I’m a dog person. Not to say I don’t like cats, I do, really, I like all animals. Well, actually birds terrify me, but as long as they are no where near me, I’m good. A good majority of my work has been dog portraits, and they are definitely my favourite subject. My husband has always joked that I paint dogs cause I don’t have one, but I’m still painting now I do.
A year ago today, we adopted our beautiful fur baby, Watson, and a week ago today I picked her up from the Vet after a two night stay, and orthopaedic surgery on her broken leg.
Our Miniature Bull Terrier came to us at about 14 weeks, and flew into Launceston from Melbourne to meet us. The first time we saw her, she was in a crate on the back of a luggage cart coming across the tarmac, sitting up, curious, checking out what was going on but totally unfazed. And this is very much part of her personality. Not much fazes our little Watson, except maybe the garbage truck. While she’s a manic ball of energy when we go out and she meets new people, at home she’s chill, and if we stick to our usual routine, and my husband and I are hanging in the same room, she’s in heaven.
Watson will eat anything and everything, peanut butter and possum poo are favourites. She likes watching elephants on YouTube, and John Wick is her favourite action hero. She loves to play with her rope toy and has a passion for destruction. Luckily for us, her passion was uncovered early on and has been directed to cardboard boxes and tennis balls.
She is a sweet girl who wants to be with us all the time. Unless there is sun coming in, in which case that’s where you’ll find her laying in the sun, in her sun coma. She will make sure to come and find us though if the sun moves and her bed needs moving too. Being with us, also means being as close as possible, and I often find myself sharing my desk chair with her as I work. Recently I was only working on the computer so I let her sit up on my desk so she could look out the window as my husband was in the yard, this is now her spot, and where she expects to sit when we are in the studio.
She’s a quiet girl too, not much of a barker, the previously mentioned garbage truck cops most of it, and some times she’ll give us a woof if we don’t start playing fast enough. She does like to grumble though, sometimes it’s a ‘don’t forget me, I’d like some toast too’, sometimes ‘I’d like to go out please’, and sometimes it’s a ‘no, don’t move me, I’m comfortable’. She also snores, and does the cutest little farts.
Last week I got to hear her scream though, and I hope never to hear it again. I was playing with her, with her rope, swinging it around so she could try and get it, when Watson decided to do one of her gravity defying leaps for the rope. I say gravity defying because no thought was placed as to how she was going to land(as per usual) and land poorly this time she did. She also didn’t catch the rope. On hearing her screams I knew she had seriously hurt herself, I picked her up quickly which stopped the screaming, and reached for the phone to call my husband to bring the car home. A slow one and a half hour trip to the vet later, we learnt that Watson had broken both her tibia and fibular in her back leg.
The worst part for me was having to leave her there at the Vet and come home, knowing that she had been sedated before I left and she was going to wake up in a strange place in pain without me. I had quite a teary drive home. The following day she had surgery to place a pin and wires to stabilise the bone, and the day after that I was finally able to pick up our girl.
The lovely Vet recommended a crate for Watson’s recovery, unless it would lead to anxiety for her. My husband and I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of crates even though many dogs are happy in them, so Watson has her ‘own room’(the laundry) in which she spends her nights and any other down time. We also felt that being that Watson likes to be as close to us as possible when she’s feeling good, when she is in pain and discomfit, a crate wasn’t going to work.
So instead she has pretty much been with me on the couch for the last seven days.
The first two days she was feeling a little sorry for herself, and we saw the first of her ‘Eeyore’ impressions, but mostly she just slept. The third day though, her pain and discomfit, and her inability to do anything really got to her and she started crying. Another trip to the Vet to ensure there wasn’t anything wrong, and sedation led to more crying and I wasn’t able to leave her sight without her crying, which certainly got me crying too. That night we moved the spare mattress into the lounge room, and that’s where Watson and I slept. By the next morning though she was much more like her usual self, only hopping.
She is back to taking it mostly in stride, with a few ‘Eeyore’ moments, interspersed with some higher energy ‘Tigger’ moments that make me very nervous as they are not the ‘quiet and still’ we are suppose to be keeping to. She’s also got the three legged thing down pat now, and can move a lot faster than I would like.
It’s been a trying week for me, with Watson filling most of my thoughts, but I’m starting to get back to reality too. Starting to think about the coming months, up coming markets I need to prepare for, commissions for Christmas, and new portraits to upload.