Friday, June 3, 2011
'The dog decision' by Robert Genn
June 3, 2011
Robert Genn..the artist wrote:
Yesterday, Janet Badger of Bangor, Maine wrote, "You speak often of your dog,
your faithful studio companion. We've owned several dogs over the years but I've
found them to be like having a toddler around--you have to know where they are
and what they are doing at all times.
As a printmaker, I need my focus and concentration, to work without distraction. Is there a perfect breed of studio dog?
I think I need a quiet companion, though we can all benefit from morning
and evening walks. It's my husband who thinks we should have one again, despite
the expense. Can someone who lives happily without a dog learn to live happily
Thanks, Janet. Dogs are angels sent from heaven to make us into better people.
A few minutes of petting a dog releases oxytocins into the bloodstream of both
dog and human, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. Dog people may live
Every puppy begins in joy and ends in tears. Sometime ago I wrote about the loss
of our former dog, Emily. The email condolences that came in here were
overwhelming. As far as I'm concerned there are two downsides to having a dog.
The first is when you finally lose them, and the second, an ongoing problem, is
what to do with them when they can't travel with you. Lining up trusted dog
sitters is vital.
Having said that, a dog will increase your studio hours and prevent you from
wandering off and getting into trouble. Benjamin Franklin said that in order to
be happy a man needs "a good woman, a good dog, and ready money." I've noted
that none of my dogs have ever criticized my work. A loving tail-wagger in the
studio goes a long way in a profession of loners.
For an assessment of breed appropriateness, intelligence and size considerations,
you might read Dr Stanley Coren's "The Intelligence of Dogs." I happen to think
that dog people are the best people, perhaps because dogs, just like artists,
have excellent dreams and fantasies.
But there are cat people too, and they are just as passionately converted. Gerbils, weasels and rats do it for some folks, particularly as starters. You have a good husband--I think you should also have a good dog. Forget about the ready money.
PS: "Just like humans, dogs dream about the activities which they are most
familiar with and things that have gone on in the previous day." (Dr. Stanley
Esoterica: Dorothy the Airedale has a particularly spirited personality. Good
for my cardiovascular, she is always eager to go for a walk. Uniquely, she is
also content to play ball with herself. She is a happy girl, rather overly
bonded but universally friendly. She's fully employed patrolling our property
but unfortunately gets poor marks for squirrel and mole control. An occasional
garden digger, as I write this she is curled up with dirty feet in a pile of
paint rags. To her credit, she steps carefully around paintings when they are
casually thrown here and there.
Current clickback: "Desultory painting" looks at the idea of going here and
there in your work as a method of building creativity and joy. Your comments
will be appreciated.
Read this letter online and bark us your dog-studio stories. Cat-studio meows
ok too. Otters, parakeets, bunnies, mice. "If we could talk to the animals."
Live comments are welcome. Direct, illustratable comments can be made at
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Posted by WhiteRockReporter - Johan Sandstrom at 12:22 PM
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