Posts Tagged ‘old photos of dogs’

It was a beautiful day out today. The hope of spring was in the air – and better yet, the sun was out for a good part of the day!

No, I didn’t work in the garden. It was tempting, but I had other indoor plans for the day as I finish up the Faerie House I have been working on. No, it isn’t finished, but I am down to the final stages of gluing.

Things have been in upheaval in other areas of my life and I need to concentrate on the thing I always meant to make my career: art. I have let it go for so long that I feel like I am in high school again, just starting over. That is OK: Grandma Moses didn’t start to paint until she was in her 80’s. But once she learned, she painted with a vengeance.

So everything I am doing in my studio right now is practice. I’m brushing up on old skills, trying to remember how it felt to ride that bicycle of my youth. Then I will hone those skills. I am kind of excited for this new phase in my life, but the learning curve is a little intimidating! Ah well: press on.

I managed three things: I walked around the garden and noted all the hopeful changes. I worked in my studio. I shopped at Goodwill.


The Camellia is starting to bloom. The first three blossoms have been open for almost a week now, but others promise to open. The Anna’s Hummingbirds are probably in seventh heaven: just two weeks ago, I observed the female testing all the tightly closed buds on the Camellia, almost willing them to open for her.


The peonies are pushing up through the mulch!


My sole surviving Lenten Rose (Hellebore) is blooming! Usually, it is pouring rain through February and I never see the Lenten Rose in bloom (if ever it has bloomed before). I am sad that only one of the many I have planted has managed to survive, but – dang! It has one bud opening and another two to follow.


My salmon are swimming merrily along the fence… Usually, they are hidden behind my gladiolas, but in the winter they are laid bare to the world.


Actually, the only reason I snapped this photo is because I never realized before that I had so carefully placed the top salmon. The knot on the fence is perfect.


I am *this close* to being finished with the faerie house! Dill has revealed much more of his character to me.


He’s a Brownie and a thief. Once I glue everything in place and set the ground cover in place, I will blog about Dill on my other blog (the artsy one).


I played with pen & ink and water color crayon. I had no real plan for the drawing, hence the less-than-stellar background. All I really wanted to do was practice a little.

In the middle, there was the trip to Goodwill. Actually, I went out because I needed to purchase a “grappling hook” for Dill (a size 2 triple fish hook, available at the general store – BiMart). I spend an inordinate amount of time and money at BiMart: they are local, Northwest grown and a small business that often undersells the big box stores. You can get almost anything at BiMart, but you can’t get everything.

Without going into a huge commercial break there, our local Goodwill is in the same strip mall parking lot as BiMart, which is how I ended up at Goodwill today.


And I found these. Actually, there were a whole lot of decoys on display. I suspect some duck hunter grew old and died and his family tossed all of his floating mallards. But mixed in with the generic mallard decoys were these two treasures. Mourning doves.

I live in a friendly community. A white-haired woman had just handled the decoys and discarded them. I picked them up in her wake and said, out-loud, “Cool! Gone.”

She turned around and asked. “Are you going to put them out in your yard?”

“You bet!” Then I added, “My husband just rolls his eyes.”

“Mine does, too,” she replied. She was scouring for art projects, too.

But the greatest score had nothing to do with art. It was just something for $1.99 that tugged at my heart.


An 8×10″ black and white photo of an old Cocker Spaniel looking plaintively up at the camera lens. It looks a little like my childhood pet (well, Butchy was not “my” dog: he was the family pet and he adopted us. And he was not a Cocker Spaniel, but was a mutt of indeterminate origin with a lot of Cocker in him). Butch had the white on his chest and I guess that is the first thing I noticed about the photo.

But mostly, I noticed the dog’s eyes. He (or she) loved the person who was taking the photo. and the feeling was mutual, because the photo was enlarged to fill an 8×10″ plastic frame that someone kept on display in their home until another dog replaced this one or the person passed away and the family discarded the photo.

What’s a dog in the scheme of things, anyway? A pet no one living remembers. Nameless. Ageless. Just a dog.

That was a dog that was once a puppy that wormed its way into someone’s heart. Maybe it was a great hunting companion. Or just a good kids’ dog. Maybe it could chase a rock into a muddy river and stayed under water until it retrieved the *very same rock* that was thrown. Butchy did that, time and again. We were terrible children, testing his nose, over and over and over again: marking the rock and lobbing it into moving water and waiting.

He always returned with the rock we’d thrown.

Just for the record: I cried myself sick the day I learned Butchy died of a high-iron diet. Our parents hid it from us for a week. Butch died while we were at church and Dad took him to some remote place to bury him. I don’t think he ever intended to tell us the truth, but our mother caved in and confessed the brutal tale.

Butch always loved to chase cars. One bit him back.

So I bought the picture. Not because it’s worth anything or even that I need the cheap plastic frame. I bought it because it was was a dog that was important enough to someone to rate an 8×10″ photo. Just look at those eyes.

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