As I sat in puppy training with my excited little guy, I was amazed at how smart, attentive, eager to please and of course, loving, all of these little creatures are. My puppy, Tucker, was rescued by an incredible group out of Georgia called Go Dogs Go. When we got him, he was extremely skittish and, if approached by anyone, he would cower in his crate and shake. He’s certainly come a long way, but even yesterday in class, you could see his trepidation. What helped him through class was his trust in me, knowing I would never put him in harms way. Trust that has been built over time and tested time and again.
There were dogs that were motivated by food, dogs that were motivated by socialization, dogs that were motivated by praise, and my dog, who is motivated by feeling secure. Every dog is different but at the end of the day, every one of them wants to be loved.
Sounds an awful lot like some of my two legged friends! As I watch my kids navigate high school and middle school, I hope they remember the many, many, many times I’ve expressed that everyone is unique and has something to offer, and everyone is fighting their own battles. Some of my best friends’ personalities are so opposite of mine, it makes people scratch their head. But while we may be as far left and right as you can go, there’s something wonderful that ties us together, be it kids, volunteering, dance, etc. If you seek out the good in people, it comes right back to you.
As I sat in class, I couldn’t help but think about what it must be like training and riding a horse….an incredible bond of patience and trust built over time. Unconditional love and attention all while getting dirty when you have to. No job too big or too small, all just a part of what it means to love an incredibly smart, loyal, loving animal.
I enjoyed working on this piece for Matt’s cousin, Lynn’s, birthday as she is the epitome of humble and kind. She is a gentle soul with a huge heart. Even when times were rough for her, she would roll up her sleeves and lend a hand when needed. A horse and animal lover, this perfectly sums up Lynn.
Check out my gallery for more animal inspired work!