ARLIN ART – OIL ON CANVAS: BLACK HAWKS’S GRAY SKY


16 x 20 oil on canvas: Sky

This beautiful Siberian Husky was my best friend for many years. Her registered name was Black Hawk’s Gray Sky, I called her Sky. She passed away about 3 years ago, she was 17-1/2 years of age when she took her last breath. I found her one morning in her dog house in the exact position I normally saw her sleeping (when she slept in the dog house); one paw always hanging out the door with her nose resting on her leg. She went peacefully, obviously in her sleep. The night before, we were on the back patio, she acted like a puppy, which was normal too. She went back and forth between me and Jo Ann, to be petted and hugged, seeking a bit more attention than she normally did; though she always loved attention. It was as if she knew she was enjoying her last day with us. At the time, it wasn’t apparent to us. The only time I ever had her to the vet was for her shots and annual checkup. I never saw her ill, if she ever was she never let on. In her last couple of years, she slowed down, but just a bit and breathing got a little heavier, especially when she ran, and she loved to run. She was after all an escape artist!

I was given Sky as a gift from my mother shortly after she was born. She was a stunning pup. She was extremely intelligent. Once an elderly neighbor of ours (in his 90s) was doing some yard work. I was further up in the yard planting some flowers and other plants. Sky was over by the fence watching our neighbor. She started barking. She very seldom barked, almost never (she howled). When she barked something was wrong. At first I ignored her, but she kept it up. I looked up and asked her “What’s wrong with you”, she looked at me barked then would look at the neighbor, and looked back at me again. She had been trying to get my attention. I looked in the direction she was looking and saw my neighbor passed out on the ground. Sky barked as I was getting up off the ground ( I had been kneeling on the ground as I was planting). I started to go over to check on him, when he rose up, Sky was still focused on him and still barking. My neighbor set up and said “Are you looking out for me girl?”. The man’s wife came out onto their upper deck, to check on what was going on, as she heard Sky barking as well. I told her she should take him to the hospital, as he had passed out. Later that evening, we learned my neighbor had in fact had a heart attack, but was going to be okay. He told his wife, he wasn’t sure what happened, but that he had heard Sky barking , he opened his eyes and he was lying on the ground. He believed Sky had saved his life.

Sky was an amazing animal. She was family. She was good for me, as she helped me through a difficult time. We were good for each other. The love was unconditional, and it went both ways, and I miss her. I could write a book on her life, it wasn’t boring, not for me, us or her.

What I like about this painting is………..I got the face right. Anyone that ever knew her would recognize her in this painting. That I am quite proud of, and I believe I got it right because of my emotional attachment to her. I think, for me, there is something to learn from that and I have.

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