"Belle On Her Towels" - Graphite Sketch
My second participant, Marie Lisewski of Laurel Mountain Gift Baskets suggested I illustrate “pets”. I love pets! I love animals in general. Some of my fondest memories in my childhood were spending time with my dog, Belle. We got Belle when I was twelve years old. She had a good, long life and lived to the ripe age of sixteen. Belle was there through the biggest changes of my life. After my parents moved to Arizona, Belle went with them, so I didn’t see her as much after that. But, I got to see her one last time on my own wedding day. She really was there for the biggest changes of my life.
My parents wanted a portrait of Belle painted for them. This drawing is a preliminary sketch for a painting, soon to come. Don’t worry, I’ll post the painting when it’s done too!
When I picture Belle in a doggy heaven, if one exists, I imagine her all cozied up on a pile of towels and bathmats. She had this strange habit of dragging towels and bathmats out from the bathroom to the living room so she could snuggle with them. (Click the drawing to see it larger.)
I think a lot of people have some of their fondest memories with their pets. They are a part of the family, companions and friends. They love you unconditionally and ease the soul. I’m looking forward to the day when I have a dog of my own again. For now, we have some very cute fish, but I do miss the company of a furry friend.
When I do get a dog, I plan to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue. I encourage everyone to do the same. There are many dogs, cats and even rabbits, goats and other barnyard animals all in need of good homes. Before you go to a pet store or a breeder, consider adopting a pet who needs rescuing. There are a lot of wonderful shelters and rescue groups out there who have many animals in need of loving forever homes. Here are some resources:
PetFinder.com – This is a wonderful website with a geographic search for pets all over the country. Different shelters and rescues list their available pets here, which makes it easy for people to find a pet they’ll love.
ASPCA.org – The ASPCA is a national organization that works to save animals from bad situations and place them in good homes. There are many local chapters. You can go to their website to find your local shelter and view the pets they currently have.
HumaneSociety.org – The Humane Society, like the ASPCA, also takes care of placing animals in need in good homes. There are many local branches, so look for yours to adopt!
CASanctuary.org – The Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a special place dedicated to saving the lives of farm animals. The animals live the rest of their lives happily at the sanctuary or are adopted out to good homes looking for barnyard pets. I hope to get goats from them some day!
DPVHS.org – The Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society is a local Western MA branch of the Humane Society. They work very hard in this area to put rescued pets into good homes. If you live in Western MA or surrounding areas, I highly recommend checking them out for your next pet.
Of course, there are many organizations out there that help out pets, but these are a few to get you started. Even if you can’t adopt a pet right now, consider donating to local organizations that help animals. Most of them operate on donations and adoption fees alone and don’t have a large budget. Help keep them running by donating money, pet food or pet supplies. The furry friends will thank you!