"Sadie" is for Tom and June. The commission is a late Christmas gift from Tom's daughter, Christina. Sadie was a "small" Great Dane that June adopted while living in Beaufort, SC. Small because at her maximum weight, she was 128 pounds, which is small for a Great Dane.
Sadie was a true gentle giant even as a puppy. She had a favorite boo toy which was a little purple rubber alligator dressed in a suite. She would carry it around in her mouth and you did not know she had it until she dropped it down. That is how gentle her bite was. She never made it squeak unless she wanted your attention, which was when she wanted to sleep with June in her bed. Sadie was June's travel buddy. She went everywhere with June.
June moved back to Pennsylvania when she made the decision to be the in-home caregiver for her parents. Her mother's health was deteriorating and her father's dementia was progressing. Sadie became their true companion. She was there for June's mom to lean on when needed and to help make sure that the lady got up and out of bed when June had to work. She kept June's father company after he became widowered. She also helped keep him present and focused. Sadie was June's companion during some very hard times.
Sadie was also there when June met her husband on their first date. Tom often jokes that if Sadie had not liked him (she loved him from the start), they would not be together today, going on seven years. Tom often told people that Sadie was his canine daughter. Sadie loved long walks in the open fields of a local park and hiking trails along rivers and up mountains.
Sadie would have been 13 years old this February. They had to let her go in November. As I was painting her, I could feel her gentleness and intelligence. I hope her portrait gives comfort to Tom and June.