Painting with paws: pet lovers attend Paint Your Pet fundraiser

Nov 14, 2022

Dudley was a “sassy old man.”

As she painted strokes of gray fur onto the canvas, Greyhound Pets of America President Denise Schumitz remembered her beloved dog, who died in August.

Schumitz found Dudley through her organization when he was in need of a home after his previous owner died. Schumitz adopted Dudley when he was 13 years old, and he lived the rest of his life with her and her family.

Pomeranians, German Shepherds, Afghan Hounds, and Greyhounds were all artistic muses at the Paint Your Pet fundraiser for Greyhound Pets of America at Stone Path Malt on Nov. 13.

Fifteen pet lovers came to support the cause and to paint pictures of their beloved animals. Painting instructor Jackie Burns sketched outlines of each painter’s pet on canvases prior to the event.

“Remember that you’re not painting your pet, you're painting a picture of your pet,” said Burns.

Burns owns Kreativ Paint Parties, a company that organizes painting classes that even the inexperienced beginner can follow.

However, the Paint Your Pet night offered something different than the average group painting instruction.

Deb Huntress has attended multiple paint nights and found Burns’ attention to detail refreshing.

“When you are all painting the same thing you don’t need individual attention. But with this, everyone’s [paintings] will come out unique,” said Huntress.

From cats to Pomskies — a Husky-Pomeranian mix — each painter had a different subject. Unsurprisingly, the greyhound was a popular subject. Melanie Donovan decided to paint Lilac, one of her greyhounds.

“This photo was taken when I just got her, after her first playdate,” said Donovan.

Donovan looked into adopting Lilac after her previous greyhound Justine died, leaving her 9-year-old greyhound Dyson without a friend. Lilac left her previous home because she did not get along well with the previous owner’s German Shepard. According to Donovan, Dyson and Lilac get along very well.

Greyhound Pets of America is one of the largest greyhound rehoming organizations in the country, according to Schumitz. The organization finds homes for retired racing dogs through a fostering system — potential adopters host a dog for a limited period of time to see if the dog fits in well.

If fostering goes well, potential adopters fill out an application to adopt and the organization performs a home inspection.

“We want to make sure that we match up the right dog with the right family,” said Schumitz.