For our prompt of “Wolf” today, I sketched a big wolf howling at the moon while showing a little pup how it’s done. While wolves howl to communicate with other wolves over long distances, my newly adopted puppy Elliott also likes to howl at times to demand attention from just across the room. It was cutest a few weeks ago when he was smaller and the volume level was a little more muted. He’s now learned to do what I was taught to do back when I was a stage actor, and that’s “project.” This is what you had to learn in order for your voice to be heard at the back of the theater, if you weren’t using a microphone. To combat this, like a papa wolf, I’ve been teaching him to “speak” more softly and “use his words,” because he’s got a bit of Siberian Husky in his Supermutt mix. He can now make a softer, syncopated howl that sounds very much like “I love you.” While this was taught as a sweet personal gesture between he and his dad, he now says it to literally every passerby we meet on the street.

In truth, Elliott is far more social than I am. I’m an introverted type who’s a bit shy in person, and who typically dislikes being in a large group, particularly if I don’t know anyone. If I see a group of people when I’m out walking, I’ll wave back if acknowledged, and then head in the other direction. Philippe is the same way, so Elliott has taken it upon himself to teach us to be a bit more social. Not in the exact same way he approaches things, of course. I imagine that if I walked up to total strangers and started saying, “I love you,” they’d find that terribly unsettling. When you’re a cute little puppy, however, you can get away with pretty much anything. Indeed, when I was far younger and cuter I was able to get away with a bit more as well. Though, I have to admit that it’s been fun to meet more people in our neighborhood through Elliott. He’s quite popular already, and will always sit and watch sadly as his latest, newly acquired friend walks away. Then he’ll softly howl his excessively affectionate farewell and the person will stop, turn, and actually say, “Aww… I love you too, Elliott!”

It strikes me that as much wisdom as we think we have to teach little creatures who are brand new to this world, there’s a lot we can learn from them as well. And though I can’t quite be sure what’s going through Elliott’s mind as he pensively utters his signature “I love you,” I can guess that it’s a purer version of what the phrase actually means. It’s just a simple way to express happiness at seeing someone you enjoy, without all of gravitas we humans have placed on those three simple words. I’m quite certain that the world could use a lot more love these days, so it makes me proud to know that little Elliott is doing his part to add a bit more. And, when I look into his soulful brown eyes, I feel a beautiful bond that will continue to grow over the years ahead. In that moment, I also feel that beautiful sense of humbleness that comes from realizing you’re not, in fact, the teacher, but instead, being taught. I’m already learning that life can always be simpler when I let my best instincts and happiest emotions guide me. So, as I crawl through a mountain of toys while gurgling funny sounds to please a puppy, I realize we’ve quite a lot in common. In the end, we’re just two simple creatures in love, howling at the moon.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.:  Artemis, Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click here to purchase just a print! Or, click here for to purchase a framed print!
Wolves Howling At Moon Adult and Baby Pup Watercolor Painting_IG

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33 thoughts on “Howling At The Moon

  1. Oh Charlie I just love this so much. Awesome painting! As always I love what you have to say along with your art. I was just recommending you on a post on Austin Kleon’s site to someone who has lost her inner child. I told her to start following and reading your words. Allowing herself to find that delight and her inner child again. I promised her she would over here at Doodlewash. It is also everyone on this wonderful site too. After a few years and much searching, much learning (with still alot to learn) it is Doodlewash that can always delight me. It is the best place ever.

    1. Aww thanks, that makes me so happy to know, Zoie! 😃💕 I’ve always wanted Doodlewash to be a happy and encouraging place to visit! I plan to really bring out that playtime with our Inner Child via my treehouse I’m building now over at! hehe I’m convinced that we never lose our Inner Child, but sometimes, they do like to play hide and seek! 😉

      1. I think some people move too fast to be able to become their inner child for a bit each day. Maybe sometime that will change. Your site is really my favourite. I have been around alot now and if people are feeling stuck and sad or floundering I say go over to Doodlewash with Charlie, Sandra and Mary and you will feel wonderful, and best of all you will learn to play. 🙂

  2. Is it possible that Elliott is a destined to be a scientist – in neurology perhaps? There’s a lot of science showing that smiles can actually make you happier – Elliott already knows it. Obviously a genius!

  3. Aaawwww, wish we lived in your neighborhood so we could meet Elliott and be part of his love fest! Our world surely needs more of that. Your writing, and sweet paintings always make my day, Thank You for sharing them Charlie!!🐾🐾💖🤗😀

  4. You have such a beautiful way with words, Charlie. You’re an awesome storyteller. I sometimes feel like I’m there and can actually imagine or picture the images that you are bringing to life with your words. 💜 Elliott sounds so cute. I think his big brother made a good choice for you guys. 😀

    1. Aww thanks so much, Marisela! 😃💕 I really appreciate the compliment… writing was always my first love before I even began to doodle. Also helps since my illustrations are often never exactly what I’m telling the story about! lol And yes, his big brother did make a good choice. You never quite know what you’re getting with a puppy, but it’s a blend of what’s already there and what you bring to the mix. He’s learned so many tricks, though, that now we’re struggling to come with new ones. He loves school… such a nerd. Just let his papa! hehe Hugs to you my friend! ❤️

  5. That’s a great one, makes me remember my days and s nice piano pub down in Orlando… “Howl at The Moon” was the name. when I moved to Indianapolis, there was one here too… But the one in Florida was smaller and more friendly than here in Indy. Good memories.

  6. Awwww Charlie,

    That is one sweet Doodlewash! I can almost hear the wolf howling and the puppy trying its best to howl louder. And it also looks like they’re both wishing upon all those stars. If that’s Elliott, he’s probably making friends with the moon too. 🙂 By the way, expect something in your inbox soon.


    1. Thanks so much, Mugdha! 😃💕 I’m glad you enjoyed this. I think they surely must be making a wish as well. I can’t look into the night sky without making one. And yep… Elliott is probably the reason the man in the moon smiles. And yay! I’ll be watching my inbox then! Can’t wait! Much love! ❤️

  7. So sweet, Charlie! Wish I could give Elliott a big hug! Stories like this make me miss being a dog owner so very much. Alas, retired now and not possible. On second thought, I’ll “borrow” my son’s Golden 😁❤️

    1. Thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 Elliott would love that hug! Though, you still have to watch out for those tiny sharp piranha teeth when he opens his mouth with glee. Dogs are the best… you should totally borrow your son’s Golden!!

  8. Hey Charlie that Elliott is too smart for your own good! Next he will have you growing longer canines (I mean the ones in your mouth) and running after the mail truck. As for howling loud enough, ask an Italian. Well at least in my family where no one talks below thunder decibel and when they argue the hills crack.

    1. haha! Yeah, I come from a family of loud talkers as well. Philippe was a little shocked when he first met them. And yes, Elliott will no doubt have us trained to do a million things we never expected! lol 😃💕

    1. Aww thank you so much! 😃💕 Glad you enjoyed this! I use just a few colors and very little water so it all goes quickly. Then a bit of clear water to blend anything that gets a bit a little too sharp. 😉

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