Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Fond Farewell to Charissa the Border Collie

(a poem by me)
Charissa, a braver dog never was hired,
She used to herd sheep, then her human expired
Adopted by beach lovers, oh lucky she!
Now, Charissa relaxes each day by the sea.

Photo © Big Air Photography Big Air Photography

Thanks much!I 'met' Charissa the border collie in late 2005 when her new human parent contacted me to do a portrait of her. Charissa was adorable, as you can see. But she also had a compelling story, and she seemed like such a happy-go-lucky dog in spite of losing her first parent. Her second parents clearly loved her madly and gave her a very good life. I loved the dichotomy between her past life and her life as it was when I created her portrait. Both were a journey-dog's "dream life", yet they couldn't be more different. (I always thought her story would make a GREAT movie! )

I was buoyed by Charissa and her story. Her portrait was an interesting one. Her mom wanted to merge her 'two lives' in the portrait, using symbols and settings. I loved the idea, and we ended up with what became one of my most memorable portraits ever (or so people tell me!). That is a big compliment to Charissa and to how one little energetic dog can live such a multi-faceted, interesting life full of fascinating experiences.

Photo © Big Air Photography Big Air Photography
Being so smitten with Charissa's story, I decided at the time to pitch a column to a magazine using Charissa's story as the template. In the piece, talk about Charissa's past and present lives. I'm always so impressed by how accomplished this little doggie was. It's a good reminder of how one  - in this case, one dog -  can make such a positive impact in so many people's lives. I am sharing the piece with you here (bottom image, left ). You can click on the image itself and read it online, or you can also download a 200 dpi PDF here, if you prefer.

Yesterday, Charissa passed away, amongst loved ones. She was 14.5 years old.
Rest in peace, Charissa, and thank you.


Chroma Lab said...

What a sweet girl. I'm sure she'll be missed so much by her family.

Kerry Hawkins said...

That is so sweet

Gina Perry said...

What a beautiful article. RIP, she seemed like too much of an angel. Your portrait was gorgeous too - I love the way you handled her old career, so clever.

Kathy Weller said...

Thanks so much. Thanks for your comments you guys!

Krista said...

This is so wonderful! Your illustration is beautiful and such a lovely tribute.

I'm so glad to find your blog-- I saw you over on Jim Marcotte's blog-- best wishes in your licensing career!!

Leslie said...

What a beautiful dog with a beautiful spirit! I'm so sad for her family. The illustration you did was lovely and I'm sure her family will cherish it now more than ever. Thanks for sharing this.

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