Dogs are often the subjects of artwork but rarely the creators of paintings themselves.
Dagger II from Long Island, New York, however, is a dog who paints pictures and raises money for canine charities through artwork sales, owner Yolanda Dagger told Petcha.com. The Labrador Retriever mix, also known as Dog Vinci, shared studio space with her first as an observer and then as a fellow artist.
“Dagger usually lies down next to me while I paint,” Yolanda told Petcha.
Yolanda is a professional fine artist who specializes in pet portraiture.
“One day he started nudging me while I was paining and I said ‘Dagger do you want to paint?’” she said.
She then guided the dog, who had been trained as a potential working dog for Canine Companions for Independence, to put brush to canvas using cues that he was already familiar with.
“He immediately understood it,” she said. “For instance, with the push command, I substituted the word ‘paint,’ used with the brush. Things like that.”
Practice makes perfect!!!!
Posted by Dagger II aka DogVinci on Wednesday, February 17, 2016
His work has been appreciated, and bought, by several fans. Dagger II has already raised more than $1,000 for Canine Companions for Independence through sales. He also painted in his first-ever demonstration for Forgotten Friends of Long Island, a group that takes needy shelter dogs and gives them forever homes.
“We’re very passionate about that,” Yvonne said of the causes she champions with her husband, Denis. “We’re really into dog-related charity work.”
She and Denis had raised Dagger II from he time he was an 8-week-old puppy, preparing him for work as a skilled service dog. When trainers decided he had some insecurities, Yolanda found a way for him to still serve the public through his work.
She made sure to say that this is not for every dog. Of the three pets in her house, only Dagger shows an interest in creating art.
“I have another release dog who has no interest in what Dagger does,” she told Petcha.
One day, another Lab mix in the house had eyes on Dagger as he worked.
“I said: Hey Yaya, do you want to paint?’ and she jumped right back on the couch,” Yolanda said. “She is a great observer. She just watches. Both dogs sit and watch while Dagger paints. It’s the cutest thing you’ll ever see. He works for treats, so that’s a big deal.”
Dagger might be unaware of the good work he does, but his efforts help many.
“In his own little four-legged way,” Yolanda said, “Dagger is helping his pals all over.”