Unlikely Friends

The dogs in this painting/card are named Mufasa and Rafiki.  As the card suggests they are truly friends.  They are friends because they live together, and to a large extent because they are both dogs.  Friends - A watercolor painting by artist Barbara Bromley with the word "Friends" hand painted, and two dogs who are looking at one another. I met them when I first submitted a rack of my cards to the Decorator Warehouse in Lexington.  Mufasa and Rafiki are “store dogs”, happily spending their days with shop owner Natalie.

Ironically and more unexpected friends:  Sam, our family dog many years ago, and “George”, the orphan baby blue jay.   These two became friends as I nursed George back to health.  I fed George every day with Sam, still a puppy, watching.  As the jay learned to fly Sam became very interested, especially when he saw the bird poop on my friend’s head and my drawing in the same day.  A watercolor painting by artist Barbara Bromley showing a dog and blue jay looking at one another. When he was ready we released George near the town home where we lived at the time.  When I walked Sam the blue jay would follow us, flying high in the sky.  When I swam in the complex pool, George perched nearby on the fence.  When I opened the door to our house, George would fly inside take a bath in the small tub of water on my drawing table.   The entire neighborhood came to know and delight in seeing George and Sam frolic together.

It was the perfect yet dangerous (for George) friendship, a result of how a baby bird imprints on whoever it spends time with, in our case a dog and humans.  Following this imprinting experience with George I learned how to care for wild animals in a way to prevent such connections.  My ignorance in George’s case gave us the opportunity to really appreciate the antics of George the Jay, and our puppy Sam.

Thanks for listening!


Watercolor Hummingbird Signature

Best Friends – the furry kind

“Whoever said that diamonds are a girl’s best friend….never owned a dog”

Watercolor painting of the word "Believe" with a Golden Retriever as a backdrop

I believed in Daisy, and I’m pretty sure she believed in me!

You often hear individuals describe themselves as a dog person or cat person.  I’ve always considered myself a dog person with a capital D!  I grew up with collies.  The “dog love” of my life was a golden retriever named Daisy.  She started out as my kids “best friend” but became mine when they grew up and left home.  Daisy turned gray with me and limped a bit, having sore hips just like me.  When I drew or painted she sat at my feet moving closer and closer.  This was very comforting except for the following moment.  Stop reading if you’re squeamish!   I had just sharpened 25 drawing pencils and placed them graphite point up in my pencil jar.  The bathroom was calling my name.  I took one step away from the drafting table.  As I put my foot down I nearly fell because it landed on the dog.  I heard a loud yelp.  To avoid hurting Daisy I dropped my hand toward the drafting table for support, and it landed on guess what?  Yes indeed all 25 pencil points!  Who said art was painless?!  It took an hour or so to pull the graphite points out of my hand.  Daisy was loaded with empathy.  She  acted a bit sheepish and concerned.

Watercolor painting of a three-colored cat named Abbey, sitting in a window sill looking out

Abby loves to stare out the window

Presently I’m a cat owner (or is she the real owner?).  Our three year-old adoptee Abby can probably avoid getting stepped on because cats are quick and limber.  Thanks to my husband, children, and a mostly friendly Abby, I have recently come to appreciate the finer attributes of cats.   I still miss the empathic love I felt with Daisy by my side, something I’ve never quite felt from the often aloof Abby.  Cat, dog, or whatever furry friend you may have, there is nothing quite like the love of a pet who can’t talk back.

Watercolor Hummingbird Signature