Editor’s Letter | Puppy Love

By Kristin Bucher

I don’t know exactly how I became such an animal lover. Sure, I had pets as a child, a golden retriever and two cats, but that’s not an unusually large number. No one I knew was a veterinarian, a breeder, or a trainer. But somehow I developed an incredible affection for my furry friends, not to mention everyone else’s. When I see a dog on the street, in a store, or at a coffee shop, I can’t help but stop to pet it. When one of those sappy pet-food commercials comes on TV, I admit it—I’ve been known to cry. And when there’s a story on the news about animal cruelty, I immediately turn to a different station; I can’t bear how unfair it is to inflict poor treatment on such innocent and defenseless creatures.

Given all this, you might imagine that I have a house full of critters, but actually that’s not the case. I’ve got an “only child” right now, a black cat I love dearly. I’d like nothing more than to add a dog to the family, but I spend long hours away from home on weekdays, and I wouldn’t want to leave a dog cooped up inside. Fortunately, though, I can get my dog “fix” whenever I visit my folks, who adopted two—that’s right, two—golden retriever puppies from a rescue organization about a year ago. Ty and Rusty are more rambunctious, and have more personality, than most dogs I’ve known. Their quirks are many: Ty, the protective one, is obsessed with the reflections that the tags on his collar create when the sunlight hits them, so he’s forever staring at and chasing things that just aren’t there. Rusty, the more timid one, hates loud noises, including even the clanging of his tags on a metal water bowl. Like all goldens, though, they are affectionate in the extreme, perpetually happy to see you, and all around great fun. Needless to say they’ve become full-fledged members of the family; in fact there are more photos taken at family gatherings of them than of the humans in the crowd. Every time I look back on those images, I smile.

It’s the same with the paintings of dogs in our portfolio this month. Some of the artists painted their own pets, while others painted canines belonging to friends or clients, and there’s an impressive variety of breeds represented. Of course, I’m partial to Sueellen Ross’s group of goldens, but they are all a great combination of a meaningful subject and a creative interpretation that adds up to a totally pleasurable viewing experience. -April 2008