Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Tale of Clayton

About 9 years ago The Hubby and I were given the opportunity to take this little guy into our lives, our hearts.  He belonged to a friend of ours at the cabin retreat place and as it turned out was also a neighbor in town.  Anyway, at the time she was traveling way too much for this young lad and he needed to have a more stable life.  When we would see Clayton we would jokingly say, "Rose, we're just going to take Clayton." He was the cutest and friendliest little guy and we loved him, everyone did.  
Then one day the phone call came where she asked us if we would like to have him.  Oh GOSH!  We thought and thought and decided we would make him a part of our world.  Clayton was a young, 3 year old puppy.  This photo is the day we said yes.

The next two photos are bringing him home and me trying to capture his picture.  I thought we had made a mistake.  He was manic and it scared me.  


Very, VERY quickly it was determined that we did indeed make the RIGHT decision.
This face... 

This personality... 

The love... 

Clayton has melted our hearts and we couldn't love him more.  

He so loves our granddaughter and any little child that comes through the door. 

He especially loves his daddy. 

...and me. 
...and occasionally he has overnight guests, Mondo the Wonder Dog, Snicklefritz's companion. 
Oh MY he loves Mondo. 

Clayton is a huge part of our life, even breaking bread with us on a nightly fashion. 

 Sadly, about 2 years ago things took a bad turn for little Clayton.  He developed a connective tissue tumor on his hip and another on his left front leg, the one that is short from birth.  
The hip one was successfully taken off.  It was baseball size!  

Then we went for the one on his leg.  The vet said he didn't know if he could get it all because there wasn't much fat or skin on his leg and the likelihood of it coming back was very high.  He was right because about a year after it was taken off it was back very quickly.  We again tried to take it off and that time around the surgery was so stressful on our little guy I didn't know if  we could stand it.  Poor baby cried and cried when we got home.  I was heartbroken for him.  
The second surgery for the leg was just in September and about 3 months ago that dang thing was back with a vengeance.  At the time The Hubby took him back to the vet for a consultation and he said that if it ruptured (abscessed) to bring him back and they would try to cut down some but short of amputation, there was really not much chance of getting rid of the thing.  In the past month that mass started growing at a rapid speed and we made an appointment to get him in but had to wait two weeks as our vet was booked.  Well, this past Memorial Day weekend, it abscessed!  BLECH!  It was a horrible weekend with a trip back to town at 2 am to the emergency vet and yesterday we were told by our vet that amputation was our only option.

So tomorrow (if the surgeon can get in schedule) our little Clayton, our heart, will go through major surgery to lose his leg.  I am absolutely distraught over the decision we have had to make.  If it was a back leg there would not be a hesitation but with it being a front leg the learning to walk again is much tougher, and the vet said his recovery will be much slower not only because of that but because he is 12-1/2 years old.  He's an older dog.  We will not put him down because he is in great health and this is the only thing wrong but I fear that he will not weather this well and that we will go down that road.  I DO NOT want to make that decision.  

Please say a LOT of prayers for our little Clayton.  

Monday, May 20, 2019

Workshop Time Yet Again

Well, hello all.  Here it is May 20 and I haven't posted since April.  It's been pretty busy with a lot of work at the office (can't WAIT till we retire).  We will celebrate 40 years in business this September.  I can't believe that as the years seem to have flown by.  It's been fun, a headache, and an experience for sure.  I wouldn't trade any part of our life being self-employed for all the tea in China!  

The past week I've been at yet another workshop in Arkansas.  This was billed as a portrait workshop but started off as still life.  Linda and I were a bit confused but I think he just needed to see what he had to work with as far as students.  I usually go into these workshops very antsy and unsure of what I can do.  I can't seem to get started and end up frustrated by the end, but this time, WOW!  I don't know if he was just blowing smoke, but by the end of the first day of drawing and painting these globes and drapes, I felt like the golden child.  He was constantly taking my effort to the front of the room or telling the other students to come look at what I had done.  He seemed very impressed by my drawing capabilities.

At one point I put a stroke as he was standing behind me and he scared me to death as he said "FANTASTIC", then quickly grabbed the painting again to show the class my "perfect" stroke.  He said my drawing was STELLAR and that at the end should be framed!  Wow, usually the workshop stuff ends up painted over and in essence trash.  
I won't deny that by the end of the day I had a big head.  It felt really good.

Day 2 and we finally were on to actual people but quickly realized the portrait workshop was a figure workshop.  I was okay with that but I know Linda really wanted the portrait side, to learn how he gets the beautiful skin tones in his portraits, as I did too.  But, I got some practice I needed in figures. 
So Rebecca was first up.  I HATED that damn hat but it is what it is and again he kept coming around and praising my drawing.  Usually I'm not open to criticism and my responses send the instructor on to other people but I decided, with a lot of encouragement from Linda, to be different in this workshop.  I even let him put strokes on the canvas, which I DON'T like.  But, he really put very few and again my drawing was trotted out to the front of the class for praise.  It was getting a bit embarrassing, but exciting.


Day 3 and sweet Nick came to sit for us.  I loved his hair but we were yet again painting red or a shade of red.  Reds are hard to get because if you touch white it can turn pink so quickly.  

The praise was again dolled out and I was beginning to think people may hate me but it really helped me feel as "I can do it!"  He really liked how I did the pants on Nick. 

This is where I really NEEDED the portrait side of the class for skin colors and facial features.  He said my colors were fine but boy did I struggle getting them.  

Day 4 and Rebecca was back and so was the damn red tones.  She was a beast modeling for us.  She sat and sat and sat.
The drawing was a bit tougher but he liked it. 
Finally, paint, and I ended up really liking this painting and where it was going.  Of all the days this is probably my favorite.   
I don't know if I will keep any of these paintings or just paint over them but it was a great exercise and I can't wait to do a real painting of someone I know.  I feel that my drawing skills are really stepping up and that gives me a boost of confidence.  

Hopefully I won't be away so long but seems that life is just so busy lately I don't have a second to share here.  My blogaversery, 13 years is quickly approaching in June.  Can't believe I've been sharing here for that long.  So onward to the day.  Have a great day and stay safe in Tornado Alley as the weather is a beast today.