Friday, February 27, 2015

Coconut Retriever

What's a coconut retriever?

Well, a dog that brings back the coconuts that you send her after, of course!

I've been blessed with some amazing professional opportunities during this 30 year teaching career of mine.  One of them is that I get to represent elementary literacy for Arkansas on a committee. I absolutely love the work... but enough of that... 
I have made some life-long friends that I get to spend a few days with every few months. When we met in Chicago last month, my friend from New Mexico said, "I brought a picture I want you to paint!  Do you ever paint dogs?" I paint images that tell stories, and when I heard the story behind this dog, I couldn't wait to put her on the canvas!  

I asked my friend to write the story.  Thanks, Sheryl!

She’s a girl’s best friend.  
This precious “coconut retriever” was born at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine on the island of St. Kitts, where she was adopted by a student who named her Smarty Jones. Why? Well, because she can run like the wind!  
Since becoming part of the girl's family, Smarty Jone has traveled the country far and wide as a loyal companion, living from Oregon to Canada to Minnesota to Florida.  
Smarty Jones is quite an amazing dog. She can talk, and she endures serving as a couch for her two wiener dog sisters with nary a complaint. She's such a well-mannered girl who loves her “cookies.” However, she does have a history of sneaking bread and even fresh tomatoes off the kitchen counter. 
  Her bark may be big, but her bite is small, Using that big bark, she saved the girl from an intruder one night. For that, the girl's family will be forever grateful.
Smarty Jones will forever be loved.
So fitting is this poem….the girl’s love of Smarty Jones.
My sunshine doesn't come from the skies,
It comes from the love in my dog's eyes.
Author Unknown

The girl is my friend's daughter.  And that girl will be receiving this painting for her birthday.  I hope she is surprised and pleased!

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