Well, here we go again! It was, I guess inevitable with the way things were going, but I always wonder what our pets think of it all. They must be so used to having us around, taking them for fresh air walkies and feeding them tit bits where they wouldn't normally have them.
It has been no surprise to see so many 'new puppy' posts on social media as people spend more time at home, and those with bitches of breeding age feed an ever growing market for their pups. Looking into the future I really hope that those purchasing a new pup have done their research, bought from a reputable breeder, and have enough money put aside for vets bills and insurance. I know only too well how an emergency vet bill can catch you out and I am still catching up with my repayments from when my dog sneaked some chocolate out of my daughters school bag in October!!
On a positive note it is so fabulous to have so many join the dog owners club! No-one can overestimate how much joy a four legged friend brings into your life and for those that really can't get out - not even to go to the shops - they can be a life saver!
My Mum is a dog groomer and also a KC Registered dog breeder (though she has no breeding bitches at the moment) and has taught me so much about responsible pet owning. We have always had pets - at one time 6 dogs that needed walking before school - 5 lurchers and a Jack Russell! I have many hilarious and humiliating tales about that that I will save for another time!
The one thing she always taught me is that animals communicate through their behaviour - it is the only way they know since they don't speak 'human', and so it is up to us to learn their language, listen to them and try to ensure that through good training we can get along and live happily together. Without training they revert to getting the attention they need through the type of behaviour that they know gets us to respond...whether that's doing their business on the kitchen floor, chewing your favourite shoes or barking incessantly at nothing in particular.
It always amuses me when I speak to clients about their pets and they describe their types of behaviour to me. It is clear that their pets are well loved and well known and as much a part of their family as the humans. It is this version of our pets that I try to capture on canvas, as I try to delve into the spirit of that animal. It isn't always easy and it always depends on how much each owner is able to give me in the way of visuals and testimony. Whatever tools I have to work with, it always comes down to getting a likeness and use of colour and brushwork to really capture what that animal means to their humans. I have enjoyed my busiest Christmas yet with commissions and share them for you to see here...my 20x20cm portraits were by far the most popular! Easy to commission, easy to find a space for in the home and affordable to gift!
I hope you enjoy your pets through this lockdown and if you ever want to consider a portrait, please do get in touch. I am always happy to talk about your four legged friends and how much they mean to you!
Best wishes to you and your pets for 2021!