Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ode's portrait

Ode--she is a brave spirit. So brave, in fact, that she changes every single person who comes in contact with her. Myself included. She is, after all, the one responsible for altering the mission of Stray Dog Arts. Painting dogs has led me home (home, that is, to my truest self), but Ode is the one who opened up the heart of this home in a way that I was unable to imagine before her.

Ode has opened up doors and windows and friendships and opportunities that have altered everything for me. This little pup who was horrifically abused and then abandoned has opened up my eyes to a whole new way of being. If there are angels on earth, then Ode is surely one of the most high spirited among them. Sweet Ode, what an incredible teacher she is.

This particular painting will be donated to a silent auction for Pet Haven's Fall Benefit. It is also the first painting in the series of many that will promote animal rescue efforts.

This is just the beginning....

* * *

Dear Ode,

Thank you for breaking me open.
Thank you for sparking an entire world of possibility.
Thank you for leading me to Eve.
Thank you for showing me that everything is possible.
Thank you for connecting me with Marilou.
Thank you for your rambunctious, bubble-loving energy.
Thank you for showing me that there is always hope.
Thank you for teaching me the importance of letting go.
Thank you for being a living example of bravery.
Thank you for changing the world, just by being you.
Thank you for teaching me how all of us can make the world better by simply being our truest self.
Thank you for helping me get over my self-doubt and fear over whether or not I will be successful.
Thank you for showing me another way of seeing.
Thank you for leading me to endeavors that support me--inside and out.
Thank you for being an inspiration.
Thank you for playing ball with me and jumping on me and showing me how you can run.
Thank you for helping me be a better person.
Thank you for leading me to Pet Haven.
Thank you for bringing me to this place of open-hearted love.
Thank you for showing me that anything is possible when you BELIEVE.

Thank you for changing my life.
Ode, I love you.

your friend forever,

*read more about Ode's story here and here and here and here.
**and you just MUST look at this photo of Ode with her best friend, Eve (aka. the new baby of our family). Now that's friendship. ;)



Anonymous said...

the painting is gorgeous, jessie. although i haven't met ode, you seemed to have captured her spirit from the photos.

as for honoring your truest self in the way that you have...well, i am just so humbled and inspired and proud of you.

daisies said...

this is so incredibly beautiful, your tribute, portrait, words, thoughts ... it makes my heart smile, thank you for that ... xo

kj said...


Anonymous said...

I love witnessing the birth of a painting. This is amazingly beautiful. You really captured Ode's "light".

Well done!

Suzie Ridler said...

Beautiful Jessie! The image, the animal, your words...lovely. And so cute!

Samosas for One said...


CurtissAnn said...

You inspire me. You help my heart to open. I had a dear dog, Lonnie, who did all that for me, too. I have often thought of it, praised him and thanked God for sending me my special dog, but I have not thought to write it. Maybe I will now. Writing the emotions does help open me to myself.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful painting. I love Ode so much.She is truly an inspiring dog.
When you see her next would you tell her she is loved beyond measure.

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous painting Jessie! Ode's soul shines through to me and I've never even seen this little doggie.

I love you. xoxo, M

Anonymous said...

Beee=youuuu=tiful. Seriously. I love it. xxoo

Jamie said...

There's so much love here. *Deep sigh*

Marilou said...

on behalf of Pet Haven, Ode and other abused, abandoned and neglected animals that transition through our foster program... thank you so much. You have captured her essence, her spirit, and how she exudes hope and love, by simply being. You are an incredibly talented artist. I love your painting, and so does Ode ;-)

Anonymous said...

stunning ... ode's spirit shines through!
so glad you're bringing Eve home. doglove is the best.

Karen Smithey said...

Oh, her eyes, her eyes. They're haunting, soul-filled... You're an incredible painter.

Connie said...

I love this painting! Absolutely love it. It is by far the best one you have posted on your blog. Can you make prints of it---I would love to buy one.

Peace & Love.

Anonymous said...


what a lovingly captured portrait of Ode.
i wish i was in that area because i would scoop her up and not let her go :) she is sweetness and love personified.

totally adore the photo of your baby eve and ode. cute beyond words!

Sharon said...

How incredibly beautiful...your words, the painting, the photo... you just simply knock my socks off!

Love Eve with her ears back, my Maynard does the same thing...

Leah said...

the painting is so beautiful that it made me teary. keep up the soul work, darlin. xoxo

pERiWinKle said...

Love how Ode and Eve are opening your heart even more! xx

kj said...

man oh man jessie, did you capture the sadness and hope in ode's eyes and face.


Samosas for One said...

Thanks for sharing your Be Brave idea and for then also sharing your experience through it. I finally put together my Be Brave list as well. Sometimes I think putting the list together was the easy part. The harder part is being brave and just doing the things I listed.

Come and take a look at it,
Anu :)

Samosas for One said...

Saw your comment. Thanks for your support! Post photos of your new puppy!

Melanie Margaret said...

as always~
Love you~

daringtowrite said...

Jessie - I've been away so long, but am so glad to have found my way back here. The Ode video left me in tears and I love your Ode portrait.