I think I’ve sketched nearly ever pet I’ve personally owned so today, when I thinking about pets, my mind went to my grandmother’s collie named Lucky. Though he’s since moved on and it’s been many years since he was playing in the fields of my grandmother’s farm, it’s a wonderful memory. He was one of the sweetest dogs on the planet and a great protector of little kids like me. I remember that he always appeared to be smiling and his soulful eyes would stare right into your heart. I don’t actually have a photo of him so I’ve had to use references that matched what I remember him looking like. And also discovered that collies are ridiculously tough to sketch quickly. I doubt I could capture all of that spirit in a tiny little doodlewash anyway. But as a childhood memory, he’s definitely at the top of the list.

As kids visiting a farm, we’d always love to go exploring and Lucky was more than happy to be our tour guide. He not simply follow along behind us, but often in front, leading us to the next location he found interesting. We happily followed. Now, as an adult, I realize he was always leading us out of dangerous areas and into places that were much safer. I’ve no idea how he knew, but he was always figuratively and literally one step ahead of us. There are so many feelings to express when I think of him, but it’s nearly impossible to put into words that would make sense. I remember taking a ceramics class and I decided I would choose the collie mold and paint it for my grandmother. It was almost comical to see Lucky in the form of a trophy, but also rather fitting. She seemed to genuinely love it as I recall, but grandmothers are good at making you feel that way even if they think it’s something awful.

Eventually, the years would go by and he would start to slow down, until that one visit when we were told that he wasn’t coming back again. I remember crying when I learned that he was no longer with us. It wasn’t my dog, but it was still like losing a close friend. I’ve had many dogs over the years and I’ve loved them all, but some stick in your mind more than others. He was one of those. And if I close my eyes, I can still remember the feel of his fur and his wet nose pushing my hand back into place to let me know he wasn’t done being petted just yet. He had a quiet contentment and joy for everything around him, even on the most brutally hot summer days. I’ll never forget him and will always cherish those memories. Just a little puppy that grew into an amazing and loving creature. You don’t always know what kind of dog you’ll end up with, but sometimes, you get Lucky.

Join us for the January Doodlewash Adventure: Childhood Memories,
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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Red Orange, Sennelier Red, Indian Yellow, Opera Rose, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon with black ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 13 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Pet Rough Border Collie named Lucky
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

28 replies on “Sometimes, You Get Lucky

  1. What beautiful, heartfelt memories of Lucky. Your grandmother would be happy to know how much Lucky touched your life and how well he took such good care of you. Also, I am sure she would love this doodlewash and your lovely tribute, Charlie! 😍🐶💖

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lovely tribute to Lucky. You managed to capture the collie perfectly with all its silky fur, the range of colors, and that long snout – and in a difficult pose as well. Through your story, I can feel him pushing against my hand, demanding to be petted longer. He was a companion to you in your childhood and now he’s here in your memories – sweet story.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely picture of loyal friend. Interestingly, I’d call your pic a rough collie though, rather than a border collie. But both of them would be hard to sketch quickly I guess – since they’re both very active. LOVE Dogs –

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww yes! I changed it to just collie as someone on Instagram pointed that out. My very first dog was a border collie… hehe… so I inadvertently added that (I sketched her early on and border collies are tough too!! lol). Actually I never knew the “rough” name… doesn’t seem fitting for Lucky so I’ll just go with collie! hehe So happy you liked my rendition of him! 😃💕 He was definitely a wonderful friend and childhood memory!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post, Charlie. Spudley the Cat, who used to visit me before she left for pastures new, was called Lucky by the people she lived with – it suited her. They know what they’re doing, animals, quite amazingly sometimes. Your Lucky sounds amazing also.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You must be tired of hearing how incredible your paintings are but as a lover of all dogs I had to add my few words. Lucky looks so full of life I expect him to jump off the page. I will watch out for more images of Border Collies on your site and search for a Norwegian Elkhound.

    Liked by 1 person

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