Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Act of Kindness

I am amazed everyday at the compassion that people can show. While Central Texas has been burning to the ground this summer and many people have lost everything, including pets, their homes and their material lives... there are so many others that are stepping up and offering what they can to help the fire victims.

Two weeks ago, a client of mine, Lisa S., offered such a special gift to share with some of the victims of the fires in this area. She purchased 2 individual paintings (she offered to purchase 3, but I asked her to purchase only 2 and I would match her donation) with the intent to give them to families that have lost everything else in the fires.

Deciding on the recipient of the first painting was a fairly easy decision. Lorraine J., a fellow rescuer in the Austin, Vice President of Big Dog Rescue, Inc and overall inspirational individual lost her home in the largest of the Central Texas fires. Lorraine had only enough time to gather her family members and her pets before being evacuated from the Bastrop area. Unfortunately, one of her cats was unable to be located and they were forced to leave Julie the cat behind for their own safety. 

Julie, lounging in the grass, before she was lost during the Bastrop Fire.
It was something of a miracle that Julie was found and rescued in the Bastrop area by the amazing rescue teams that worked around the clock. She was then transported to the Austin Humane Society, where she received care for some minor burns, scratches and cuts. Julie is now safe and back with her family. 

Julie at the Austin Humane Society after being rescued.
Lorraine has been an animal rescuer for quite some time and despite the personal loss of her home, she was heard saying, "I just want to get back to rescuing animals. That's my life."

While the victims of the fires work to rebuild their lives, mourn the loss of their homes and possibly their pets, both Lisa & I are honored to donate these paintings as a little comfort to help heal the wounds that these losses have inflicted. Our hopes are that these paintings will offer a little color and a little hope in the lives of our friends that are going through such a rough time. 

'Julie' | 8in x 10in Acrylic on Canvas

"I have been an animal lover since I got my first cat at the age of 5.  Over the years, I have adopted 3 cats from shelters.  My first rescue, Sara, was adopted from the NV Humane Society in 1997 when she was 4 1/2.  I had the pleasure of her company for the next 13 1/2 years.  Sadly, Sara died last year.  While she will always live on in my heart, I wanted Sara to still have a place in my home, so I commissioned a local artist to paint her portrait.  The painting hangs proudly in my dining room, and I look at it and smile every day.  I hope that the portraits you paint for the fire victims will bring them the same feeling I get when I look at Sara's painting.  A photo of Sara is attached.

Sara's passing left an empty space in my heart which was later filled by two kittens, Laci and Paisley.  I love my new cats dearly, but Sara will always hold a special place in my heart -- and my home!"
Lisa S. (Donor of these wonderful gifts).

Sara (In loving memory...)

If you would like to recommend someone that has lost a pet during the Central Texas Fires, please email Stephanie Conrad, artist & owner of The Pet Studio, at thepetstudio@gmail.com. We are still deciding on the remaining 3 donation paintings and would love to hear from you.

Stephanie Conrad
The Pet Studio | Owner | Artist

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