Monday, March 22, 2010
I almost skipped Illo Friday’s word of the week because “expired” isn’t where I want my head to be right now. It brings to mind expired coupons, sour milk, and people who have passed out of my life. I like to make happy art instead of skulls and crossbones, yet the word also nudged me more into creative thinking than the previous words because it isn’t in my comfort zone.
I did this picture as a quick oil sketch on canvas board in preparation for an actual painting. I usually don’t like making fussy, perfect preliminary drawings. I like to wade right in and start painting, especially with oils because they are so easy to move around or erase if things aren’t going well. In this case, I liked the sketch because it seemed to capture the personality of my 16-year-old Dalmatian in a way that I didn’t think a finished painting would. Freya is suspicious of cameras, as you can see in the photo. It’s always been hard to get a good picture of her even though she is a very pretty dog.
Freya is still around, but she’s definitely past her expiration date. She hobbles around like an old lady, makes messes in the house, and generally annoys me while at the same time I’m upset that she doesn’t have much longer to annoy me.
I won’t bore people with adorable dog pictures and stories. Let me go the other way and say don’t get a Dalmatian! I’ve had them for years, and I know that people get the happy little puppies without realizing that that bundle of fur is going to grow into a very strong dog who will run away from home no matter how much they love you or how many treats you give them. They run in straight lines for miles, across busy streets, and down train tracks. They go over or under fences, and figure out how to slip their collars. They demand your attention, and are too damned smart for their own good. They steal the covers off the bed if they think you’re sleeping too long, cry when you go out, and generally act like however much love you can give them isn’t nearly enough. They shed constantly.
They have been over bred, and often have hearing problems, bad hips, and bad tempers. Unfortunately, too many end up in the pound because people didn’t realize what they were getting into. If you want one despite my warnings, check out the web for a Dalmatian rescue in your area, because despite all of these warnings, they can be great dogs for the right people. Preferably people who live in the woods without fences or small children.
My brother gave me Penny when I said I was tired of spots and wanted a small, brown dog. She likes to go to the park too, but can’t walk more than a mile or two without getting tired. I’ll probably break down and get more Dalmatians eventually.
Thanks for the comments.
Freya died May 29, 2010