Friday, February 11, 2011

Untitled 64




Pastel on Sennelier LaCarte, approx. 2.5" x 5".

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Sweet old Jazzy waits for dinner. He is now 14 years old, as of this month. He's somewhat deaf, somewhat blind, hypothryroid, rather fragile, has a bit of dementia, and is quite arthritic. And the sweetest boy in the world.

He is a rescue (i.e., adopted, not purchased) and he used to be an official therapy dog at the hospital. I trained him (well, the only skills he really had to actually learn were "leave it" [when food was near him] and "wait [for me, while I leave for a while]." Everything else comes naturally to him--wanting to meet people, wanting to be pet or hugged by strangers, leaning up against people, sitting on their feet. He passed the tests very well, except he lunged at the pizza that was held in front of him by the examiner, thus failing the "leave it" command (but she approved him anyway, because he charmed her). He was best in the waiting areas, where stressed-out, worried people were sitting around waiting for news of their loved ones who were in surgery. He would go to them and sit on their feet; I think it helped them feel grounded.

The reason we stopped going was because of me. When people met a lovely Golden, what kept happening was they started telling me about the Goldens they used to have...who then died of cancer, or were hit by a car, etc. etc.  It just got to be too hard on me to be constantly hearing what I called the Dead Dog Stories.

Even though we stopped going officially, Jazz will always be a great unofficial therapy dog. He's always there for you if you cry, reaching out for you with his big paw when he sees human tears. We got caught on a hiking trail by a storm once and he leaned against me, protecting me from the rain and hail (not that wet dog is the best fragrance to be near, but I didn't complain).

The Husband adopted Jazz when Jazz was 1 year old, and I met Jazz when Jazz was 5. We even love the fact that Jazz has a strong stubborn streak. After all, without that he'd be perfect, and no one's perfect. (The main way he's stubborn is that if he doesn't feel like going in the direction you're going while walking, he'll plant his 75 pounds [used to be 85] so firmly that it's impossible to move him. You just have to wait for him to change his mind.)

A few years ago, we took him to have his abdomen ultrasounded because the vet felt something possibly suspicious. Jazzy thought being turned over onto his back and having his tummy rubbed by five strangers was the best thing that ever happened to him. I remember the technician waving the wand around on his abdomen and us asking her, "What do you see?"  "Astounding quantities of fat," was the answer. (He started his diet later that day.) And strangely, they also incidentally found that he only has one kidney. Apparently he was born with just one.

When The Husband and I got married, Jazz wore a man's blue silk tie and looked very dapper. He was Best Dog.




The look of contentment, fang protruding, and little smile on Rumi's face when he sleeps just kill me.



After a couple of better days, Gadjo had a bad evening yesterday. Sigh. Guess it's still just wait-and-see.

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At the weaving center, Hyderabad, India.


More art on my website: jalapfaff.com

11 comments:

Sonya Johnson said...

I think this might be my favorite of this series yet! I love the little streaks of bright primaries and secondaries sandwiched between the mochas :).

[I can finally type comments today after smashing my hand in a dumpster yesterday...]

Jazzy looks like a total sweetie in the photo - I want to give him a cookie and a hug! And Rumi...well, his photos always make me laugh. Hang in there, Li'l G.

Bonnie Luria said...

Jazzy could not have found a better writer to pen and approve his official biography. I now love that dog too, and wish he would plant his heiny on my feet and lean in.
Weaving stories, weaving scarves, bobbing and weaving with Gadjo- I see a theme in your household.
I'll weave well enough alone now...

Jala Pfaff said...

Sonya - You smashed your hand in a dumpster?! Oh my god. Hope it's healing okay. Email me and tell me what happened.
Glad you like this one. Jazzy would quite willingly accept a cookie and a hug. I like how you've given Gadjo his rapper name!

Bonnie - Thank you. But are you sure you have to weave already? You just got here.

carolking said...

Beautiful untitled painting 64.

Beautiful Jazzy....please rub his belly for me.

loriann said...

Just reading your story about Jazzy makes me love him too. You are lucky to have each other.

SamArtDog said...

You know I've loved Jazzy for a long long time. He da man.
This "stratum" feels nice and grounded. I like it a lot.

cohen labelle said...

HI Jala
This is such a delightful post - a loving tribute to your dog, Jazz - a good read as they say with splendid sentences! - I particularly love that he looked dapper in a man's blue silk tie and that he stood up as best dog at your wedding!
I'm also enjoying your splendid pastels with your use of beautiful, sensual color.

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Love to hear about Jazzy. Our old Dingo rescue dog is on his last legs (arthritis)and may not last much longer...thought he didn't want to go for a walk this morning.

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Carol - Thank you. And will do.

Hi Loriann - Yeah, could not have asked for a greater dog.

Hi Sam - Thank you. I know and Jazzy knows too.

Cohen Iabelle - Thanks very much! And Jazzy looked dapper indeed.

Don - A belly rub to your old boy from me.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

The painting is so vibrant and alive.
I loved this post and this wonderful old dog. Is there anything sweeter than a Golden Retriever? Thanks for sharing the photos of the kittums. Kelley is always telling me I need to post photos of the girls more often, 'Like Jala does.'
The shot of the yarn BEGS to be painted!
Kisses and hugs to little Gadjo and to all.

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Mary, Thank you so much. I've heard it said that "the only thing sweeter than a Golden is an old Golden" and I think it's true. "Like Jala does": hahaha, tell Kelley that made me laugh.
Kitty kisses to your two girls.