Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Maggie RIP (1991-2007)

This has been a hard week for me as my dog Maggie suddenly got so much worse. She was 15 1/2 and diagnosed with cancer a couple months ago, but she was still her indomitable old self, full of bounce and pep, so I was taking her for weekly treatments and giving her pills. I felt that as long as she was happy and bouncy I wanted to give her a chance.But suddenly this week all the bounce and happiness left her. Her appetite had been off and she had lost a lot of weight (from 57 to 40 pounds) but the last week she had seemed better, eaten better and gone back up to 42.

But this week she just stopped eating entirely. None even her favorites like cheese or ham or peanut butter could tempt her. She was down to skin and bones, and was getting weak and wobbly, so this morning I took her to see the vet.

So Maggie went to sleep at the vet's office this morning about 9:30. The vet could tell from his exam that just since last Monday all of a sudden the cancer had dramatically spread, and he felt that additional treatment would not buy her anything, but would be more for *me* than for her - but that this option was the best one for her. They gave her valium first so she was calm and relaxed, and I got to be with her and hold her and pet her the whole time.

It was fifteen years ago this month, March of 1992, when she came into my life as a wiggly puppy. She was a little terror, full of bounce and spunk. She was probably one of the smartest dogs I've ever had, and one of the most stubborn. Everyone laughed that she had *me* well-trained. She was always quite firm in letting me know when it was time to go out, when it was time to eat. And she never took no for an answer if she had decided it was time!

My folks have a summer place in Canada and Maggie went there every summer for fifteen years. She loved to run on the beach. She had the best fun chasing seagulls. This past summer she didn't run as much, but she still had a good time. She also loved the beach in North Carolina when I visited my dad and sister down there.

She was my "Energizer bunny" dog who kept going and going. Or I used to joke that I should have named her Molly instead of Maggie because she was like the Unsinkable Molly Brown, but eventually the cancer got too strong for even Maggie to keep fighting.

Here is a picture of her at one of her favorite activities from the summer of 2005 when she was still a spritely, energetic and active 13 1/2. I did this when I was still very new to pastels. Maybe I'll have to try it again now that I think I'm a little better than I was back then. Maggie was a good old girl.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Hands and Feet Workshop

I was back at Montclair Art Museum today for another workshop - this one on hands and feet. Hands and feet are a beastly struggle most of the time, and especially the hands!

This was tough too as poses were only 20 minutes long - we had three hand poses followed by three foot poses. 20 minutes is not enough! And I'm a generally speedy sketcher as well. But this was a bit stressful as no time to get all the proportions right.

But it was still a fun workshop, and a bit exciting as they were filming an episode of Law and Order: SVU while we were there today. Anyway, here are my 6 sketches in order: