Monday, March 29, 2010
Once in a while, something comes along that touches you so deeply, you can't help but reach out. That's the story behind this painting...
I started a blog for my dog Cloud last year, after seeing some dog blogs and thinking how much fun it looked. Little did I know how much fun it really was! There's something so satisfyingly fun and silly about writing about life from your dog's point of view. (If you care to visit Cloud's blog, you can find it here.)
I was blown away to be so welcomed into the world of dog bloggers, of the friendships I've made, and the kindness of the "two-leggers" "moms" and "dads" behind the dog (and cat!) blogs. From the common ground of loving your pet enough to give them their own blog, they are always there for each other with kind words, encouragement, and humor. What a sense of community!
There was one blog in particular that stood out to me from the first moment I read it, and quickly became a favorite. Maxdog, a Golden Retriever in South Africa exemplified everything that is good and true. The kindness and devotion of his "mom" shone through every word and photo. He appointed himself "Official Tour Guide" of South Africa, and delights in sharing the beauty of his country with his blogging friends.
Max's "mom" Caryl writes in a way that speaks dearly to my heart. She says with words what I try to convey with my art...about love and connection. I always look forward to reading Max's blog, and always leave it feeling uplifted and even moved to happy tears.
Not long ago, Max received a frightening diagnosis, and his family were told there was nothing to be done. He was not expected to live much longer. My heart ached for Caryl, knowing how deep her connection is with Max, and since Max is so relatively young, to be so unprepared to loose him.
I knew I wanted to surprise her with a painting of her dear friend. I truly believe there is a "spark" of life, of that dog's spirit in each portrait, and is a way to keep a part of your dog with you always. I've felt this first hand with the portrait I painted of my dog Benny, who passed away last year. It is such a comfort to me, and I wanted to give that same feeling to Caryl, to return some of the joy I've gotten from her over the last year.
Max is dearly loved among his blogging friends, and I knew many of them were feeling the same longing to do something for Caryl, to help ease her pain. I asked another dear dog blog friend if she could "test the waters" for me, to see if there was interest among the dog bloggers in being a part of this gift. The response was overwhelming! I can't thank Khyra's "mom" Phyllis enough for organizing "The Max Project," as we lovingly called it.
I'm so humbled to have been able to provide an opportunity for Max's friends around the world to show how much they love him.
Caryl called me today from South Africa. What a joy to hear her voice, to laugh and talk and cry together. What a beautiful world we live in, what a global village!
You can visit Max's blog to see pictures of Caryl opening her gift, and Max with his portrait, and links to all his blog friends who contributed to The Max Project. You may want to have a cup of tea and plan to stay awhile, as you will probably fall in love with her blog just as I did...
Max continues to astonish his vet. His family and blog friends have been counting each "Day of Grace" with Max as he awakens each morning. Today is his 51st "Day of Grace."
Love one another...