It’s Karma that we met last week. She’s a long haired chihuahua and belongs to Sara Abbott, the artist extraordinaire who painted my portrait.
But as we got to know Sara and Karma we learnt there is a lot more to Sara’s dog portraits.
Karma came with her name and she is the one who basically changed Sara’s efforts towards dogs. You see, Karma is a rescue dog. She belonged to a lady who was obsessed and delighted by little puppies. Once they have grown, they would be ignored and eventually asked to leave as newer and smaller dogs arrived. Well, that’s just not on, is it?
Soon it was Karma’s turn to be evicted, and after Sara had met Karma, she just could not imagine never seeing Karma ever again.
That was six years ago and as you know, when we pooches enter someone’s life, their world is never the same again. Mummy knows that well.
While Karma demanded more of Sara in getting her out and about, it was Sara’s work that changed the most.
Sara followed her dream to be an artist more than twelve years ago. She had certain ideas how it was going to be – those sellout artist with an air of moody countenance and dressed in black! Instead she found herself painting animals and in particular – dog portraits! Hooray for us!
But it was Karma who made Sara realise that while she was caring for her little love, she also became aware of the plight of dogs not so fortunate as her. The dogs that have not found a home like Karma did.
Sara became so much more aware of dogs living in rescue with a countdown to PTS (put to sleep), dogs living wild on the streets of cities all over the world or lost in war zones. Dogs trapped in puppy farms, caged, imprisoned weak, sick and dying slowly. And it made Sara question the constant demand for tiny, new puppies. Do we new puppies bring a little hope to a messed up world? And does that last? It seems not.
In so many instances, puppies when they grow up are given away or abandoned when they are no longer cute and playful – hoping someone else might pick us up. Can you imagine our heartbreak? This is what Karma helped Sara realise.
And that was how it had affected Sara’s work. She wanted to add a love and commitment value to her dog portraits by donating £100 of her fee to animals in need.
She started off with Dogs Trust. A year later she did the same thing with PDSA and raised over £3k. Then Pup Aid and The Mayhew Animal Home who care for dogs at either end of our terrible national, unwanted and abused dog problem. Pup Aid raises awareness of and campaigns against the cruel UK puppy farming trade.
So whether you have a dog, or are thinking of getting one please, please, please listen to all the information and advice that is now available, through the work of Dogs Trust, PDSA, Pup Aid, The Mayhew and all the other organisations working tirelessly to protect animals.
May’s comment: I met Sara Abbott more than a year ago and loved her work instantly. It took awhile for me to be one of those people who have dogs portraits in their homes. Well, I am now one of them and proud to know that my decision also meant I was helping dogs in need – this time it was Afghanistan through Nowzad Dogs.
Darcy is not a rescue dog. I didn’t know much about the world of dogs and animals in need before Darcy came into my life. But through her I learnt about the world of dogs, and like Sara, learnt about so many dogs in need of a home. And as I contemplate a playmate for Darcy, I am more inclined to rescue one now.
Sara’s good advice – never take on an animal on the spur of the moment and never let one fall in love with you unless you know 100% that you will be there and your home and work will allow you to fall in love with them for the next ten to twenty years.