This is Mulligan. A gentle soul gone too soon. He was lost to a medical condition at the tender age of 7, a day shy of his 8th birthday. Having lost a pet too early myself, the question always plagues us; is it better to have had these beloved pets for a fraction of their presumed lifespan or not? For my husband and I, the answer is unequivocally - yes.
Mulligan was a dog that I had the pleasure of visiting in person on a number of times. He loved me instantly and I him. There was a gentleness about him that warmed your heart.
At the time we took photos of him for his painting, he hadn't been groomed. The question was do "I" groom him in the painting or not? His owner was on the fence. However, her father (in his 80s) wanted this special boy groomed in the painting. I've been grooming Irish Setters since 1984 - I know the jaw lines, the cheek bones, how the skin rests on the neck. No groomed photos were necessary.
His family now has a new boy to fill the void in their lives left by Mulligan. And a friend for this new family member is on the horizon. They've had two Irish Setters in the past, so a second dog is going to be ideal. Our lives are so enriched by our pets. As difficult as it is to bring in a new pet when we lose one, that new pet finds a special place in our hearts and brings their own joy for us to share.
Thank you to the family for having me paint Mulligan. He was truly one of a kind.