For almost six years I had a really wonderful Shiba Inu dog, Cortez, who was a loving gift from a person who shared my affection for arctic dogs. My daughter’s favorite bedtime story, of all bedtime stories, is the book Mama Do You Love Me? which features an eskimo mother and daughter.
In this book are several illustrations of wolves and arctic dogs. My daughter kisses the picture of the sleeping dog above, over and over and over again, and I wonder sometimes if she remembers Cortez from her early infancy when he was still around.
I know that if Cortez were still with us she would love him so much. She LOVES dogs, they are her favorite animal and she seems to have a special affection for arctic dogs like I do.
For the past two years it’s been too sad and difficult for me to think of Cortez and the circumstances upon which he left my daughter and myself. But lately I’ve been allowing all the happy memories come to the surface. I never took down his pictures and felt inspired to create a howling dog/wolf linocut this past weekend. At the same time, curiously enough, my sister who really loved Cortez happened to be in Norway running around with a bunch of Malamute and Husky mutts! Arctic dog love all around!
Below are the results of my linocut from this weekend! They are part of the series I have been painting with my daughter. As is our methodology, she did the oil pastel and most of the watercolor wash while I carved the linocut and printed the image.
This is actually not the first time I created a linocut based on his image. I made this linocut back in 2008 for Christmas cards!
I know I will get another dog someday, impossible that my dog loving daughter wouldn’t grow up with one and I could only hope he/she is as great a dog Cortez was. First dogs are kind of like last loves though, the love that’s the deepest?