My Recent Fine Art Acquisition…of Dog Portraiture!

Okay, admittedly, I am one of those dog owners that takes things a little too far. Mind Your Dirt has forced me from the shadows of social media for the sake of self preservation and achieving readership, posterity and valor. Occasionally I abuse this “power” to shamelessly promote the awesomeness of my pup Sasha or the general cuteness of my chickens. It is in this vein that I share with you a recent commissioned piece that I just received from an artist that you haven’t heard about. Yet! Keep a watchful eye out for the work of Joyce Oder. She’s an up-and-comer and so talented.

Several months ago I heard through my many grapevines that she was taking on commissions and having seen her drawings in the past I couldn’t resist tossing an idea I’ve had floating around my crusty noggin for a few years now. I’ve always wanted a portrait of Sasha and I in a classic turn-of-the-century pose and attire. I imagined a lovely old-timey portrait hanging over a mantle in my imaginary library. Not your typical commission request, but that’s me all over; atypical.

So, in your minds eye, picture a giant red velvet curtain parting to reveal this beautiful and odd gem…

Me and Sasha the Husky Lab
Lord and Lady Gielow in a whimsical repose.

This very well may be the best money I’ve ever spent and will bring me years of happiness. It will also serve to further the ridiculousness of my life. Now I just need a fireplace and a library to hang it in! One step at a time.

Succulents Before Swine

There are two swine in this story. This cute little planter and myself. You see, I suffer from that typical male character trait of never truly knowing what to get as gifts for my loved ones birthdays. My caveman brain has trouble thinking beyond simple manly gift ideas that women can receive and have a genuine warm smile that will remain when I’m out of range. My stupid and useless caveman reptilian brain. Here’s an illustration of it working at maximum capacity:

Caveman Brain
Jim’s Brain at Maximum Capacity.

My loved ones are very kind and can fake happiness so well when my well-intentioned gift idea is presented to them in a clumsy and unsophisticated manner.

Don’t even get me started on cards. I have no idea why they are important and even less of an idea as to what makes a card a good one. When I receive cards, I don’t know what to do with them at all. And why do we keep cards? What’s their expiration date? Our reptile mind can’t grasp this whole industry. This perfectly sums up man’s thoughts on cards…

Continue reading “Succulents Before Swine”

Sasha's Third Birthday

So I’m going to get off topic because today is a very special day in my home. Sasha turns three today!! Every birthday is a special one to me you see because Sasha’s fate was in question before I rescued her. Here’s a little back story for you.

I rescued Sasha from the San Diego Humane Society when she was 7 months old. Her previous owners gave up this absolutely beautiful and sweet girl because she had major hip dysplasia and they couldn’t afford the surgery. At least that was what I was told at the time. A year later I was trying to track down the previous owners to see if they wanted to see Sasha again and if they had any puppy photos I could have. I’m still dying to see her as a little puppy! Well, it turns out they gave her up because they’re landlord didn’t want them to have a dog. Now if it was me, I would’ve moved. No way would I give up Sasha for any reason. Ever! I’ve given up the search thinking that maybe it’s for the best that they are separated. Choosing an apartment over this sweet angel speaks volumes about their priorities.

Sasha was born with the hip dysplasia in both of her back legs and could never really walk very well. The surgery would’ve been fairly steep, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,400. So off to the pound she went. Poor baby girl!

The good people at the Humane Society decided she needed to be walking again so they actually footed the bill! How awesome is that!? It’s super awesome; to answer my own question. When I saw her for the first time, she was one week out of surgery and was still a bit wobbly. But oh so cute and happy to meet me. The woman who introduced us told me that she would be on meds for the rest of her life and it would get expensive. I decided I didn’t care because if I didn’t take her, then who would? The thought of her medical condition keeping her from being adopted was too much for my heart to bear. So I adopted!

The actual vet talked with me next and reassured me that she would not need any medication at all and hip dysplasia surgery was often extremely successful. She even said that Sasha would be running around in no time! I was so relieved. I think that other lady was trying to keep her for herself. I just had to keep her from running for a week and do stretches with her for about a month. I also have to keep her weight down so she doesn’t suffer from arthritis later on in life. I like to give her food rich with omega 3 fatty acids that really help with joint problems as a secondary way to battle arthritis. Today she runs and jumps and dances about like a fool.

Here she is when I brought her home. She loved her new bed I got for her. You can still see the surgery remnants in this photo.

Sasha right after adoption taking nap
Fuzzy Wumpkins!

My heart still melts every time I see her or think about her or see a photo of her. Basically, my heart is always all melty. It’s true what they say about rescue animals, they do in fact end up rescuing you in the end. After I lost my pop in 2010 to the cancer, I was an emotional wreck most of the time. Just all around lost and disinterested in just about everything. I put on a strong face, but it was all bullshit. I was a hot mess. Sasha came into my life and turned it all around. I’m now merely a luke-warm mess. I owe her everything for what she’s done for me. Now my heart is a bazillion times bigger and soars like an eagle! And just for poops and giggles, here’s us in a boat on the 4th of July…

Sasha and Me Boating on the Fourth of July
We’ve come a long way kiddo.

So that gets you all caught up. Now for her 3rd birthday surprise! In keeping with supplying her with those aforementioned omega 3’s I made a delicious meal of food. For the eating!

Sasha's Birthday 01_Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon Sauteed in Flaxseed Oil on a bed of Walnuts and Swiss Chard with a side of Slow Roasted Lamb Bone

For tonight’s dinner we will be serving lightly sautéed wild caught Alaskan salmon with a flaxseed oil and oregano glaze on a bed of roasted walnuts and freshly harvest Swiss chard with a side of slow roasted lamb bone. The main course has more omega 3’s than you can count on two hands. It’s riddled with it! Bon appétit.

Sasha's Birthday 01b_Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon Sauteed in Flaxseed Oil on a bed of Walnuts and Swiss Chard
A lovely medley of Alaskan wild caught salmon richly sautéed in flaxseed oil on a bed of warm roasted walnuts and fresh Swiss chard.

At first she was skeptical that this place setting could possibly be for her. Or perhaps it was my unnecessary  inclusion of silverware…Who can say?

Sasha's Birthday 02_A Skeptical Sasha

Can it be true? Yes Sasha, that is all you baby! The next few moments were a blur of fur and tooth. I took a bunch of photos but was only to capture one decent one.

Sasha's Birthday 03_Sasha Swallowing the Salmon WHole
Wild-eyed and driven mad with flavor!

Seconds later and the plate was all but empty.

Sasha's Birthday 03b_An Almost Empty Plate
“nom nom nom.”

After the main course, she thought it best to enjoy the second course on the front of the estate.

Sasha's Birthday 04_Sasha Prefers Her Second Course on the Lawn
“Quid pro quo. Did you hear the lambs Clarice? What were they doing Clarice?”

As I write this she is rolling around in the grass in some form of fattened pure joy that I will never truly experience. So raise your glass to the bestest cutest fuzziest wumpkins in the whole wide universe! Happy birthday Sasha!

Sasha Portrait 01
“I’m tree years ode!”
A boy and his dog
The boy and his dog fade off into the horizon…