We’ve all read the romantic stories of artists and their muses. The muse provided the artists with companionship and sometimes appeared in their work; the artists often created work that either directly or indirectly included their muse. To prepare for this article, I got lost in the research. I came across a story about two socialite sisters named Claribel and Etta Cone who provided motivation and inspiration for Henry Matisse; another about how a beautiful young woman named Joanna Hiffernan inspired some of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s most important works, and another on how Dora Maar, a French poet, painter and photographer, was the muse for several of Pablo Picasso’s sad portraits. As was his custom, another woman named Marie-Thérèse Walter became the inspiration for many of Picasso’s later portraits.
Andrew Wyeth was inspired by a woman named Helga Testorf, who was his sister’s housekeeper; Edouard Manet saw Victorine Meurent running through the streets and was instantly intrigued. She became such an important catalyst for him that she inadvertently inspired him to change his artistic style. There is the beautiful but tragic story of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel and the equally sad story of Edie Sedgwick, who became one of Andy Warhol’s primary muses.
But it’s not just other humans that provide inspiration and companionship to artists. Some very special canines played the role of muse for many famous artists of the past, and wound up making an appearance in their paintings and photographs.
A few of the things I love most are: reading, writing, books, blogging and cats. So you can imagine how delighted I was when pet blogger extraordinaire Layla Morgan Wilde, of Cat Wisdom 101 fame, notified me that I’d won Lil BUB’s Lil Book in her recent giveaway. Score!
I am a big fan of BUB. Well, to be honest I can’t imagine how anyone could look at this cat’s adorable face and not be smitten with her. BUB is a “perma-kitten,” which means she will always be kitten sized and have a kitten-like face no matter how old she gets. BUB was born with several genetic mutations that give her a unique appearance, but she wasn’t bred to be that way – it was Mother Nature’s doing. Adding to BUB’s charm are her extra-large, expressive green eyes and a tongue that is usually hanging out because her teeth never grew in. Despite looking a little different than most felines, BUB’s doting human (her “Dude”) says she’s a healthy, happy cat.
BUB is also quite the witty kitty, and her new book is a testament to that. Along with lots of beautiful full color photos of BUB, the book showcases a feline with a quirky sense of humor, one who isn’t afraid to declare herself “The Most Amazing Cat on the Planet.” Now I ask you, what other cat could get away with that?
After a two-page foreward from BUB’s Dude and a one-page introduction by BUB, the book presents a series of cleverly captioned photos of BUB in all sorts of different environments: traveling through space, exploring Earth, sleeping in a cute little BUB-sized bed, meeting up with Colonel Meow and other famous friends, skateboarding, and just doing what she does best —looking so darn cute it makes you melt!
There have been more pets with large bank accounts than you might imagine, and they didn’t all start out as pampered, pedigreed pups. Of course some of them did, but around this time last year a rescued alley cat named Tommaso became one of the wealthiest animals in the world, adding to the growing list of animal millionaires.
Stray Cat Strut
A lonely heiress, Maria Assunta, rescued a stray cat from the streets of Rome and cared for the cat as if he was her own son. When the wealthy lady died at the age of 94, having no children to leave her estate to, Tommaso the cat inherited her fortune: $13 million dollars in cash along with property in Milan, Rome and Calabria.
Assunta, the widow of an Italian property tycoon, had a trusted nurse caring for her in her final years. When her health began to decline, the heiress began to put her affairs in order with a particular interest in securing a comfortable future for her precious cat. Her original plan was to bequeath her fortune to a suitable animal welfare organization that would commit to caring for Tommaso. When none of the animal associations met her standards, she left everything she owned to the cat, with the agreement that her nurse would agree to care for him.
A German shepherd named Gunther IV is supposed to be the wealthiest dog in the world, but some say his story is a giant publicity stunt. Whatever the case, the dog is mega rich. His father, Gunther III, was the beloved companion of Karlotta Liebenstain, an eccentric German countess. Karlotta died in 1992 and left her dog, (Gunther III), an inheritance of $124 million dollars. Apparently that German shepherd was quite a good money manager. During the elder Gunther’s lifetime, he grew his fortune to $372 million dollars which was passed on to his son, Gunther IV at his death. It’s safe to say this family of German shepherds has plenty of nutritious CANIDAE dog food to go around.
Celebrities have one advantage the rest of us don’t: fans and paparazzi who watch their every move. That may not seem like an advantage to those of us who have no desire to live life under a photographer’s lens. However, the attention gives celebrities an opportunity to speak out for causes that are important to them. Dog loving celebrities not only speak up for shelter dogs, many also rescue dogs from shelters.
Not everyone is emotionally capable of caring for a disabled dog, and most special needs dogs in shelters will never find a forever home. Sandra Bullock is not only an advocate for special needs dogs, she adopted three from shelters. Poppy is a three legged Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix that Bullock adopted in 2005. Ruby is a two legged Chihuahua born without front legs. She walks around standing up straight on her back legs. BeBe, Sandra’s third special needs dog, is a one eyed Chihuahua.
I have been a fan of Orlando Bloom for a long time. He is also a huge dog lover, and actually rescued his dog off the streets of Morocco while on location during the filming of Kingdom of Heaven. Sidi is a Saluki mix, and he goes everywhere with his famous owner.
In 1998, a fire devastated her Beverly Hills home. Drew credits Flossie, her rescued Chow/Lab mix, with saving her life and her then husband, Tom Green. Flossie barked frantically and alerted them to the fire. Flossie crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2010 at the age of 16. Drew also has a 2½ year old mixed breed named Douglas, rescued from a shelter when he was six months old. He had been surrendered to the shelter when he was only two weeks old. Her other dog, a shepherd mix named Oliver, had been left in a box with his siblings outside a shelter in Los Angeles. Barrymore isn’t the only actress that has been in Oliver’s life; his foster home was with Nikki Reed of Twilight fame.
Gyllenhaal proudly named his two shelter dogs after characters in his favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is a German Shepherd, and Boo Radley is a Beagle/Pug mix. Atticus is Gyllenhaal’s running partner. An advocate for shelter pets, Gyllenhaal recently helped an animal rescue organization in Mississippi raise money.
How does this sound… one day you’re sitting in a cold, damp shelter eyeballing everybody that walks by. Wondering with each passing visitor if the next one will be ‘your’ person, the one to take you home and give you a place to feel warm and secure. Days pass slowly. Then one fine day, someone spends extra time in front of your cage. You are escorted into a ‘get acquainted room’ with that person and notice they smell really good. It’s nice the way they scratch behind your ears and call you ‘buddy’. After a short time, you’re escorted into a long black car and whisked away with the guy who smelled so good. Next thing you know, you’re eating a premium quality dog food like CANIDAE and sleeping in a deluxe bed. Suddenly, you find yourself in the lap of luxury!
That very thing happened to these lucky dogs when their paths crossed with these celebrities.
Bradley Cooper may be People magazine’s 2011 Sexiest Man Alive because of his blue eyes and his mischievous grin, but he’s tops on my list because of his love of rescue animals. In a 2009 interview, Cooper was more interested in talking about his shelter dogs than promoting his upcoming movie. At the time, Samson and Charlotte were his cherished companions. Samson was around fourteen years old and Charlotte was 6 or 7. Cooper talked about falling in love with each of them immediately, and referred to the dogs as his kids. Since then, Samson has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge but Charlotte is still right by his side, living the high life and even accompanying him onto movie sets. When it comes to women, one of the most important characteristics Cooper looks for is a love of animals. He claims that for a girl to stand a chance, she’s got to like his dogs. He staunchly declares that he and his dogs are a package deal.
Pets love you no matter who you are or what you do for a living. In fact, one of the beautiful things about animals is their loyalty and devotion. It’s always fun to read about celebrities and their pets, and how they interact with one another.
It’s not so different from how I interact with my pets – aside from the lavish meals, fancy beds and matching clothes. Sure, our pets get good nutrition from CANIDAE Natural Pet Food and they have comfortable beds. And even though we’re not big on matching clothes, I’m pretty sure my dog thinks I’m a celebrity, too.
As you might expect, Adam Sandler made an unconventional choice for the best man at his 2003 wedding: Meatball, his English bulldog. Meatball dressed the part, sporting an appropriate tuxedo and yarmulke. Sadly, Meatball is no longer with the Sandlers; at age four he died of a heart attack. They still have fun with their other English bulldog, Matzoball, who is alive and well, and enjoying the good life.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.