Connecting The Dots

Dalmatian Dog Puppy Red Collar Sitting Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Dalmatian” today, I made a sketch of a little Dalmatian puppy. I adore dogs, and though I’ve sketched several kinds over the years, I’ve never before sketched this particular breed. As a kid, I loved the original Disney animated movie 101 Dalmatians. Any movie with that many puppies is definitely one that’s going to make me smile. And since that time, I’ve always had a dog in my life, even though Elliott was the first time I’ve ever attempted to raise a puppy. Also, I love the line from the 101 Dalmatians book, upon which the movie was based, that described the human couple: “Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realizing that their dogs owned them.” I’ve definitely felt that all of the dogs that I’ve had over the years thought I was their pet. You can see in each dog’s eyes that they’re thinking, “You’re cute, but just a bit slow sometimes when it comes to simple commands,” while waiting for whatever was wanted in that moment. Waiting is not really something that dogs enjoy.

Our own pup Elliott is a mix of 14 different breeds, but Dalmatian didn’t make the cut. Though, he’s definitely not a fan of waiting for anything. Each time I even use the word “wait,” his expression moves through a serious of complex emotions ranging from doubt, to disappointment, and ending in a sort of irritable indignation. The very idea that I won’t give him what he immediately wants is a complete mystery to him. The flash of initial disappointment is more about his dismay for my obviously limited understanding of how the world should work. Indeed, it’s equally difficult to disagree with him sometimes. After all, how many times in life have I enjoyed the intoxicating effects of immediate gratification? Do I really need more art supplies? Probably, not. But if life were only made up of the things that we actually needed in order to survive it, then that life would be exceedingly dull. Over the years, I’ve learned that I don’t really like waiting either.

Each day, Elliott wakes up with a brand new burst of energy and enthusiasm, even though it’s always basically the same routine. It’s a fabulous reminder that life isn’t exciting because of all the new things that happen. It’s exciting to simply be alive. And, since it’s impossible to repeat each day in precisely the same way, even little routines are filled with little surprises. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t want exciting new things to happen in my own life. I still have a long list of dreams, and I’m still “waiting” for many of them to come true. Unlike Elliott, I don’t actually have anyone telling me I need to wait. So, in many cases it’s just a bit of procrastination. I’m currently working on a project I’ve been thinking about for years now, and realizing that it’s incredibly challenging. So, I’m taking it slowly and figuring out what I can as I go along. Slowly, my progress is inching forward, but like a dog, I’m also feeling a bit restless in the process. Yet, this time, I’ve decided to take a bit more of a methodical approach, so there’s plenty of time to spend, connecting the dots.

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Dalmatian Dog Puppy Red Collar Sitting Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

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20 Comments
  1. Mark 2 weeks ago

    Sweet pup!

  2. Mary Roff 2 weeks ago

    What a sweet expression on this little pup!!!

  3. ANGELA D BROWN 2 weeks ago

    How adorable

  4. Laura 2 weeks ago

    You nailed it Charlie with both the sketch and the description of how our pets own us. Their excitement and joy are contagious.

  5. Zoie McIntyre 2 weeks ago

    lol I love your description and I love your Dalmatian Charlie 🙂 <3. While I don't have dogs at the moment I have had several over the years and now we have cats who own us. I totally agree with you as to how the dogs likely think and that is even more so with cats I think. Cats tolerate us as long as they get what they want when they want it. Our cats get very demanding – one will lie on whatever I'm doing if I am not moving fast enough for his highness. The other is a little girl who doesn't really meow but has the cutest little trilling sound that she does – she definitely knows she is cute when she does it and fully expects results even though that hardly ever happens. lol No, I would say that it is definite that cat or dog – we – are the pets. 😉

  6. Marisela Delgado 2 weeks ago

    Mi amigo, Charlie! Super cute Dalmatian. 😍😍😍 Do you know why Dalmatians are associated with fire fighters? The first fire trucks were horse drawn wagons so the Dalmatians were left with the horses to keep people and animals away from them and to keep the horses calm. 😀
    I’m feeling much better. Sending you hugs!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Hola, mi amiga! Glad you know you’re feeling better! 😃💕 And that’s so interesting about Dalmatians… I hadn’t heard that! Sending you hugs and much love!

  7. Sandra Strait 2 weeks ago

    Dogs really are an example of how overly and unnecessarily we complicate our lives! We’d do well to follow their example!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Yeah, I’m always reminded of how life is better when we just focus on cuddles and treats! hehe 😉💕

  8. Gary Middleton 2 weeks ago

    Great doodle, Charlie.

  9. Mugdha 2 weeks ago

    Hello hello Charlie,

    The dalmation is gorgeous! And Thank You for giving us yet another Charlie O’Shields quotable quote – “… life isn’t exciting because of all the new things that happen. It’s exciting to simply be alive.” Every time this happens, I imagine a book titled ‘Charlie O’Shield Quotes’ and see the latest quote magically appearing in it. By the way when told to ‘wait’, does Elliot give out a tiny whine too? I think puppies are cuter when they whine, don’t you?

    Love,
    Mugdha

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this post! And Elliott does whine… and mumble and sometimes speaks in a long series of words that he seems to think are English, but we can’t always tell exactly what he’s saying. I think the whining is cute, but Philippe works from home and it’s gotten a bit old for him! lol Much love to you! ❤️

  10. Catherine Calvetti 2 weeks ago

    Adorable. This is my new pup Hazel. She is a Chiweenie. F9DD7B7F-6D8B-4A56-B4EC-823E00BBEE48

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 2 weeks ago

      Thanks so much, Catherine! 😃💕 Awwww… Hazel is sooooo cute!

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