Wy is My Hero!
If Wy could talk he would probably tell you that I am his Hero. In reality he is mine. Both our lives changed the day I stopped to help him as he was being abused as a puppy on a street in my neighborhood over 12 years ago. From that first encounter, I knew this was a very special fuzz face who in time became my best friend, protector and inspiration to my life.
Wy gave me the idea for Dogs for the Paws. I love animals and wanted to do more, if I could with my art and design work. Of course, as our idea for DFP grew and came together it was apparent that Wy and I could make a difference in a unique way. It was going to be a challenge but possible! That’s how I’ve always worked and strived to be a stand out designer in any project, job or event that I participate in. So Dogs for the Paws was born.
So most of you know how the story goes…I started painting the original 80 dog portraits and the dogs’ families and rescuers wrote their tales that I put together on the first DFP blog site. I set up a studio in my home to work every night and as much of my free time as I could. I also worked full time during the day so I would work on the paintings after dinner and way into the early morning hours, get a couple hours of sleep then back to day job then repeat…for 503 days!
And my best buddy, DFP Advisor, Wy was always there on his bed watching and listening as we put movies on in the background for noise and I would tell him about all the amazing DFP Dogs’ stories that came in to go with their portraits. I cried for over 8 hours painting Nico’s portrait, I couldn’t believe the pictures of Chamberlin the abandoned dog, Popo, the senior dog, Tiki, Irie, Riley who stole my heart with his rescue family’s loving pictures and story, Rocky Weezer, Sadie Jean, Sweet Henry and the list goes on. I know it was Wy who gave me the inspiration, energy and encouragement to continue this overwhelming endeavor to help animals in some way. Just think what his life would have been if I hadn’t stopped. I was sleep deprived but kept on and spent my days and nights of free time painting and not giving up this unique challenge and journey.
Wy was always there for 11 years and it has been difficult without him here. When I heard the news that DFP had been nominated for the “Best Blog Design” by the national pet blogger group, BlogPaws and Pet360, I was so proud and I feel that Wy is proud too from our “DFP Satellite Office” at the Rainbow Bridge. He left me with such a huge legacy of love and inspiration to keep moving our “little art project” forward and beyond what our expectations were. From the very first post of DFP, which we kicked off in 2009 with Wy’s tale and portrait, our lives were changed forever.
I think sometimes, what if I had just driven on by that day when I first saw that tiny puppy being abused on the street? His life would have been so different from the one he knew of love, happiness and being my best friend. He thanked me over and over again with his love and loyalty which I will cherish always. He also gave me a great strength and direction to take my gift and give back to others like him that are in need. So I dedicate this special award, our award, to my life’s inspiration my best fuzz friend, beach buddy, crusin’ pal. and DFP’s “Director of WOOFS”, Wyatt Earp Johnson!
Also want to thank all our friends, families and fans for everything! This amazing life of love, creativity and giving back is continuing on so stay tuned for all the fun…Big Thank You WOOFS to BlogPaws and Pet360 for honoring us with this prestigious award. Such an honor to be nominated with other creative bloggers doing amazing work with animals! Thank you for welcoming us and helping us share our gift through your great organization too!