Many people ask me if I have rabbits as pets since I paint so many of them. I don't. I had a house bunny a long time ago, but now I have dogs. I thought it might be fun (for me) to talk about each of them because they really are a lot of inspiration in my work, though maybe not so obvious at first glance.
This is Laika, she's the newest addition to the pack. Although she looks like a German Shepherd, she actually a full grown, 20 pound, six year old mutt. Yes, MUTT. Don't make that face. Mutt dogs are the best in my opinion. What her parentage is is anyone's guess (and many do guess) but my current theory is dachshund, corgi, min pin, squirrel hound, rat terrier... I tell people she is a rare mini German Shepherd.
We weren't gonna get another dog. Our German Shepherd mix Tuco had passed away and it was hard getting used to three dogs. I'd count them coming in from the yard to be sure all the dogs were inside, and I couldn't get my head around three. I kept waiting for the fourth to come through the door.
When I saw the add on Craigslist I told my SO, it's just a leetle dog. One more little dog won't make that much difference! Plus she looks like a German Shepherd. I grew up with German Shepherds and Shepherd mixes, they are sort of imprinted on me.
Me and Wotan, about 1976
Laika was actually named Linka when we got her, we just couldn't get our heads around it, so we altered her name a little. She doesn't mind. Her family gave her up because she didn't get along with their other dog and was too rough with their kid. She doesn't have a shepherd personality, she is pure terrier. Or terror if you are a rodent or squirrel, she is amazingly fast and efficient in taking care of the small animal population. Probably the main reason I don't have rabbits. She is surprisingly gentle with the cats though, although sometimes she will herd them back into my studio.
Like most terriers she is very high energy, more than all the dogs combined. Luckily she likes to fetch so this takes the edge off. Though she likes to sit on your lap, you can't pet her too much, she gets too wound up. She has a thing for things with wheels. Rolling luggage especially makes her excited, and children too, she loves kids. When ready to go for a W-A-L-K she will repeatedly jump straight up in the air 4-5 feet off the ground.
She really is a sweetheart, the perfect number four.