Furry Family Members

Day 20 - Christmas Dog Out Pet Portrait Watercolor - Doodlewash

There’s nothing better than spending time with family during the holidays, so I thought I would sketch a family member of my own. While certainly some human members of our families can be rather furry depending on their shaving habits, today, I’m talking about the four-legged variety. This is a little dog named Radar that my niece initially had, which I guess would make him my great-nephew. My niece is a rock star dog trainer, whose talents are much sought-after and she actually has several dogs. As little Radar was aging it was determined he would prefer a quieter environment so he was adopted by my sister. Which now, I guess makes him my nephew. But I still think he’s really great. Philippe is also quite a fan and the two of them can usually be found cuddling in a corner together at family gatherings (don’t tell Phineas, as he would only disapprove). It’s rather hard to stare into those deep soulful eyes and not be filled with lots of love. He’s 14 years old, but unlike my teenage family members, this simply means he won’t be around much longer. So, I figured I should capture him in my sketchbook, paying homage to the fact that he’s captured my heart.

When Philippe first met my family, he seemed quiet and almost shy to them. They are much more boisterous and outgoing, so those initial moments were a bit awkward. But then, they saw him cuddle up next to Radar and this told them everything they needed to know. And they wholeheartedly approved. So, that’s yet another reason to adore this little dog, who I only now realize was perfectly named Radar, detecting the presence of a future family member and sending a sending of approval. Philippe and I have actually only been together for 7 years this month, exactly half of little Radar’s life. And I wish I could see this tiny family member along with the rest of my family more often. But, our families are miles and oceans away from us, and we only get to see them once or twice a year. So, each moment is like a special gift. The kind that doesn’t come wrapped in paper but simply wrapped in love and appreciation. I long for those moments when Philippe and I are reunited with family and no matter how many days we can manage to find, it never feels like enough time.

If you happen to live close to your family and get to see them often, give them a huge hug when you see them next! And if you see them in a way that feels like it’s way too often and you wished you live farther away, then hug and hold them even closer. Trust me on this one. You have received the best gift life has to offer. And when it comes to our little pets, there’s even less time to enjoy. Each morning when I wake up and before I go to bed, I grab our dog Phineas and hold him close. He whimpers, at first, with a bit of irritation, but I ignore it. He eventually relaxes and enjoys the dose of attention. And, I quietly pet him and whisper, “I love you” into his ear as though he might understand what that means. I have to believe that he does, though, and will remember it until it’s his time to depart. In many ways, I think doing this also might make him stick around a bit longer. If he only knows how much he’s needed, perhaps he’ll fight to stay around as long as possible. It’s certainly been proven with humans, which is why I recommend those loving hugs. And as I myself grow older, I’m happy for the wisdom that I’ve gathered over time. Yes, even the bits that were only acquired from those rare moments with my furry family members.

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Day 20 - Christmas Dog Out Pet Portrait Watercolor - Sketchbook Detail - Doodlewash

Recommended4 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sandra Strait 4 years ago

    Oh, so true! I’m fortunate in that my mother’s Assisted Living is only about 10 minutes away and I can see her almost every day. The staff often stops me in the hall to let me know that she’s thriving because I am around – so many who live there only see family on holidays – if then. Unfortunately for me, I don’t get to see the rest of the family often. They’re also scattered around the world so in many cases there are years between sightings.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      That’s so wonderful you get to see your mother so regularly, Sandra! 😃💕I’m quite sure her heart shines with each and every moment! And yes, we can’t always be near the ones we love, but when we are, it’s always best to make the most of each moment!

  2. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 4 years ago

    “Love and hold them even closer.” Possibly the wisest statement you’ve ever written, and I’m always impressed with your writing, Charlie. Radar is adorable, a perfect little doggie elf.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕I’m holding you even closer in this comment. I really can’t thank you enough for making me feel like a writer. That, to me, is the greatest gift I could hope to ever receive. Thank you so much my friend! ❤️

  3. Mary Roff 4 years ago

    That is one adorable old pup. Our three cats all have our little rituals and not a day goes by without them being shown and told they’re loved. They fill our lives with love and laughter.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕Aww… your little cats sound perfectly wonderful! Give all three of those fur babies a hug from me!!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 4 years ago

    Very wise words, Charlie, with respect to family member of all species. Radar is adorable!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 Radar is a sweetie… and so happy you enjoyed this post my friend!

  5. Lisa 4 years ago

    Joe and I grew up in the same small town in Door County, Wisconsin. He was in Chicago area and I was way up north when we began dating. We met each other’s parents on a whirlwind Thanksgiving weekend. As far as I know, everybody liked everybody. When I got up after dinner to help his sisters clean up and do the dishes they looked at me a bit funny, but I didn’t find out why until later. Turns out that their other sister in law never helped. So I was a shoo-in. Lol.

    Now that I don’t travel, they all come to me, and I love having them.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      hehe! I adore that story!! 😃💕 Love that you surprised them with kindness… that’s always a way to be a shoo-in! And thrilled to know your family travels to see you. That’s probably the greatest gift we can receive!

  6. Linda Lubovich 4 years ago

    Love the stories you share with each of your paintings. This one includes wonderful advice regarding keeping your loved ones close in your heart. Thanks for your daily inspiration.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Thrilled you enjoy my stories! That makes me so happy! I’m not sure if you’ve listened yet, but some audio versions are available in my podcast. Check it out when you can at sketchingstuff.com !

  7. nutsfortreasure 4 years ago

    Merry Christmas Charlie

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      Thanks so much! 😃💕Merry Christmas to you as well my friend!

  8. Laura H 4 years ago

    True, true words and adorable doodlewash!

  9. smzang 4 years ago

    Charlie says, “…each moment is like a special gift. The kind that doesn’t come wrapped in paper but simply wrapped in love and appreciation. ”

    the tilt of the head, that special thing you do with eyes, Radar climbs into the viewer’s heart, spins around a couple of times, and snuggles there. What a joyful scene you
    paint with brush and pen. Really, Charlie, you oughta give tissue warnings. : ) That’s
    okay, they’re happy tears.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 4 years ago

      That’s such a sweet comment! 😃💕 Seriously… what a wonderful thing to say! Thank you SO much, Sarah! You just gave me happy tears with your words.

  10. trumpyorkie 3 years ago

    Awww, sniff sniff, reaching for tissue….

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