Dogs aren’t pets: they’re family.

I’m writing through the pain of grief. My beloved Saffy, loyal canine companion and all-round best friend, died just over a week ago. One steadfast beacon of light in my life for the past twelve years and four months has been extinguished. The intensity of grief losing a dog is comparable to that of a family member or close friend. You have to have owned a dog to understand why, and though my argument is encapsulated in the title of this piece, I will attempt to explain further.


I’ve been thinking about my parents a lot in recent weeks, mostly because I’ve been working on a painting for them as a Christmas present. I couldn’t think of anything to buy them, and don’t have much money, so instead I put hours of work into something they might like.

This may be partly selfish of me because I enjoy painting very much. I’m no Rembrandt for sure, but when I paint I become the most at peace with the world I’m capable of being. Hours fly by and I barely notice. It’s just me, the canvas, the palette, and the thoughts in my head.

Painting: Dawn

Dawn, Oil on Canvas

A Painting for my parents

Given that my folks aren’t whizzes with the old “interweb”, I don’t think it’ll “spoil Xmas” to publish a picture of my recently finished painting here.

It’s oil on canvas, and I’ve called it “Dawn”, as it’s a landscape of the Peak District at dawn in spring, when two Jacobs rams caught my eye.