Several years ago I was house hunting with friends. One of the homes they looked at had a large slightly whimsical painting of a dog in the entrance way. It was the first thing you saw when you walked through the front door. I liked the house immediately 🙂 I remember thinking to myself, “I should paint dogs – I used to enjoy drawing – maybe I can paint.” But in my typical way, I didn’t follow through.
Then Lola came into my life. Lola was my heart dog. I have loved all the dogs in my life but Lola and I had a special bond. Lola was a companion, a protector, and a clown. She was full of personality – everything she did was intense – even her bum wiggles. Lola’s life here was far too short – a terminal illness took her from us two months before her sixth birthday. The six months we fought her illness were among the hardest in my life and the heart break I felt when she passed away was excruciating.
When I was in the early part of my grieving process, a wise and spiritual friend of mine said that once some time had passed Lola would give me a gift. I started experimenting with painting several months later with the end goal of painting Lola. After several practice paintings – I painted her and then I just kept painting. I did three memorial dog paintings as gifts for friends and my sister who were all grieving recent losses and was completely caught off guard by how emotional their reactions were. It was like they were re-connecting with the pet they had loved so much. I felt like I had done something very important and very special and it occurred to me that this was Lola’s gift.