Another pug portrait! How was so thrilled when I was asked to make one ! And not just any pug. My latest pug portrait is of my pug Naku’s brother, handsome Rodney.
When I grew up in Italy, getting a dog was a simple exchange between friends. Dog-lover friends would get first dibs on your planned puppies and you would get first dibs on theirs.
Mutts, purebreds, it didn’t matter. No one ever bought a dog. We got a dog when we needed or wanted one. They all arrived with an interesting history.
We always knew their brothers and sisters because they had usually been a part of this dog-lover exchange. Dogs were an extension of friendship, and spending time with relatives of our dogs was a normal thing.
There was a downside to this, though. People didn’t feel responsible for their dogs or for what it took to care for them properly. Few people ever took steps to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Buy a Dog or Rescue a Dog?
Fast forward a few decades. Nowadays, getting a dog is different. Most dogs are either bought for a lot of money because of their breed, or are rescued from among the many dogs left to fend for themselves.
It’s sad that so many dogs are born unwanted or are not cared for. What a blessing it is that we have rescue associations that do an outstanding job of finding homes for abandoned, neglected, and abused dogs.
Let me continue my story.
When one of my rescue dogs died unexpectedly of cancer at a young age, I was devastated. I believed he was my guardian angel. He was a big, gorgeous mutt, and he always watched over me.
My Puppy Is Born
A few months later, while having dinner at a friend’s house, we learned that one of the guests wasn’t coming because her pug was having puppies. Another guest was the owner of the mother of the pug in labour.
All of a sudden, everyone was talking about their dogs and how they knew their roots back several generations. These people were responsible dog owners who planned their dogs’ litters and had the future owners lined up—their friends.
I was lucky enough to get one of the puppies, my Nakupenda, who came from a litter of nine. Mother Tallulah, grandma Petunia, step-grandpa Luigi. Pug cousins, brothers, and sisters, all in the neighbourhood.
When we got together for pug-walks, 18 to 20 related pugs showed up.
Rodney the Pug
Rodney is one of my pug Naku’s brothers. Of nine pugs, six were black and three were fawn, Rodney being fawn. The puppies were well raised, and all had a name. They were loved from the moment they were conceived, as they should be.
It was fun becoming friends with people who owned a relative of my dog. Just like the good old times growing up in Italy!
Let’s talk about Rodney and his pug portrait.
The owner, my friend Louise, didn’t have a recent photo of Rodney, so we met at a park where I could take some. Louise told me what kind of portrait she wanted, and I took multiple photos to give her options. Pugs are photogenic, and they love the camera.
Rodney sat close to Louise and was quiet for the poses I requested. So adorable! In between takes, he played with his sister Naku’, Newman the pug, and Ringo the mutt.
What really shocked me was that, not only did Naku’ and Rodney look alike, they also had the same voice and bark.
The end of this pug portrait story
The only person who can choose the best dog portrait is the owner. You can take a gorgeous photo of a dog, yet the owner will pick the one in which the dog has the right expression.
Louise wanted Rodney’s pug portrait to be a frontal face. She picked the photo in which the sleeve of her blouse was showing.
Though she gave me a list of colours for the background, I opted to use the same colour theme as her shirt and reconstructed the shirt pattern in the background.
Rodney’s pug portrait was very special to make. It was like creating the portrait of a relative.
I was thrilled that Louise loved the portrait. She appreciated being in the pug portrait, too, even if it was only part of her sleeve.