A simple request from Chico, our little Havanese dog.

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyaltly.” ~ John Grogan, author of Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog.

digitally reworked dog with letter to Santa

Chico with his letter to Santa. (after mixed media portrait below was completed, I worked the background in Procreate then imported that picture into PicMonkey, played with it there to change the appearance, and then, imported that back into Procreate and added the stars.)

We had a bit of a scare this week. Our oldest dog Chico, a Havanese, was listless and spending more time than usual sleeping in his crate.

After a quick visit at our vet's for blood work, we found out that Chico had liver inflammation. The cause is unknown at this time.

He is taking antioxidants along with a special diet, and we have reduced the store bought treats to a minimum.

For the first time, I have made him little treats with hepatic canned food.

I had visions of a goopy mess when the vet's assistant told me that I could transform the canned food into treats - and he seems to love them as much as the other treats we were feeding him.

Happily, the treats were very easy to make. I rolled the canned food into little balls and placed them on a pizza pan and set them in the freezer. Done!

mixed media dog with Christmas letter to Santa

(Original mixed media painting before I changed it in apps.)

He appears to be back to his normal self in the last few days and has more energy than earlier in the week. We have even witnessed the return of his clownish personality.

I had painted this portrait of Chico a few weeks ago and could only post it once I knew he was better.

Jane Goodall said that animals have personalities and minds and feelings. Anyone who owns a pet knows that she speaks the truth.

Our pets have their own little idiosyncrasies that endear them to us. As I type this, Chico is barking because he knows his breakfast is warming up on the counter and he wants it NOW!

Those of us who are dog owners, love our pets for their quirky and sometimes annoying characteristics.

Most of all though, we love them for the same reasons as John Grogan; we love them for their optimism, friendship, selflessness, loyalty and devotion.

Here is a more “formal” painting I completed of Chico in mixed media.  Visit my custom pet portraits to see other paintings.

What eccentric traits do you love (or find annoying) in your pets?

Chico (Havanese) as a model

2 Responses

    • He has his good days where he has lots of energy and others like today where he is sleeping in his crate quite comfortably and we hardly see him. Thanks Sally!

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