Gretchen

I am not one much for little dogs, but Gretchen was special.  A golden-red, smooth haired dachshund, she was a sturdy, unregistered purebred.  My mom wanted a small dog (and dad wanted none), so we ended up with her.  She was an active dog that loved going places in the car.  All you had to do was jingle the car keys and there she was right next to the front door, ready to go wherever.  Though I shudder to think about it now, her favorite place was up on the ledge under the rear windshield where she was out of the way and the view was good.  It seemed made just for her.

Where’s the toast

She adored buttered toast and no matter where she was when the toaster clicked up, she was in the kitchen in less than 5 seconds.  Mom always made one for herself and one for Gretchen.  Who could ignore those  begging eyes.  She could also flip a treat off of her nose into her mouth without skipping a beat and it was so funny to see her crossed eyes watching the little morsel until we said “okay”.

She had a blanket in her bed and when she wanted to sleep undisturbed, she burrowed in so completely that you would never even know she was there.  She used a quick flip of her long, pointed nose to shift the blanket up and over herself, slowly but surely burying her sausage body within its folds.  When she deigned to emerge she was as warm as the toast she loved.

And one weekend when I was alone in the house, she jumped off of my bed and ran down the stairs headed for the kitchen.  She stood in the dining room barking her head off towards the rear windows as I turned on lights and cautiously called her from the second floor hallway balcony, from which I could still see her.  I am convinced to this day that she stopped our home from being burglarized.

Of the four dog portraits I have done, I think I am the least satisfied with this one.  I don’t really like the head and eyes much.  The skull dome is not quite right and the eyes are a little off as a result.  I have been fooling around with it for the last hour or so and there has not been much improvement so I think I’ll just let it go.  Of all of them, I like Ding Dong Dog the best and then Brandy’s portrait.  They ring the truest both emotionally and artistically.  I think I will be back on the architecturals next.  I’ve finally gotten into the mood to work with the pastels again.

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