Voice and Vision

One Woman's WORDS AND WORKS •grapple •inspire •liberate

46: Love

Everybody loves somebody. Even if it’s a cat.

Of course it could be a dog. Some of my greatest loves have been dogs. A Landseer Newfoundland named Heidi; a big black Newfie show dog we named O Gentle Presence and one of her pups we named North Star; a couple of adoring Bernese Mountain Dogs named Zermatt and Geneva; Harley, a Berner rescue who was so grateful we adopted him (as were we); Olaf, another sweet Berner. There was Surprise, the clever Samoyed, and a shepherd-collie mix I named “Love.” Beacon (named after a lighthouse), our current dog, is a Bernedoodle, and is supposed to be our down-sized final dog. At least if my husband has his way, though I’m in touch with a breeder who’s due to have a litter of Landseers in about 10 months. Boy, would I love one! Another Heidi! I long for the Newfie nature. Well, ok, no duplications! Each unique!

All these dogs–I’ve had over 50 during my lifetime–were glorious individuals each with a particular personality, each with more love to give than most humans have in their little fingers.

I did have a slew of cats in my time: Socks, Tiger (doesn’t every cat lover have at least one Tiger in his life?), Purry, Chow Chow Chow, Tic Toc, Phaedra, Butterscotch, Oreo (The last two were Arkansas barn cats who lived to over 24 years apiece and loved to climb on roofs in our subdivision) and some I’m leaving out because I’m nearly 80 years old and there’s just not room in my consciousness anymore to store all the animals’ names along with 300 painting titles, hundreds of recipes, and countless words of wisdom I’ve collected as a questioner and voracious reader.

Humans. I’ve loved many of them, too. But it’s not the same. Humans are inclined to love conditionally; dogs love unconditionally; cats?–who knows what dictum, if any, guides them! But there is nothing so loving as having a couple of 150-pound dogs in bed with you on a cold winter’s night–unless you want to add a little human granddaughter into the mix, which we’ve done.

So as we approach Valentine’s day give your pet an added bit of what he or she gives you daily–abundant love!

A Man and His Dogs, pastel, approx. 30" x 26", NFS, by Gwendolyn Evans

A Man and His Dogs, pastel, approx. 30″ x 26″, NFS, by Gwendolyn Evans

Artwork:  A Man and His Dogs, pastel, approx. 30″ x 26″, NFS
My husband and I and our dogs, Geneva and Zermatt, hiked trails daily and this was a favorite one for all of us to walk. This painting hangs in our bedroom and is not for sale because we love it too much–just as we do the dogs–to part with it.

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