My artist, Cathy Morrison, has a theory. She says: “Draw them, and they will come.” You know what? I proved her theory!
While she was drawing a rattlesnake for her picture book What’s This Tail Saying? by Carolyn Combs, she walked out her front door and almost stepped on a huge rattler in the flower garden. The publisher even included it in the book’s illustrator information page.
Then she was asked to illustrate a picture book, Wild Ones, Observing City Critters, written by Carol Malnor. Carol asked if she would consider making the main character a goldendoodle. Cathy didn’t even know what a goldendoodle looked like, so she did her research. Lots and lots of research. The book came out, and Cathy read the story to families at Storytime in the Dome at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. She read the story to kids at bookstores and libraries.
Cathy loves reading picture books to kids. Most of the time, they create art or an activity that ties in with the book. It looks like so much fun. I wish I could go along one of these days. Kids love me and always give me the best pats!
Anyway, she continued illustrating more books and still had no idea about me yet … until one day a family in Denver bought me from a pet store and took me home. I was living in the suburbs with my three kids, Konnor, Talyn and baby Olivia, plus a pocket beagle named Cookie and Annie the Cat. It was a very full house, actually too full for me.
As it turns out, Cathy is the grandmother of my three kids. She would come to visit us in the city, and we’d go and visit Cathy’s Studio With A View in the mountains northwest of Fort Collins. I loved it so much that one day we decided I would have a happier life there. I’m now a very content mountain dog with lots of room to roam and explore.
So that’s how I proved her theory: She drew me, and I did come. I still get to see my city family, but my heart and home are in the mountains. I love being an art studio dog, too. I have the best of both worlds!
Most mornings we go out at sunrise exploring shortgrass prairie, forests and mountains along our walk. Sometimes we hike with our friends; sometimes we play fetch and see where that takes us. We find so many animals that my artist includes them in her nature books: deer, birds, squirrels and even bears. My artist loves to take photos of the flowers and grasses, too. I try to be very patient with her while she gets the photo just right because I know she wants to include these details in her next book.
Sometimes Cathy complains to me that she gets nothing done because of me. That’s not true; she’s just being grumpy, so I know it’s time to get her outside where she’ll be happier. As she likes to say, “Nature nurtures.” So we’ll head out for a walk or game of fetch. Then she’s more motivated to draw, and I have time to recharge with a little nap.
Being an art studio dog is a lot of work, but I’m up for the challenge.