Besides spending this long winter plotting my list of home improvement projects for 2014, I’ve also had a chance to get some painting done on canvas. One of my favorite subjects to paint are portraits of pets. I’ve painted my dog Leo, my parent’s cat Gasket and now my friend’s pug Kedzie.
Kedzie was a pug that my good friend and lover of pugs rescued. When she first took him in as a foster dog through the local Pug Rescue group, he looked pretty rough. He had double ear and eye infections, a matted coat, super long nails that curled under and several other ailments that needed immediate treatment. She spent countless hours working to fix Kedzie up, get his health back and make his coat shiny once more. In return, Kedzie gave her unconditional love and soldiered through every step of his recovery without complaint. The picture above is the photo she sent me after she’d had him for several months. She was so happy that he was starting to look healthy and happy. Because of his tough breaks in life, Kedzie had very little eyesight left in one eye and was totally blind in the other. He was also deaf and needed special eye drops and medication every day. My friend knew that a dog like Kedzie with special needs was not going to be an easy one to rehome and she had grown quite attached to him after months spent rehabilitating him. In the end, she decided to keep him and opened up her home to be Kedzie’s forever home, where he lived happily alongside my friend’s other pug for several years. Tragically, at the end of this summer Kedzie suddenly got very sick with a bad infection and there wasn’t anything they could do to save him. My friend was devastated.
To honor Kedzie’s memory, I decided to paint his portrait as a surprise to give to my friend for Christmas. While I didn’t quite get the portrait done in time for the holiday, I was finally able to present her with the portrait a few weeks ago. Instantly, it brought her to tears and she told me it would be the one thing she would run into a burning building to retrieve, which made me relieved and happy. I never know how someone will react to receiving painting as a surprise, since art is such a subjective thing.