Several years ago I'd painted Katie as an adult. She was a lovely girl and I was thrilled to paint her and her "brother." Time has a way of passing without us realizing years have flown by.
Katie's owner contacted me and informed me of Katie's passing. She had decided to do a smaller painting of Katie as a pup. Many of us don't have great photos from years before the "cell phone camera." Cindy was going to have to look for Katie puppy photos and get back to me. Photos were found, copied to a disk and mailed to me. It was so special to see Katie as a pup in those photos. All the while difficult. We've all been there - the new pup - the life of memories and then the loss of our senior dogs. Katie's lifetime was there in front of me.
It was time to paint the baby Katie and the painting just flowed. I'd asked Cindy to share a little bit about Katie and she gave me her okay to share the story. Here it is....
In 2005, I attended a dog show with a friend and, of course, I had to
see the Irish Setters. I have had Irish since 1973 but had been without
one for 10 years as the heartache after my Kelly passed was just too
much. I got to meet some beautiful, friendly dogs at that show. A few
days later, I watched Westminster. The Irish in the group was none other
than the incomparable Fonzie (BIS BISS Ch Saxony’s Snow in August)
shown to perfection by Shelly. I was stunned by his beauty and
determined that I wanted a Fonzie puppy to show even though I hadn’t
shown a dog since grade school( my gram bred pugs). Shelly referred me
to a breeder in Florida (Ellie Pusatari) who had bred to him. Thus, my
Katie came into my life - my first Irish show dog and my first champion-
and changed it forever. Thru her, I have met so many new friends and
had so many new experiences. Katie, aka Ch Darnella’s Creme de Menthe
CGC, was a diva and a princess. Incredibly smart and a quick study, she
did nothing unless there was payment. She was part mountain goat and
could be depended on to climb- counters, tables, bird baths, dog walks,
and a-frames. She loved to watch TV and shred toilet paper rolls. Dawn
had previously painted Katie with her half brother Rowan a few years
ago. Katie passed last April at almost 12. I decided I wanted Dawn to do
a puppy painting of my girl. I also wanted her to include Katie’s
favorite toy - a mouse stuffy. I bought it before I got her and it was
her first toy of her own. She never ripped it and always carried and
cuddled it. It was her “baby”. She always brought it to me when I came
home from work and it remains a remembrance. Miss you my Kater-Potater,
my Fonzie baby.
Thank you Cindy for having me paint your special girl. It is one of the greatest compliments, to an artist, when an art collector returns for additional paintings. Here are some reference photos to enjoy. Baby Katie and her favorite toy.