Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Ornaments

I've been very busy with holiday ornament orders!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sleigh Bells Ring, Are you Listening?

And once again the months have flown by.  Two foster dogs later, we've decided that adding another permanent dog to our home isn't quite in the cards just yet, and now we've had our first dusting of snow in Denver!

I'm gearing up for the holiday season orders, and starting to bundle up Indiana for the colder weather.  After so many days in the 90's this summer, it is a bit of a relief.  But, I'm not sure I'm ready for snow!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Portrait for Shinkou the Shiba Inu

Yesterday morning, I saw that Shinkou, a beautiful little girl from the Shiba Scout Rescue, was overcome from the complications of a pacemaker that was meant to heal her fragile heart. While I did not contribute funds to her extensive medical care like many kind others, I followed her story of recovery. This is my contribution to her life. May she rest in peace over the Rainbow Bridge.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our New Foster Dog - Blog the Change

 July 23rd is a day to Blog the Change for dog rescue.

Here is my story on how I became a foster mom to a Basenji/P*t B*ll mix, just four days ago.

The Husband and I had been planning on moving to a new apartment for quite a while.  A larger apartment, perfect for another animal.  Thus the debate began on what kind of pet we were going to bring into our life.  I was solidly team cat, not wanting to deal with another dog in the house just yet.  The Husband was team dog, thinking that bringing another pooch into the house might alleviate some of Indiana's naughtier behavior.  This debate began months ago.

Indiana helped us pack.

 At the end of June, we moved into our new apartment.  The animals quickly acclimated, and we started thinking about what kind of furry addition we wanted for our family.  With vague plans to move out of state in the next few years swirling in my head, I still didn't want to commit to another dog. (We might have to move to a smaller apartment!  What if there wasn't a dog park nearby?!) 

And then it hit me; it was time to foster.

When I first moved to Colorado, I started looking at all the rescues for a dog to adopt.  Denver seems to be a hub of LOTS of breed specific rescues.  Pugs, Dachshunds, Boxers, Labs, Cockers, Basenjis, and Shibas.  Think of a breed and you can pretty much find a rescue nearby Denver to adopt a new dog.  (There is even a puppy rescue.)  These rescues pull dogs out of the local shelters and provide them with an escape from the gas chamber and the opportunity for a new life.  Even if you are not nearby, transportation can be arranged to bring a dog to a new area and waiting family.  These rescues are pivotal in saving dogs from shelters, where they might end up put down.

Of course, I also need to mention the National Mill Dog rescue, which saves dogs from puppy mills, rehabilitates them and finds them great new homes.

A pivotal part of this process is the foster home.  Rescues work with people in the area who have space and time to take care of a dog, but can't or don't want to adopt quite yet.  These homes provide a loving environment for a dog that may require some training or rehabilitation or simply a place to land before finding his forever home.

And now I am one of those homes.

A week ago, I received an email from the Colorado Basenji Rescue (where we had adopted Indiana.)

Suzy needs a foster home.  She is a year and a half female Basenji mix, friendly, loves people, ok with cats, ok with submissive dogs.  Saved from euthanasia but still needs a place to land.

I immediately contacted the lovely woman in charge of the rescue and a few days later we brought Suzy home, to a set of stairs, which she would not climb.  Suzy was afraid of stairs. And that was not the end of her list of quirks.  Suzy has no leash experience, and her 24 pounds is a lot to handle.  She has no manners training and her attention span is worse than Indiana.  Plus, she isn't very food motivated.  Suzy is over exuberant during play time.  She and Indiana have to be watched over closely because Indiana does not like wrestling.  She definitely can't be trusted with the cat quite yet. 

 But- her tail never stops wagging.  She's already overcome her fear of stairs in two days and is now a champ at going up and down.  She loves neck scratches and tummy rubs.  She plays fetch and loves tennis balls. 

Basically, fostering is something that shouldn't be agreed to lightly.  I'm hoping to keep working with Suzy (who we have renamed Norah) and make her the perfect dog for a new family when she is ready.  Until then, she is on a very strict schedule of crating, supervised in-the-apartment roaming, and walks and playtime every few hours.  It has certainly affected my schedule and my sanity a little bit. But she deserves the chance.  Every dog deserves a chance.

Fostering is not an option for everyone.  But promoting adoptable animals and never buying dogs from pet stores is something everyone can help with!  Donations are always helpful, and if you are short on funds, donate some hours by volunteering at a shelter or with a rescue.  Rescues are constantly working to get the word out for their wonderful animals.

Make a difference in an animal's life.  This story is about fostering, but there are so many ways to help. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wedding Silhouettes

I got a great commission from a lovely lady in South Carolina.  She is getting married, and silhouettes are going to be used as part of the decor theme.  So, she contacted me about creating a pair of silhouettes for a Poodle and a Pekingese.  I thought these would be for dogs she owned, however, "Poodle" and "Pekingese" are apparently pet names the couple have for each other, which is so cute.  (They do have a short haired Pekingese named "Boogie", who looks just like the silhouette according to the bride.)

 The silhouettes will hang on the back of their "Mr. & Mrs." chairs. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Foxie, Sadie, and Butterscotch

I'll be delivering a finished painting tomorrow!  I believe two of these pups are already over the rainbow bridge, but I was honored to be able to put all the siblings together in a painting for their mom.  Her daughter-in-law will be giving it to her this weekend, as a surprise.

Foxie, Sadie, and Butterscotch
Here are a few of the photos I was working from.  There was only one, small photo for Sadie, the white Pomeranian, but I tried to capture her the best that I could.

I would have delivered the painting today, but my client's neighborhood got hit by a nasty hail storm last night.  I'm sending lots of positive energy, hoping that they will get their roof fixed quickly and easily!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Mischief: Indiana Learns How to Howl

After attending a Basenji Rescue get together, Indiana, the Husband and I participated in a group howl for the first time.  We had pretty low expectations for Indiana's wilder instincts to kick in, even after teaching him how to speak, but, after a few seconds of everyone howling (including the several people and dogs that were there), Indiana gamely followed along, though his face had the look of "what am I doing??" as he whined sang.

 Indiana following his innate instinct to howl along, but still a bit confused as to what is going on

We thought this was pretty adorable and have been howling to get him more used to it every so often for the last few weeks, to the (I'm sure) delight of our neighbors.  He only participates when he is particularly excited about something: Dad comes home, it's time to go out, or he feels like chasing the cat.  Howling has actually been a great deterrent to his last foible;  if he starts chasing the cat, I coo at him, he howls for a bit, and then he seems to settle down.  It has been working better than crating him as a time out, although the experiment for this situation is only a few days old. 

Indiana howls like a champ now. And, so far, only does it when we do. *knock on wood*

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Running Behind on All Things

Last year, on Mother's Day (May 8th), I was so lucky to adopt Indiana (with The Husband, of course).  I was hoping to write my celebratory blog post on Indiana's correct Gotcha Day, which I had thought was May 9th.  Oops!  I guess this gives Indiana a pass for how much he has been choosing to chase the cat recently.

Happy Belated Gotcha Day, Indiana!

April was a particularly busy month, filled with fretting over and preparing for the Furry Scurry, a charity walk for one of the local shelters, The Dumb Friend's League (a pretty hilarious name, to be sure).  I signed up for a vendor tent to promote my work.

Thankfully, The Husband was there to lend a hand and the extra muscle I was lacking.  The day was very long, hot, and tiring, but it was great to see so many dogs!  I wish I had taken more pictures of the whole event, but there was a lot of hustling to be done.  I'll be doing a couple craft fairs and other pet events and am dreading looking forward to those too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Days

Indiana loves lying on the balcony during nice weather.  He'll let himself bake for a while, then come inside and spread himself out on the floor to cool off, drink some water, then go back outside to work on his tan.

He especially likes the dirty blue tarp, since that corner catches the last of the afternoon sun.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stinky dog is now less stinky

Yesterday, Indiana came back from the dog park covered in dust and slobber more than usual.  Dreading his presence on the sofa, I took it upon myself to give him the dreaded B-A-T-H.

Now, of course, I need to mention with the fact that Indiana hates baths.  What a surprise!  He's kind of like this guy-

Skip to 5:35 for the dreaded "shiba scream" which Indiana does a great imitation of during his baths.

During the days I worked at Daily Wag dog daycare, I had the free use of their very nice dog washing tub, complete with a hand held shower nozzle.  Our apartment has no such luxuries (the shower head is firmly attached to the wall), so we have to fill a variety of bowls and  jars with water in preparation.  We then pour these over Indiana in the bath to get him clean. This takes forever to set up, use, and clean up.

Getting ready for the bath.

So, I tried turning on the shower to rinse him off.

As you can tell by his face, Indiana was not amused and is still recovering.  Peanut butter helped quite a bit to relieve his "pain" though.

The dog bath eventually lead to the decision to wash all of the dog bedding, which was a serious contributor to his built up stank.  Of course, now my washer is covered in dog fur, which I've been slowly picking out.  The interior of the washer also smelled quite a bit (not surprising given the amount of odor on the blankets) so I had to run a quick wash with no clothes to at least freshen it up.

What was recovered from the washer.

Any ideas on how to clean doggie blankets more efficiently?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ralph's Finished Pet Portrait

This painting came a long way from where it was before!  

I am currently waiting to hear back from Ralph's mom to see if she'd like any changes.  Then, I'll let the painting dry for a few weeks, apply some varnish, more drying, and it will be shipped out so that Ralph can enjoy it around the end of April!  (I'm sure his parents will enjoy it more than he will, but that's okay.)

20" x 16" oil on canvas
I also painted a custom Schnauzer silhouette for an order from Canada.  I had to fill out a customs form and everything.  I am now an international artist! (Hopefully the painting will make it there ok.  It can take more than a month to go through customs and travel through the Canadian mail system.  Yikes!)

Last week, I redid all of my listings for dog silhouette watercolors on my Etsy shop.  My first idea was to do a painting of a lot of breeds and then I could sell archival quality prints from the paintings.  It turns out, getting prints made is EXPENSIVE and FRUSTRATING!!  It is much easier to paint a new silhouette for every order that comes in.  I also like that this will make every piece original and unique for the person who buys it (just like their dog!) 

On another note, my birthday was this weekend.  I am now old enough to rent a car! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Mischief: Indiana's New Favorite Thing to Chew

I think the only way to properly describe the new shenanigans Indiana has started is to show a picture of the evidence.  But, I have deemed pictures of the evidence unsuitable for the internet, so, this picture, of a related event, will have to do.

Now I have to go jean shopping, the bane of my shopping existence.

Yes.  It seems My Dog Won't Stop Eating My Underwear. The link leads to an article I found while googling this strange new habit Indiana has and it is soothing to know I am not alone in this fight against chewed undergarments thanks to the many comments of dog owners voicing their frustrations with similar situations. 

In fact, Zooey at the Colorado Basenji Rescue has a similar affliction.

Find out more about adopting her!
 Zoey has become very well acclimated to a crate and can be crated during the day although she also exhibits good behavior when left out, unless one leaves one's underwear available. She simply CANNOT pass up a good pair of undies.

The Husband and I have been keeping an eye on Indiana and his access to the laundry pit that is our bedroom has been restricted unless he is sleeping under the covers on the bed.  Extreme measures have to be taken because he can knock over laundry baskets and open our sliding door closet, but the occurrences of lost knickers is decreasing.

I can't stay mad at him though.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Dog Silhouettes Keep on Coming

More dog silhouettes!


Scottish Terrier


They are available as 8x10 prints through my etsy shop!

Breeds that I've painted so far - Dachshund, Scottish Terrier, Schnauzer, Pomeranian, Shiba Inu, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Boxer, Greyhound, Yorkie, Beagle, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Shih Tzu

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mango and Roxy

It's been quite a while since my last post.  I've been busy with a couple projects, including some watercolor commissions from Etsy.


I'd never heard of a Dutch Shepherd before.  Turns out they are cousin to the German Shepherd and came about around the same time.  Dutch Shepherds also have long hair and wire hair varieties, but a general image search really only comes up with short haired brindles.  Roxy turned out to be one of that kind anyway. 

The image source also has lots of fun pictures of other lesser known dogs.

I've updated my Whiskered Paintings Facebook Page, to the new timeline, which I am not enthusiastic about.  It seems that every time I get used to a new format on Facebook, they change it!  To me, the new timeline looks cluttered and unorganized.  But, that is pretty much Facebook nowadays...

I'm also in the process of considering moving this blog to my own url.  It would either be "" or ""  I think it will be a pretty big headache though, so I'll probably keep putting it off for a while until I know exactly what I'd like and how to do it.

The animals have been doing well in my blogging absence.  They are enjoying basking in the sun from the sixty degree weather Denver has been enjoying and being skeptical of each other's presence.

My apartment isn't that dark; my camera just likes to turn up the chiaroscuro in all my photos.
Like what you saw?  Custom Dog Breed Profile Watercolors available here!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr Seuss!

I learned this morning, from many blogs, that it is Dr. Seuss's birthday!  And there is a fun theme going around.  So, I decided to dedicate this post to my favorite Seussian pooch, Max, who had to deal with a lot over Christmas, and had a pretty terrible owner, but everything worked out in the end.

As drawn by Chuck Jones

Since Dr. Seuss was not just a writer, but an illustrator, I decided to do my poem with a picture!

Upon waking up, Indiana looked up in dismay
And realized he was wearing an antler today
He grumbled and mumbled and said, "These aren't for wearing, but chewing!"
Now, he's in the corner glaring at me and stewing.

(I didn't actually tie an antler to Indiana's head.  They are one of his favorite chew toys though.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finished Pet Portrait - Gracie

Gracie is a Labradoodle who goes to Daily Wag almost every day. 

in progress

Her 16 x 20 portrait will be hanging in the lobby!

Monday, February 27, 2012

More Dog Silhouettes

I haven't gotten a chance to make a Scottish Terrier yet, but will next!  (Also I won't forget a Schnauzer and a Maltese.)  Any other breed requests?

Great Dane

Shiba Inu

Shih Tzu

More available at my shop!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

Today Indiana and Onyx tried to share a sun spot on the floor.  Onyx was not happy about it.

Indiana won.

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