Artist Dee Dee Murry was saddened when her beloved pet lost her sight. Hallie, a rescued long-haired dachshund, has turned her challenges into an opportunity to help other rescued animals.
Ms. Murry, herself an artist, had already taught Hallie how to hold a brush in her mouth before Hallie lost her vision. The dog took to painting right away.
“Within a few days she was picking the brush up out of the paint cup, going over to the paper and making strokes and dabs,” Ms. Murry wrote on her website. “She would never want to stop, if I set the brush down and told her how good she was and it was time to stop, she would quickly grab the brush back and start painting again.”
Hallie’s vision loss came on suddenly, Ms. Murry told ABC News affiliate KOMO.
“It came on really fast—overnight,” Ms. Murry said. “It probably happened within 2 or 3 days. She was seeing fine and then suddenly she was walking into walls.” Hallie was diagnosed with Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS), an autoimmune disease that attacks the retina.
After the dachshund went blind, Ms. Murry lined her home with pillow to keep Hallie from injuring herself. She used blow-up pool rafts outside. After a few weeks of both owner and dog being down in the dumps, they started painting again.
“She amazed me on the first try, by reaching out and picking the brush up out of the paint cup just like she used to, as if she could see it,” wrote Ms. Murry. “The only thing I had to do was tap the paper so she knew where to paint, but I’m having to do even that less and less now.”
Hallie’s one-of-a-kind paintings help other rescued animals: the proceeds of all her sales are given to Purple Heart Rescue, a Washington state nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and re-homing animals.
“The rescue the proceeds go to is wonderful and it’s run by volunteers so every penny goes to the dogs,” Ms. Murry wrote in an e-mail to me.
You can find Hallie’s paintings here, but be warned: they sell out quickly!
(via: ABC News)
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