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Dogs Are Our Muses

I think my animal charges are the most beautiful creatures in the world, and I am always eager to show off photos of them. I remember once letting a stranger thumb through photo after photo after photo of my golden girl hanging with her sister, brother, and mother. Sure, they were all red-coated retrievers with plumes for tails and silky ears, but to me, each one appeared as unique as a snowflake. To that viewer, it was the same dog times four, despite the obvious differences (to me, at least) in head shapes, muzzle lengths, tail plumages, and coat characteristics.

An artist friend of mine, CiCi Davidson, captured my girl and her sister in a painting for me, working from a photo of the two bandana-wearing gals lounging languidly side by side on a hardwood floor. I cherish that art.

This issue of Bay Woof offers lots of dog art, from the totally adorable pop-out pet sculpture portraits by Rani Kamphilavong  and the uncanny, heartfelt paintings of pups by Daria Mace to the lyrical canine sketches by Leslie Lakes and the kaleidoscope of colorful murals on display at Oakland Animal Servives. And there’s another treat in store for dog art lovers: A retrospective of the one-of-a-kind art by Roy De Forest, the California master of the Funk and Nut art movements, hanging at the Oakland Museum of California until Aug 20.

Dogs serve as our muses. They bring meaning, purpose, and unconditional love into our lives without asking for much in return. They are steady, in the moment, and forgiving. Today, do something nice for your pooch—a special treat, an extra long walk, longer than usual belly rubs. She deserves it.