This is not a “tribute painting” (it was done three years ago), but I am posting it in tribute to my little Mini-Schnauzer, Anji. It’s been a bit of a struggle deciding whether or not to do something like this, (and I have studiously avoided doing the “Facebook RIP my pet” thing, although I did post a link to this on my artist page) but she was a huge part of my life for the past almost 15 years, and she deserves a tribute, however humble.
Anji came into my life as an 8-week old puppy, at a time when I needed her almost desperately, and she helped me get through some very rough times indeed. She was my little dog for almost 15 years, and I miss her. A lot . She died last Thursday – that is, we made the decision to end her suffering before she became totally immobilized by her infirmities.
I “fingerpainted” this portrait of her 3 years ago on my iPhone, after she came home one day from what I liked to call her trip to the “beauty parlour”. She was utterly adorable.
Anji’s been blind for a more than few years, and last year we had a growing (but benign) cyst removed from her left eyelid. She hasn’t been able to go up and down stairs for a long time, so we carried her everywhere (and we have a LOT of stairs)…and she used to jump up on the couch (sofa/chesterfield) to her favourite spot, but she couldn’t do that anymore either, so we’d lift her up and put her there. But then she couldn’t get down, or would fall off. So we would put her in her doggy bed beside the couch so she could be where we were (that was her favourite place, anyway), and she had her bed in our bedroom with us, so at bed time, we carried her to our room with us, too.
When she started not being able to keep her food down, and incidents of incontinence became more frequent, we had to start talking about what was really best for her, and what her quality of life had become. It was a hard, tough, heart breaking decision. But the alternative – to watch her decline and suffer and eventually not even be aware of her surroundings – that was too much. I watched my cat (Crumpet the Calico Cat) die that way, because I couldn’t bear to take her to the vet and “kill her”, so I watched her suffer to the end, and she died in my arms. I couldn’t let that happen to Anji, and she died in my arms too. But she died before the pain and suffering was too much.
I’m afraid my tribute to my “little dog”, my “little girl”, my “old girl” (and sometimes, my “old bitch”) has become a bit of a confessional. No apologies. Anji was the sweetest of puppies, the best of companions, and great old lady. I loved her, and I love her. Her portrait (a print of this) is matted and waiting to be framed and hung on my wall.
To Anji. Cheers, old girl – we will be together again, and we will both be able to run and jump and play then!