When Kip was Bingo


This is a picture of a special dog named Kip when he was still a pup. He used to belong to my wonderful neighbors who named him Bingo. (They will sound not so wonderful here, but they really are the most loving family I’ve known–they’re just not pet people.) With three children under 5 and no experience with dogs, Bingo was soon relegated to a life alone in the backyard. He cried a lot and ran in circles, but relished every moment he had with the children when they visited him in the yard.

I took him for walks when I could, gave the family a book on housetraining, and tried to help them understand what it meant to care for a puppy. Then I helped them understand that they’d made a mistake getting a dog, since winter was coming and the dog would not be allowed inside. I couldn’t bear to see him alone all the time, with ants in his food, and no place to poop but the patio. They agreed, sadly, but knowing it was right.

That’s when my friend M. decided to adopt him. She renamed him Kip and they became best friends. She took him to puppy school, and she loved him even though he ate her socks and had to have one surgically removed from his stomach. She treated him like the special little prince he is and I got to join them on walks at the Pt. Isabelle dog park near my house. Then they moved to a small town in Oregon and I haven’t seen him for a long time. I’m trying to plan a visit to them next month.

I painted this from a photo I took of him when he was just six months old. It’s watercolor on 8 x 12 watercolor paper. I stopped before it was overworked (yay!) or even finished — something I’ve been trying to do for a while. The background in the photo was entirely green grass. I wasn’t sure that’s what I want for a background so I decided to just stop and think about it and maybe experiment in Photoshop with some possible background compositions and see what works or just decide to leave it white. I think it needs something–shadows at least–so that he’s grounded and not floating. Any suggestions would be welcomed. You can see a larger version by clicking on the image which will take you to FLickr and then clicking on All Sizes and then Large.