Saturday, January 16, 2010
Gin Stinger, out of Go For Gin and Ide Delight out of Ide, captured during the post parade to the second race, claiming, at Horseman's Park, Omaha Nebraska, Sunday, June 20, 2008, Louis Ranilla abord. Painted in Oil. It is still not finished, though I don't think I will do anything new until next summer.
Friends harp on me for chosing to paint "quiet" moments during horse races, rather than the more exciting moments. Frankly, I really feel these moments say more to me. The jockey has most likely only met this horse a few minutes before. He must assess what ever he has retained from reading the horse's race chart, what he has been instructed to do by the trainer, and what he himself can feel of the horse he is on. I think of it like someone who is about to ride a luge on an unknown sled which might have a screw loose or just not work.
You will also note, if anyone reads my blog, that I am more fascinated by small local horse parks and races. I've already started to know these local Jockeys by sight. They ride at Fonner Park, Fair Grounds in Lincoln, Columbus and I think, Prairie Meadows, in Iowa. I'd love to hear from them. I'd also love it if my art inspires anyone to watch local races at small tracks.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Torn apart and forced to live in separate cages, Giselle and Barney went to two totally different situations: Giselle to a poor but loving home, and Barney-- to a family who did not want him. Yes, Barney, left, was an abused dog, from what I learned from his new and much better people. He was forced to live outdoors in an unheated structure. He finally ended up in rescue where he found nice people to care for him. The meat of this story? I believe that Barney is my dog, Giselle's brother.
According to the owner's knowledge of him, he came to the same pet shop as my dog. The pet shop only had two sets of Italian Greyhounds in quite a long time. It was rare that they ever got an IG, let alone a pair of siblings. And the third piece of evidence is that when I was looking at Giselle, I remembered seeing that her brother was a solid gray (not an "Irish" color pattern which is the white and color pattern you see on Italian Greyhounds). I am not going to go into how buying dogs at pet stores is a bad thing at the moment. I know this is an issue. Perhaps I will debate it in another blog.
What inspires me are the amazing coincidences that brought Barney and Giselle on the same paddock during an IG fun day here in Lincoln. The fact is that I saw Barney at the other end of the paddock and thought: "That dog looks like it could be related to my dog!" After hunting down the owners (yes, I am pushy like that) I pointed it out and they told me where Barney came from. He was purchased by a teenage boy who had not gotten his parent's permission. I can understand that. They took him but he hadn't worked out. Italian Greyhounds are notoriously hard to house-train. They made him an outdoor dog. The shock! The horror of that. Italian Greyhounds are notoriously hard to house-train, they are also total indoor dogs who need constant heat and total love and adoration (I think all dogs do). The thought of chaining a tiny slender dog with no fat deposits in a shed -- in Nebraska!
As you can see by the photographs, they look like twins. Barney is actually a bit larger, and his color patter is different, but bone by bone and muscle by muscle they are practically twins. It is like looking in a mirror, especially around the eyes.
I love that I found her brother. I had always regretted that I could not have them both. I am so happy that a potential tragedy was averted and that IG rescue could help one unfortunate dog. I guess it is important to keep the story that surrounded the purchase of an animal. After we spoke and I got these pictures, Barney's family and mine have met a few times. I try to make as many of these IG get-togethers as I can locally. I think it is fun now to see if they "remember" each other. Even if they are really not related, the similarity is amazing, their stories are so perfectly meshed, that we simply assume that they are brother and sister. It's a happy ending after all for both of them.