Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great Pyrenees pet portrait by Terry Albert

Tanner, a Great Pyrenees
I have just completed a new pet portrait of Tanner, a Great Pyrenees. His owner, Patti, is a veterinarian in Montana, and I have done five portraits for her over the years. It is amazing to me that it is almost 20 years since I did the first one, a portrait of Mugsy, her golden retriever. I recognized the setting for this painting, in the same yard where Mugsy posed one winter's day all those years ago.

This painting is 11 x 15", matted to 16 x 20, and done in acrylics and colored pencil.

Here are the other paintings I have done for Patti. They are all displayed at her veterinary practice.
Mugsy Golden Retriever, pastel
Ursa, a Great Pyrenees, watercolor 
Polly, Bernese Mountain Dog, watercolor
Mugsy, pastel
If you are interested in a custom portrait of your dog or other pet, please contact me! Visit my website, http://www.terryalbert.com to see more examples of my work.
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© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Canine look-alikes

Bonnie, above, and Lily
Most people have trouble telling two purebred sable shelties apart.  My two, Bonnie and Lily, are usually greeted with “Hello Bonnie or Lily or whichever one you are.” And of course the same is true for Labs, German Shepherds and most other purebreds. They all look pretty much alike. But what about mixed breed dogs?
Lucee, puggle
Rylee, goldendoodle
With “designer breeds,” I can identify pug-beagle mixes (puggles) and Golden retriever-poodle mixes (goldendoodles) pretty easily.  But some wonderful mixed breed dogs, a soup of assorted breeds, can also sometimes appear almost identical. As a pet sitter, I have fun comparing the odd assortment of dogs that I meet.

Stussy and Mobi
For example, my most recent guests: Stussey is a white 8-year old, and Mobi is a red 2-year old. They have different owners, and although different colors, they are identical in every other way. They have soft coats, curly tails, black-spotted tongues, and love to “talk” in a growly sort of way. Their owners both refer to them as chow/lab mixes.

Ivory, left, and Rex, right
Ivory is a 2-year old female, and Rex is a 6-year old male. They also have different owners. Rex is a scrappy terrier mix, Ivory is much more mellow. There’s probably some poodle in their ancestry.

Speaking of scrappy, Oliver is the ultimate troublemaker. I remember thinking he and Rex would either be best friends or kill each other. They love each other. Fausto, Oliver’s identical twin, has an entirely different personality (thank goodness). Fausto was a stray adopted in Mexico.
You might notice a certain resemblance between Oliver, Fausto, Ivory and Rex- I swear these guys are all the same mix of breeds. Fausto is a little bigger than the rest of the bunch.

Identify this mix!
This is Chobee, and I actually know that he is the product of two purebreds. Can you guess the breeds? (Answer at the end of this post)

Sally left, and Max, right
Max and Sally also have different owners. Everyone assumes they are border collie mixes, but who knows. They also resemble Belgian Sheepdogs.

Chobee answer
Chobee is a Shar Pei/ Doberman Pinscher mix.

Bookmark and Share© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved. Thanks to my friend Nancy Dobransky for the photo of her dog, Fausto, and Diana Leonard for her photo of Rylee.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sheltie painting by Terry Albert

I had such a cute sheltie staying with me this past week. I pulled out the paints and did a quick painting of him. This is Rolex, and he belongs to my friend Patty. It is 8” x 8” and done in acrylic on wrapped canvas.

It’s odd how I loosen up and just go for it when I am working on something that is just for fun–not a commission or assignment– just inspiration. I hope to transfer this abandon to another painting I am working on. Sometimes I get stuck, because I’m not sure what to do next. I didn’t have that problem here.

Here’s the real Rolex. I think I’ll go groom my shelties…

Contact me if you would like a pet portrait of your dog or cat! 

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My old sheltie girls


Bonnie and Lily are both closing in on 14 years old. I have had them since they were six, rescued from a Texas puppy mill. Both had just weaned a litter, and were thin and frightened. Today they are grand old ladies who I love dearly, but they are suffering some age-related illnesses.

I wrote in a recent blog about Lily’s onset of old dog vestibular syndrome. She continues to have balance issues and her head is always cocked at an angle. But she remains sweet and always hungry, so all in all, she is doing well.

Bonnie, however, had a scare last week with a bout of pancreatitis. She spent two days getting IV fluids and antibiotics at the vet hospital. Symptoms included bloody, smelly diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. I thought I was going to lose her.

Bonnie has had digestive issues for over a year, and is on a special high-fiber diet, so at first I thought it was just another episode. But she didn’t get over it, and started to get dehydrated.

In conversations with friends, I discovered that many shelties are prone to this ailment in old age. My Mac died from it, and my friend Lynn in Seattle has had several shelties that were affected. My dachshund Tuffy also died from pancreatitis. Once a dog gets it, they tend to relapse, and that starts a downward spiral.

Fatty foods, like Thanksgiving turkey, can trigger a bout of pancreatitis. In Bonnie’s case, there was no known trigger.

Old dogs get expensive, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. My girls are so sweet, and as long as they are comfortable, I will do my best for them. The love of an old dog is priceless.

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© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.