Sunday, September 28, 2008

Today's Project - Becky the Westie

Here is Becky, a West Highland White terrier. She belongs to my friend Debbie in Ohio. Becky was sadly killed last night in an accident. So this is my little tribute to her. It's about 8x10", oil pencil on charcoal paper, with conte.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Amanda on Current Events

Today is Amanda's birthday so I came up to spend some time with her. She is sitting her watching me type on the laptop, and she asks, "What do you think of Sarah
Palin? Did you hear she has a Down's Syndrome baby?"

"Yeah, that's nice for her. But would you want Mom to be president?"

"Vice president," she corrects me.

"Okay, well would you want Mom for vice president? SHE had a Down's syndrome
baby. Does that qualify HER?"

She pauses for a moment. "I see your point."

Jon Update

My brother Jon was released yesterday and drove himself home from the rehab center!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More German Shepherd Rescues... Or Not...

The rescue effort to save brother and sister German shepherds, Ace and Lucy, reached its height today. They were scheduled to be euthanized tomorrow. In my snooping around, I discovered that there was a home waiting in Northern Ohio, with a six year old boy and a Labrador Retriever.

Ace and Lucy had lived outdoors their entire lives. They needed training but were listed as nice dogs. The owner surrendering them listed their age as two, but the shelter decided they were more like six year old dogs. Since they were being held at Livingston County Animal Control, only 20 minutes from my house, I volunteered to go over and evaluate them.

The dogs were beautiful. Lucy came out sniffing, very doggy, very stressed out. She barely took time to say hello to me; she was too busy with her investigations. Shelter worker Darma told me that she had been in heat when she came in. Lucy and Ace were littermates, out of a brother/sister breeding, and they had created numerous litters themselves during their lives.

I asked to see Ace, whose picture reminded me so much of my Cajun. Darma said that she would "try" to bring him out.

Ace wouldn't walk on a leash and had become hysterical when she tried to walk him. She showed me the scratches on her arms that he had given her. I had immediate flashbacks to Grendel (now Achilles) and how impossible he was when I first tried to walk him.

Darma disappeared through the back door with Lucy, but then later came out and beckoned to me. She couldn't get Ace to walk out with her. I followed her back into the shelter area, and I saw why.

An imposing, gorgeous, 100 lb black and red male stood looking at me. He was big, he was strong, and all GSD. His presence was so very much like Cajun's that I was taken aback for a moment.

She opened the door and I went into the pen with him and stood petting him. He smiled up on me, his head broader than my hand between the ears. He was panting hard, stressed, and I got the sense that he hated the shrill barking all around him.

He was a big, lovely boy. The longer I stood there next to him, the sadder I became. It would take a lot of work, and a very knowledgable person, to fix a dog like this. Neither one of them were altered. The former owner had to wrestle them to get them into his car.

I came out and called the potential new owner, and told her what I had found. I thought the two should be separated. Lucy needed to bond with a person and not another dog. I felt that each would need a lot of time, energy and work. And how in the heck I was going to manage transporting Ace anywhere, I had no idea.

Sadly, at times euthanasia is the best option. There were no homes and no real resources for the dogs at this time. I personally could not afford to take them, time- or money-wise.

After I hung up, I went to thank Darma and I started asking questions about the history of these dogs. "Why were they turned in?"

She said the owner had lied to them repeatedly. She couldn't be sure of the real story, as he'd told her he was moving away and couldn't keep them. But, his address was recognized because he had had a number of complaints on these dogs.

That, to me, spelled out the rest of the story. These German shepherds, so sadly neglected and in the hands of ignorance, had a history of something not right.

And so I thought of the doomed dog Ace, so much like my Cajun, and I burst into tears, right in front of the sympathetic shelter worker. "I understand," she said.

Euthanasia is not always the worst option for dogs like this. They could have ended up in the wrong hands, so easily. This is how I console myself tonight.

Thank you to everyone who tried to help these dogs.

Today's Christmas Card - Sheltie

"The Blue Rug" is the title of this painting which shows the camaraderie between a Sheltie and his black cat buddy. I made it into a Christmas card with one of my favorite verses: "Faithful Friends who are dear to us..."

That just never wears out!

Beautiful fall day here in Southeast Michigan -- it's hard to think about Christmas right now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Collie Jolly Christmas Cards

I'm starting with the most popular of my Christmas cards: The sable and tricolor in watercolor. For some reason people just love this one. I don't know if it's the play on words or what.

Anyway, it's listed here:

I have all kinds of dog breeds available (ornaments too!) so feel free to email me at if you have a request.

It's all for the sake of a gap-free smile.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... A Midlife Crisis!

Here's a new head shot. I took it myself the other day. Maybe it's an attempt to justify myself, because I am suddenly, at 46, facing constant reminders of my age.

It started here: Always enamored of the film industry, the most elaborate form of storytelling, I was elated when Governor Granholm elected to tempt Hollywood here through a big tax break now known as, "The Michigan Tax Incentive". Thanks to this stroke of genius, Hollywood is coming to Michigan to make real feature films! And people like me are seeing lifetime dreams come true as we get to appear in them. I've already worked with the likes of Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Ande McDowell and great directors like Alexander Payne.

Unfortunately I've also run into discrimination due to my age. I'm experiencing that thing that happens to women when we enter our mid-forties. It really is the dead zone. I've missed out on a number of opportunities, including being a personal assistant to the director of a Jack Black film that's being made here. The kid who interviewed me (who also was doing casting at the same time... It was chaos.) asked me my age. Without thinking, I just blurted it out.

Later, reflecting on the experience, I realized I had disqualified myself by not evading that question.

To make matters even more disheartening, yesterday I had a tooth pulled. Not just any tooth -- a front one. The root was damaged nine years ago during an accident with Trudy and the cart. I have managed to baby it along all this time, after a root canal and crown, but now it's past the point of no return. I'm losing bone around it and it would have started affecting the other teeth, so it had to go.


Okay, so I don't have to look like a jack-o'lantern, thanks to my retainer and the saved crown. One would never know. But the dang retainer has to come out once in awhile, and I can't really eat with it in.

An implant will cost me four grand!

So, to help fund my implant, I am starting to sell Christmas cards on eBay again. I know it's early. I was in Costco the other day and there were trees with lights on them!

It's 66 degrees here in Michigan, and the last thing I want to do is hurry Christmas. But, it's harvest time for teeth and artists. Alvin the Chipmunk asked for two of these -- all I need is one!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stem Enhance Does It Again

Nancy Berg's mare has made such vast improvement on the StemEquine, that she decided to try the StemEnhance for herself. I had an email from her today:

I am just starting to notice that my knees are feeling a bit better. It has
been a week and 2 days since I started taking Stem Enhance. After 2 months
my mare is improving even more. Where I could still notice her injury site
before, it is now going away and starting to look completely normal. What a
wonderful product.

Thanks again,

I wish I could get more people to try this stuff!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jon Update

I had a long talk with Jon tonight. He has been moved to a rehab center in Yakima.
He was yakking up a storm! He sounded like his old happy self! He walked 70 feet
today, with a walker. He is eating like a horse.... Had a big cheeseburger today!
He expects to be released before too long. The physical therapists are really impressed with his drive and desire to get moving.

Jon lost 60 lbs during his month in the hospital. He is down to 200 lbs now.

It was so great to hear him laughing!

Thank you all again for your good thoughts and wishes. We are blessed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Grendel Update

Here's an email from Grendel's new mom, relayed with permission. They have changed his name to Achilles, which I think is perfect for him!

Sorry I haven’t updated you soon, but have been extremely busy and then when I do have a moment I am exhausted. As you see, we re-named Grendel to “Achilles” as my husband wanted to have a Greek mythology name. We have had a Sampson, Toby & Thor all Greek mythology. Bogey, well he is Bogey.

To sum it all up, Achilles is a very loving and good boy. He does have some “issues” to work out, but I am confident over time he will. He does try to have his way at times, I think he is testing us, but I want him to know that he will not always get his way. He eats with Bogey @ 6:00 am and then again @ 6:00 pm after I get home from work. He goes in his crate around 7:45am and my husband gets home between 4:30 5:00 and lets him out. They both, Achilles and Bogey go outside to use the bathroom and usually end up playing outside until I get home, then they eat after they unwind a bit and then I usually make them wait about 45min after they eat to go back out to play.

Achilles prefers to sleep on the first level not upstairs. He loves the orthopedic beds that I have throughout the house. He does get on the bed with me @ times and he likes to suit on the couch sometimes (which is ok with us).

I am very happy that we had the opportunity to adopt him. I know he will turn out to be a wonderful boy (not that he isn’t already) he just tries to get away with as much as he can sometimes, but he is learning.

Sometimes when I am sitting on the couch watching TV, he comes up to me and puts his head on my lap and just looks up @ me with those sad eyes, how can anyone not love him????

I will forward some pics to you very soon. My husband has already taken him over to his parents house with Bogey and their dog, Sasha, Bogey and Achilles all play so nice. Bogey stops early, but the pother two go all over the back yard (they have around 4 acres fenced in).

Oh, by the way, Achilles does very well in the backyard, runs along the fence at times when cars go by, as I live on a corner, but then gets tired and stops. Cutting the grass, well I thought it would be a hassle, but he only tried to bite the tires once and then just ran around the yard with his toys when I was cutting. He was so tired Saturday night, he looked like a little angel!!

Thank you again for a wonderful & beautiful boy!