Wednesday, February 4, 2009
The Ballad of Buster and Matilda
Bayou Road on a February Aftenoon © 2009 Karen Mathison Schmidt
5 x 7 • acrylic on Gessobord
gloss varnish for protection and easy cleaning • sold unframed
SOLD • private collection, North Attleboro, Massachusetts
This painting shows the road which runs along a small bayou about a half mile from our house where we first met our redbone coonhounds, Buster and Matilda.
They were abandoned pups then (we figured a few months old), living down in the rushes beside the bayou. We and some neighbors up and down the road took turns feeding them; my husband and I offered to take them in if someone could help us catch them (no easy task, since they wouldn't let anyone come near at first).
Almost every day I would walk our doggie ambassadors, Trixie and Henry, down to the bayou to visit them, and gradually we became friends, although the pups still wouldn’t let us humans get too close. Trixie told them all about how wonderful it was living at our house – two squares a day, various treats and toys, warm, dry beds, occasional TV time, lots of petting, a huge yard, all the squirrels you can chase, fun and games, etc., but Buster and Matilda were hard sells. We dropped off a couple of brochures extolling the virtues of luxury canine living at Chez Schmidt, and they promised they would look them over. Finally, several months later (and with the assistance of Farmer Bob down the road) they arrived at our house and quickly became full-fledged members of the clan. Almost immediately after that Matilda surprised us with 3 more big puppies, one of which was adopted by our house painter, leaving us with a grand total of six beautiful happy hounds.
Well, technically, as Trixie would be quick to point out, five hounds and a border collie mix. Fortunately, we have lots of room and lots of love to give. And rest assured that we have ... um ... taken steps to make sure that we won’t be blessed with any more puppies.
Here are a few photos:
Here's Buster, lounging on the back steps on a sunny afternoon. I think he's planning to write his memoirs.
Matilda's forehead wrinkles make her look like she's really concentrating hard all the time. Like she's trying to calculate the number of seconds until suppertime.
Here's Buster inviting Blue to put his entire head in his mouth. It looks like Blue is about to pass out from Buster's breath. Or maybe he's trying to guess what Buster had for lunch.
NOTE: this picture was taken some time back. Nowadays Blue is almost twice as big as Buster. Well, maybe not twice as big, but pretty darn big. And still growing.
And here are Buster and ’Tilda playing with Blue and Sophie, while Trixie makes sure nobody wanders too far from the pack.
She loves her job.
And here's Buster trying to convince me that, no, I did not just give him a treat, and I should probably go ahead and give him one now.
We just got through watching the AKC/Eukanuba Dog Show, and now Matilda goes around practicing her show dog stance.
Here Buster and Mailda make sure the cows in the pasture don't get too close to OUR yard.
Anyway, today's painting is a picture of the old bayou, which Buster has said he doesn't miss at all, and ’Tilda says she would never wish to go back to.
Nope, not for all the chew bones in the world.
And to wind things up, here are some details of the painting: