This world is a world that has fascinated me as long as I can remember, certainly far more so than my love of model animals.
Whilst I have loved animals all my life, dogs have grown in my affections and have never fallen out of them. These creatures inspire and amaze me with their intelligence, physical beauty, capabilities, and their incredible and intimate bond with mankind over the many thousands of years we have dwelt on this earth together.
I believe that Dog has been given to man as a helper and friend, a companion and as one who loves unconditionally - giving us a glimpse into heaven, and the God who loves us that way.
I believe it is not by chance we are 'chosen' by a dog, loved by a dog, understood by a dog - if we will just allow them in. I believe there is great healing in animals, not in some mystical, weird way but rather, by allowing the walls we build up to become broken by a simple soul who sees through us - past the person we portray, past the person we run from, to the person we really are - the person God sees.
This is what I see in dogs. I see that they see. These simple, yet understanding creatures given to us as a gift - a gift of love.
I love the variety seen in dogs. I love how many different purposes mankind has invented for dogkind, as well as the many different breeds and types to fill those purposes. To me, a dog is not just any dog, not even a mixed breed - as even a mixed breed finds its origins somewhere and is a genetic throwback of something. Breeds are important and give us the dogs we have today. Selective and natural breeding has produced some fascinating examples, all of which have been created for some purpose or another. I am a breed connoisseur - I love to study the breeds, what makes them different, their history, why they were invented, their uses and purposes, but most fascinating of all = their physical appearance. I love studying the different points of different breeds, drawing them over and over to gain an insight into how one body type behaves slightly differently to another - whilst also being of the same species. This variety is perhaps what I love the most - that with the amazing, breathtaking beauty, grace, agility and life that can be found among the various breeds of dog. Add to that various levels of intelligence and instinct, and the different breeds make for a fascinating study.
Dog Genetics is a study which fascinates and intrigues me. I have studied it for just over a year now and find it so very challenging and also interesting to understand. I love, most of all, being able to spot any random dog and pretty accurately guess what that dog's genotype (genetic make-up) actually is, not just how it looks. Of course, there are always some variables and hidden possibilities, but that's what makes it so exciting.
I especially love teaching other people about dog genetics. Currently I have been working on a small, simple, hand-made book to teach my dog-loving friends a few of the basic principles. I think dog genetics are very important and am surprised at the amount of doggy people that do not understand. They are easy to understand once the first few stepping blocks are in place and I think highly important to the dog world. It is one of my passions to educate doggy people about the importance of dog genetics - as it provides a huge insight into the world of all things dog. Dog genetics is a passion of mine and I will be blogging about it.
The Study of Dogs
I have studied dogs and the behaviour of dogs for many years now - beginning when I was 11. The habits, functions and interests of dog behaviour has been a fascination of which I have only continued to study. I have learnt the body language of dogs simply by watching, studying and observing living dogs. I discovered dog body language is simply learning to 'read' what they were saying - in a very similar way as reading humans and other animals - observing body language and behaviour patterns until they begin to mean something, behaviour is repeated in a specific way, barriers and unspoken rules are observed by the creatures in a way that is both instinctual and intelligently thought-out.
Not only does the language of dogs fascinate me but also does the physicality of dogs. My fascination for the structure, bones, muscles and body parts may have, perhaps, led me to begin a career in Veterinary Nursing - an occupation I thoroughly enjoy and admire. Drawing dogs is another way I express my learning of physical structures, especially breed-specific sketches. Once one has established the basic understanding of the body and movement and form of a dog - it can easily be altered slightly from breed to breed - perhaps in a change of topline, hocks, head, or carriage - but the underlying bone structure remains the same.
Art and Dogs - my passion
I have drawn many animals over my life and love all animals almost alike - except for the odd poisonous snake hiding on our rural property. I have drawn, sketched, painted and 'artified' all sorts of animal species, but my love for dogs has always remained on top.
Drawing is a way of learning for me, as I am a visual artist and understand things when I can see them, rather than in words. In this way, I sketch out my sculptures (sometimes) and plan them out by seeing them beforehand, even if it is only a rough image. I have practically tried all forms of art and dogs and especially love sculpting dogs - making breeds realistically and in 3d is especially fascinating to me. Sand sculpture is another, far more intricate form of canine art I have attempted.