If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t care to hear other people go on and on about their dogs, then now is probably a good time for you to click off this page. If you’re the kind of person that searches the internet for cute puppy pics, then you should skip all this writing and start clicking through the slideshow below.
Because I’m about to talk about Sammy and Lily.
I’ve told about how my husband Michael is my greatest find, but the one part of my life that I am most blissfully thankful for are my other loves, my English Springer Spaniels, Sammy and Lily.
We got Sammy not long after I closed my shop and design studio on Highway 100. I had grown up on a farm and of course we always had dogs there, but here in the city I suddenly had a dog that was totally my responsibility. Luckily for him, I had just decided to give up everything interior-related forever (temporarily, it turned out), and so I dove completely into taking care of Sammy. Every day, all day. I don’t regret one moment of the housebreaking, the leash training, or getting up in the middle of the night to take him out.
A year later came Lily, because one was not enough. (For the record, two does seem to be enough). And 10 years later, here we are.
It’s a hard love to describe, but an easy one to fall into every day. They are very, very special to me, the be-all and end-all of my existence. They give me unconditional love, and I give it right back. I am not going to bore you with stories about why I love them more than anything. Instead, I am going to let pictures of them tell their story.
One particular Sammy and Lily picture is different than the others. Last year, Michael and I commissioned Joseph Sulkowski to paint a portrait of Sammy and Lily. I have known Joseph and his incredible work since my early days at William Hamilton. His “sporting life” paintings are considered the best of the genre, and no one can paint a dog better than Joseph. He just published his second book, and we were thrilled to discover that Sammy and Lily are now centerfolds.
We’re carrying that book, The Sporting Life: The Art of Joseph Sulkowski in the Spalding Way store (because how could we not), and it’ a beautiful gift for anyone who knows Joseph’s work or just loves dogs. Or who just can’t resist the cuteness on pages 116 and 117. If you’d care to order one, we’ll deliver it hand-wrapped in our beautiful handpainted puppy dog wrapping paper. Maybe we’ll even let Sammy and Lily wrap a few themselves.
Happy Thanksgiving, from me and the creatures I’m most thankful for.