Sunday, November 01, 2009

Yellow Lab Dog Portrait Painting - "Mr. Big"

This is my latest Labrador Retriever portrait painting and it is one of my own much loved dogs. He was born in 1988 in my first litter, the biggest puppy of 8 and he would plow through the other puppies pushing them off Mom's nipples like a big brut, hence naming himself Brutus at a very young age. It did not take long for him to accumulate over 20 nicknames (yes, I counted them all once), including Mr. Big. Shortened to "Big" it fit his personality as well as his size. Big became The Big Ig, Ig, and Iggy, among others, he answered to all of them. Big Brutus had a big ego and a great sense of humor. He was definitely the comedian of the family and he had funny quirks that we still refer to today. He made a particular noise - which I have never figured out how to spell - and it had a particular meaning that my husband and I still imitate to convey that message to each other. The most unlikely of Brutus's nicknames was Muffy, but that fit him too. Under his tough-guy comedian facade he was a sweet softie and if he got upset about anything he turned into a big baby. He had an ear hemotoma at one point and a friend commented that it looked like he was wearing ear muffs. That lead to us calling him Muffy when he got round-headed and submissive - aka "all muffed out". His official name was OtterTail Beau Brutus, CD - son of OtterTail Leela the Hunter, CD and Am/Can Champion Davoeg Silky Beau. Brutus was a wonderful character who enriched our lives beyond measure. He left us at the age of 12, taken quickly by hemangiosarcoma cancer. I painted this portrait as a 60th birthday present for Jim. It will hang next to Dave's dog portrait - Mr. Big's "grasshopper". By the way, that line of hair that makes a ridge from eye to eye is called a cow lick. When it goes along the top of the muzzle (perpendicular to the cow lick) it is called a zipper.

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