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Welcome to March's Animal Welfare Week! Every month I dedicate the first full week to profiling dogs in need. Periodically I partner with Paws With a Cause and share their stories of triumph.

This week I'll be painting service dogs from Paws With a Cause, with a special focus on the individual relationships between the dogs and families who work in tangent. It is well choreographed, so many lives changed for the better on every front.

PAWS dogs are bred by PAWS staff, using animals they know to be free of health issues (such as hip dysplasia, behavioural or temperment concerns, etc). Puppies are raised by foster parents, who socialize the dogs and begin basic obedience training. After a year, the youngsters are then turned into headquarters where they begin their lessons at "school." Ultimately each dog completes their own training regimin and is carefully matched to an individual based on the dogs' skills and the individuals' needs.

This entire effort is a huge investment of volunteers' time and energy. For me it continues to be an honor and a pleasure to support Paws With a Cause. As is always the case with Animal Welfare Week, 20% of this weeks' sales will be donated to Paws With a Cause in the purchasers name.

FROM TOP: "Cooley I" and "Cooley II," both 5" x 7", black lab service dog portraits, in acrylic on canvasboard. Both priced at $149, available after my client's review. She gets first dibs. Waiting lists and inquiries to .

Both paintings SOLD.

This portrait had been booked for months, and then I got the added pleasure of meeting Cooley and my client at this past weekend's DKC Dog Show. Cooley is her 2nd PAWS dog, as the 1st one has retired (and lives at home with them). Getting a new service dog is a huge transition - the dog is learning to respond to a different voice and adapting to his new environment, the person is learning how to work with a new partner and all the idiosyncracies that come with that different personality. Compounded by an older dog who could be resentful of his shift in roles, the situation can become challenging. However it appeared as though all were adjusting very well.

Cooley is a big handsome guy, with a distinctive cowlick tracing the length of his nose. He was eager to greet me, but also tried to be mindful of his job. It was a tough balance, but I thought he did very well. At only 2-1/2 years old, there's much puppyhood dancing behind his eyes, but there's also a maturity in the way he carries himself. I have no doubt that he will fill his predecessors shoes and enable my client to continue her independance.

More information about Paws With a Cause, including details on how you can support their efforts, can be found at .

I'd also like to take a moment to extend a special welcome to the dog-a-day readers whom I met this weekend at the DKC Dog Show. It was a treat to have faces to match up with dogs' names/email addresses and previously purchased paintings. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, introduce yourselves (or your dog!), and chat for a bit.

Thanks, as always, for looking, and for sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,

Kimberly Kelly Santini
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings
come. sit. stay.
enjoy the art.

Founding member of the Canine Art Guild
the gateway to canine art on the web


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