me open.
Thank you for sparking an entire world of possibility.
Thank you for leading me to our new puppy, Eve.
Thank you for showing me that everything is possible.
Thank you for connecting me with Marilou and Pet Haven rescue.
Thank you for your rambunctious, bubble-loving energy.
Thank you for showing me that there is always hope.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of letting go.
Thank you for being a living example of bravery.
Thank you for changing the world, just by being you.
Thank you for teaching me how all of us can make the world better by simply being our truest self.
Thank you for helping me get over my self-doubt and fear over whether or not I will be successful.
Thank you for showing me another way of seeing.
Thank you for leading me to endeavors that support me--inside and out.
Thank you for being an inspiration.
Thank you for playing ball with me and jumping on me and showing me how you can run.
Thank you for helping me be a better person.
Thank you for bringing me to this place of open-hearted love.
Thank you for showing me that anything is possible when you BELIEVE.

Thank you for changing my life.
Ode, I love you.

your friend forever,

*read more about Ode's story here and here.
**and you just MUST look at this photo of Ode with her best friend, Eve (aka. the new baby of our family). Now that's friendship. ;)



© 2009 Stray Dog Arts, All Rights Reserved