("Cosette," Private Commission,
5"x7", oil on canvas panel)
It was a true pleasure painting this portrait of Cosette...this is her touching story shared by her Mom:
In August of 2006, our veterinarian called to say that he had just done a surgery on a beautiful 6 year old Saint Bernard, who was now homeless. He went on to explain that the owner did not want to pay for or take care of this dog following a simple bladder surgery and suggested that the Vet "put her down." The dog's owner went on to say that he was always away and she spent most of her days and nights by herself. Her name was Dog. The Vet told him he would not put the dog down, as she was healthy other than needing this surgery. He would, however, find a home for her, if the owner would relinquish custody to him. Fortunately, this is exactly what he did.
And so the Vet instantly thought of us and wondered if we would like to have another Saint join the 2 we already had, Nanette and Alexis, also rescues. I was skeptical, but still, couldn't get her out of my mind. On the way home from work, I pondered over names we would give her should we decide to bring her into our family and 2 popped into my head immediately: Sophie and Bernadette.
After days of discussion, we decided to at least have a look at her. The Vet told us that she was going to a Foster Home until a family could be found and to contact the office to make arrangements to see her. I did so, and spoke to a very friendly and warm receptionist who just raved about her. I told her I couldn't believe that the Saint's name was "Dog" to which she replied, "I know. We have been calling her Sophie." That didn't get past me. Then I asked the name of the Foster Mom and where she lived. "Her name is Bernadette Huard and she rescues dogs all the time." In a span of 3 minutes, the 2 names I'd considered a few days before were mentioned. I knew that this was no accident. I knew this dog was going to join our family. And she went home with us the first time we visited her.
She had no socialization skills and often looked on at others while sitting by herself. She was incredibly beautiful, soft facial features with a lovely mask, but a strong body composition. Ironically, we did not give her either of the 2 names that had been so strongly suggested in my mind. I came to realize that was a sign. We decided on Cosette, the orphan foundling from "Les Miserables" who had such an empty start in life, but fulfilling days once adopted. She lives up to her name.