One of my favorite stories that I have ever written is THIS one.
I like it not only because it features my dog Happy, but also because it recounts a long lost childhood trauma for me.
I was young and still unsure of myself...at least when came to the opposite sex. So you can image how embarrassed I was when on a date my best friend's poodle "Midnight" thought it a good time to get to know a panda.
But read it for yourself if you want to all the gory details.
Anyway, I was searching for a Christmas gift for my wife a few weeks ago when another friend mentioned a local artist that paints pet water colors.
My dog Happy is now 6-years-old and that would make her about my age in dog years. However she will quickly surpass me and that thought makes me very sad indeed.
So to capture Happy in her prime I decided to get Mike Brouse (the local artist) to paint a portrait of Happy for my wife and our family for Christmas.
Did I ever mention that Happy was bred to be an avalanche dog?
We purchased her, when I was still ski patrolling, from the same breeder that supplies the local Colorado Ski resorts and ski patrols with Avalanche dogs.
Now an Avalanche dog must love two things. Can you guess what they are?
And Happy certainly loves people. If you ever visit us you better be prepared to be licked and nuzzled to death.
And yes, I forgot about the digging part when we bought her, but within a week she managed to turn our backyard into a moonscape that NASA could use as a rover training ground.
With this suggestion in mind I met Mike with Happy at a snow covered park behind the local Elks Club. He must have snapped over a hundred digital photos of Happy as she romped in the fresh fallen snow.
He emailed the four best images and I picked the one I liked best.
A week later Mike presented me with framed water color of Happy that I just love.
I wrapped it up and put it under the tree for my wife to open.
I had images of her swooning from the sheer beauty of the painting, but alas this was not to be.
She just kind of looked at it and wondered why I'd gone to the trouble of having a painting done of our dog and not...lets say...Tommy our son.
I completely understand this emotion and that's why I've asked Mike to try his hand at painting the finishing photo of Tommy, my wife, and me crossing the finishing line at Ironman Austria.
I have a couple of digital photos that I know Mike can turn into a great water color that will feature our entire family.
As soon as I have this painting I will post it.
But for now I have an incredible painting of Happy in her element. I think that Mike did a great job in capturing her in water color, but you can be the judge.
He's not only a talented artist but a super nice guys as well...and that's a rare combination indeed.