Friday, May 1, 2015


dog painting

EVERY MONTH I give away a 10x10 portrait. I pick the photo I think would be most fun to paint – a photo that touches me – as a dog lover or as an artist.

PAISLEY was April's winner (theme Nose). She is a Whippet and lives in Australia. She is a special girl and I would like to share her story with you, as told by her young owner.

I'VE STRUGGLED with OCD and self-mutilation since I was 12. Last year (at 19) I relapsed and started cutting again. I was in and out of hospital. I didn't want suicide to happen – wasn't my intention. Once I got the 70 stitches out I went home and cried. Paisley came to me and laid her head down on me. She gives me strength, she's my saving grace. Then and even still, I am astounded that this dog, a WHIPPET! was capable of the empathy that I so craved in my closest friends and family. It was like she could read the pathetic and sad thoughts that disabled me and wanted me to know I was lovable in the midst of my suffering.

THE HARSH reality is that recovery is uncomfortable. Trying to find new ways to cope when you already have the "perfect" way to numb the pain is hard. Paisley is my distraction, an effective therapy for OCD. For the first year of her life I put her through misery. I let her watch me sob. I gave her every reason to go to another family member and love them, but she kept coming back to me. And no matter what, she didn't judge. It's hard to explain why I love her so much. Whippets are challenging, and their kind, loving charismatic personality is just beyond amazing!

SHE'S THE first thing I see in the morning, and it's tough to ruminate about how awful you feel when you've got a whippet nose in your face.

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