Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kathleen Coy & Cloud

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Kathleen Coy and I'm an artist. Although dogs aren't the only thing I paint, they are probably my favorite subjects to paint. Dogs embody our finest characteristics (loyalty, honesty, unconditional love) and when I can convey these qualities in a painting, it's like a celebration of all that's right in the world. Cloud is a nine-year-old male Rat Terrier, and is my muse, joy, and best bud. Words cannot describe how much I adore him.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We're enjoying a beautiful, unseasonably warm November day, and having coffee after playing tag outside in the leaves.

What's brewing?

I buy Fair Trade, organic, freshly roasted African coffee beans from Whole Foods (todays is from Ethiopia.) Brewed in distilled water (our water is very hard) in a French Press, and served with organic half and half and Rapadura (organic dark brown cane sugar. It's amazing!) This combination beats any coffee I've ever had, hands down!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Usually not. This coffee is so good I like to savor it by itself, but today for a treat we're having sliced apples sauteed in butter with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, served warm with a spoonful of Greek yogurt on top.

Any treat for Cloud on this occasion?

His very favorite treat is little pieces of dehydrated lamb lung by Solid Gold.

How were you and Cloud united?Nine years ago my husband and I bought a house. We had been talking about getting a Rat Terrier, and one day I went in our little neighborhood pet store for something, and they had a litter of the most adorable Rat Terrier puppies you can imagine. There was something very special to me about these pups, and when I came back with my family 20 minutes later, it seemed that a lot of people thought so - there were only two left! I'm a huge fan of dog rescue, but I believe things happen for a reason, and Cloud was meant to come live with us. I have no doubt about that.

How did Cloud get his name? Any aliases?

He got his name from the Final Fantasy video game character. No reason other than it's a great name. He has more nicknames than anyone should, upwards of twenty, and responds to all of them. A few are - Sprout, Trotter, Barker, Bud, and Ears.

What's the greatest challenge in creating your dog portraits?

I know that each portrait I paint is special. Every client who commissions a portrait loves their dog just as much as I love Cloud, and I want that bond to be reflected in their dogs portrait. I want them to feel that a part of their dog will be with them forever every time they look at their painting.

Cat, squirrel, postman...?

Cloud is obsessed with squirrels, and we have plenty. Keeping squirrels out of the yard seems to be his main goal in life, and he takes it very seriously. He's never caught one, but that doesn't stop him from trying every day!

Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky stuffed animal toy all the way. They usually last all of five minutes before he has them torn apart, de-stuffed, turned inside out, and the squeaker destroyed. Maybe he pretends it's a squirrel...

Where is Cloud's favorite place for an outing?

He loves to play in the back yard, but he really loves it when we go for a walk on the bike trail near our house.

Who are Cloud's best pet-pals?

He would say it's our 17-year-old cat, Boomer. He loves and fears her at the same time. Her favorite pastime includes bopping Cloud on the head when he gets too close.

If Cloud could change one thing about you, what would it be?

Probably to stop getting up so early in the mornings. He would prefer we stay snuggled under the covers until at least mid-morning.

What is Cloud's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

His proudest moment is every time he saves the human race from the evil squirrel empire by chasing them out of the yard, which he does many, many times a day. Needless to say, he's proud a lot. The word embarrassed means nothing to Cloud. He has a huge ego and it would never occur to him to feel embarrassed about anything.

Visit Kathleen Coy's website, blog, and Facebook page. Check out a portrait of Cloud.

--Marshal Zeringue