The coolest present for any pet parent
I love this time of the year. The time right before the big holidays when we tend to make big resolutions. We want to be a bit better, kinder and more caring than we were last year. We also want to make sure that we are grateful to amazing things that happened to us and to our loved ones.
When if not now we can use a chance to show love and appreciation to those who are always by our side. And for me it means to show love and appreciation to our pets that we take care of and to their human parents. Recently I discovered a great gift to give them, a personalized portrait made by Morgan Spicer at Bark Point Studio. Every time our clients move away or their pets cross the rainbow bridge I try to get one made of their pet. And yes, it’s a great holiday gift as well since we are talking about the gifts.
We also had an online contest for our clients and a picture of a pup with the most votes got a portrait made by Morgan. Scooter got the most quotes, and his mom received his portrait right before Thanksgiving.
My whole intention is to dedicate this post to Morgan Spicer herself. Her work touches me every time, and fascinates how well she sees through each pet and their personality. I was also curious what kind of person she is and how she found a way to show her love for the animals in such a perfect way. So I asked her to write about herself and share her story with you.
“When I was very little I loved bugs. I would scream at my parents never to kill them and to always let them outside. If I wasn’t digging in the dirt for bugs I was playing with my dinosaur toys or with one of my three cats that I grew up with. To be honest I did not like dogs. They were big and scary and chased me around the yard and my cats didn’t like them so I had no reason to either! I didn’t want a dog but I did want an Ocelot. When I was younger I could name all of the endangered animals in the world, I knew I wanted to be a Zoo Keeper or maybe a Vet- but never an artist.
It was not until I was a young teenager that I fell in love with dogs. I was walking out of a Starbucks in my small New Jersey Suburban Utopia of a town when I saw a red Shiba-Inu tied up outside. I thought he was a fox! I immediately went home to find out what kind of dog I had seen and spent the rest of that summer convincing my parents to let me get one. We went to the local SPCA and miraculously there was a Shiba-Inu there! Fortunately for him though he was a stray and his family came to claim him. So my mother got her way and we were off to get a puppy from an “AKC-Registered” Breeder in New Jersey (I now know how little that truly means and will never get a dog from a store or breeder again). We found Kiba, the white runt of the litter. I fell in love with him when I saw his brothers and sisters would push him out of the way and not let him greet us. We quickly discovered he had a multiple genetic diseases and his life would not be simple.
I never really liked art. I never wanted to be an artist. My family would always tell me what a waste of talent if I didn’t go to Art School. The summer before my senior year of high school my dad and I traveled all up and down New England searching for colleges that had Ethology (Animal Behavior) as a major. When I was at the University of New Hampshire, I told a professor there that I wanted an Animal Rescue one day. He told me you did not need a degree in zoology or ethology to do that. Walking around that school’s pathetic excuse of an art room I realized that I may not want to be an artist with all I am, but if it was no longer an option, I may seriously regret it. I chose Syracuse University. A school with an art program that rivals Pratt and RISD as well as plenty of biology and science classes as options for me to take.
I would also love to Illustrate children’s books. I want to teach children through reading the importance of Mother Nature and respecting the environment, or even just illustrating a story that demonstrates how important animal companions are to a growing child. I know that compassion to animals needs to be taught at a very early age otherwise they could become disconnected from nature and never be a part of the world of responsible pet-ownership. More so than Children’s Books however, is my Rescue. I dream of having a Rescue of my own. One that I can build from the ground up- a safe clean, sanctuary for a few dozen death row animals at a time. I already know that the walls of the facility will be painted with the faces of the animals we rescue. Donors can have their pets immortalized in the kennels or cat rooms. (I told you it’s a dream!) Until I have my Rescue though, I have found a way to help rescues in NYC and all over the country through my art and love of dogs and cats. Drawing Pet Caricatures is fun, but for me its a way to be doing something, its a way to help those who are doing the hard job of saving shelter pets- which it why I donate 20% my commissions to those Rescues.
My muse and my inspiration for everything I do is Kiba. He is the sweetest soul I have ever met. He is gentle but also very sassy, in his Shiba-Inu way. He is so smart and adorable he gets his way no matter what. If it weren’t for him, I am not sure where I would be artistically or otherwise”.