"Regis" is for Lauren, who commissioned me to paint it for her sister Bonnie's birthday. After Regis passed away recently, the heartbroken Bonnie sent out a long, touching eulogy to her family. It tells all the good, bad, and houndy things about him. Lauren apologized for the length (!) and, as she warned me, I did indeed learn much about his affectionate and stubborn nature. Thank you, Lauren.
Regis was advertised by the animal shelter as an Airedale, but the only thing about him remotely close to that breed was his whiskers. He was named after the co-host of the TV show, "Regis and Kelly", which Bonnie watched every morning with her husband. Regis joined them after his adoption, sharing her cereal.
Regis loved taking walks around the neighborhood and meeting and playing with all sorts of humans and doggy friends. I got to meet the neighbors and their dogs through her eulogy. What a wonderful way to remember one's deceased pet and his human and doggy friends who had been kind to him!
I will share just one of the many anecdotes Bonnie tells in her eulogy. Not long after the adoption, she lost him one evening in a thunder storm. Regis was petrified of thunder and would run around the house looking for a safe place to hide. When she let him out to relieve himself, he took off at breakneck speed. Bonnie and her husband looked for him all night. In the end, they gave up and prayed that he would find his way home, which he did! The soaking wet, filthy mass returned to them, begging them to take him back in. They did after hosing him down with a garden hose. They hated doing it, but that was his punishment for running away and returning a filthy mass. Regis never ran away again.
I hope my painting gives some comfort to Bonnie and her family.