Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ralf and Mia by Rachael Rossman

 About two months ago, at the end of January, I learned about this amazing painter, Rachael Rossman, who will gladly immortalize watercolor paint any pet picture.  Once I saw her work I knew that this was something that I wanted to do. While money is tight, I know that a one-of-a-kind work of art of a subject matter that is near and dear to my heart is worth the sacrifice.


Ralf is now 7 years old and while he still has a lot of energy and stamina, he is starting to show a little gray around the muzzle (kinda like me) and his rambunctious puppy years are definitely behind him.  I know that he has a lot of life left, but I simply cannot stand the thought that he will one day be gone (of course, I still haven't finished reading the book Marley and Me because I know how it will end and I refuse to acknowledge it).

We purchased Mia a year after we adopted Ralf for the expressed purpose of mating the two of them.  We absolutely loved Ralf and we wanted to experience the joy of having a litter of little ralfies around the house.  While it is advisable for the female to wait until she is two before breeding, mother nature took over.  No matter how hard we tried to keep them separated, somehow they got together and...well you know....all it took was once.  Mia gave birth to a beautiful litter of 5 puppies:  4 males and 1 female - just shy of her first birthday.  She was an amazing mother and her instincts were all perfect.  We loved each one of those sweet pups as if we were going to keep them all, but unfortunately our house is simply not large enough.  We did manage to find good, loving homes for them - and the subsequent 15 puppies over the next 2.5 years.

My first summer in the Master's program I got a phone call from Geoff:  he had come home from dinner to find Mia unresponsive on the living room floor.  She did not appear to have been in any distress, she just simply lay down in front of the bay window, closed her eyes, and passed away.  I was heartbroken --- and still am.  I never had the opportunity to tell Mia good-bye or thank her for being such a faithful friend.

This portrait of Ralf and Mia is hanging just above my couch in the nook:  the place where I spend most of my free time.  Now I can look up at my two "love dollies" anytime, and  I have the opportunity to thank Mia for all her love and sacrifice.  The two of them were such pals - and while I know that dogs are not monogamous, I'd like to think that Ralf thought that Mia was something special too.

We did not have a good picture of the two of them together, but Rachael was able to combine pictures and create this fantastic shot.  It is as though the two of them together create a heart of love.  And in a way, they did.


18 comments:

christopher said...

Wow, that story made me sad for the loss of your dog but also happy that you had such a lovely experience with her. My puppy was really sick a couple weeks ago, so this really pulls at my heart. (Plus, you know, my oldest daughter is named Mia ;-) ...

Diane said...

Molly, it is so tough to lose a beloved pet, but what a beautiful permanent tribute to their life...just lovely.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh Molly you made me cry! Labs are such gentle, loving, loyal babies. We had to put our Meggie down six years ago and I'm still not over it. There is no way I could read or watch Marley and Me. I just can't handle it. I love the painting, and believe that was money well-spent!

Kaye said...

Rachel did such a fantastic job. This is money you will never ever regret spending. Enjoy your painting and your sweet memories.

StephTheBookworm said...

Beautiful story and painting!

Darlene said...

Molly, what a touching post, you brought tears to my eyes. I can't imagine losing my little guy and now that he's older I sure do worry about it. What a wonderful memory to have in that painting-it's beautiful.

Florinda said...

Gorgeous painting, Molly - I'm glad you have this memento. It's so hard to lose our four-legged friends, as we've talked about before. I still miss Gypsy every day.

Vivienne said...

I refuse to read Marley and Me, as my black lab Jake is 13 and I know the book would just upset me.

I love the picture,it looks beautiful.

bermudaonion said...

I'm sure you do miss Mia. Our baby is 14 and has really slowed down, so I try to cherish each day we have with her. I love the painting!

Alyce said...

Your sweet post made me tear up. We have a yellow lab too. To be honest, she's not too bright, but she's much loved.

caite said...

my Maggie girl died a couple of years ago, the sweetest, dumbest dog God ever made. So I know how you feel, especially as it was so unexpected.
The painting is a great idea..

JoAnn said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. We get so attached to our pets - they are truly part of our families. Today we mailed in the greyhound adoption forms... we'll see what happens next.

hanly said...

I can't imagine losing my little guy and now that he's older I sure do worry about it. What a wonderful memory to have in that painting-it's beautiful.M2TS Converter
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Lisa said...

What a wonderful treasure!

Kathleen said...

What a lovely painting and tribute to the relationship between the two dogs. Mia sounds like she was a sweet, sweet soul while she was here.

Anna said...

What a beautiful picture, and what a wonderful way to remember Mia.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Literary Feline said...

That is a beautiful picture, Molly! It's so heartbreaking when we lose an animal. It's something we never quite get over, isn't it?

Jenners said...

Awwww...you wrote your own little "Marley & Me" post. I think it is a wonderful way to remember Mia. And what a sweet relationship they seemed to have!

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