Monday, August 1, 2011

Sophie's Story

I was shopping in an upscale, clothing consignment store where I lived, in Columbia, MD. I noticed an adorable, white, toy poodle hanging around. When I went to the front desk to make my purchase, I asked Jane, my saleswoman, "Is this your dog?" She told me that they were watching it for one of the sales people there who had to go out for a while. Naturally, I told her that I did paintings of pets and asked her if she could pass on my contact information to the dog's owner. She was very enthusiastic and took my card. A few months later, about 3 weeks before Christmas, I got a call from Jane. The sales personnel decided to chip in and commission me to paint a portrait of the store owner's dog, Sophie, for her Christmas present. Typically, I ask for 4 weeks to do a painting, but they wanted it as a Christmas present. It had to be done a less than 3 weeks. On a day when the store owner wasn't home, I went to her house, met her husband, and took a bunch of photos of Sophie. Then he selected one of them and I got to work.

It was right before Christmas. The plan was that I should come to the store in the evening, towards closing and deliver the painting to Jane. I got to the store a half hour before closing. All the sales help were there as this night was their little holiday party. The shop owner's husband and Sophie were there too. They asked me to pretend to be shopping so when the owner came in, she wouldn't think it was unusual that  a stranger was hanging around. Even her husband and Sophie pretended they didn't know me.

The owner arrived and all the sales help gathered around her and presented her with a gift-wrapped present. When she unwrapped the box and saw the painting, she was surprised, delighted and touched so deeply that she cried. She could not get over the likeness of the painting. She commented that the colors of Sophie's fur in the painting matched the dog's coat perfectly. It was such a beautiful moment. Then Jane called me over and introduced me to the owner. We all hugged as if we were long lost family. Even Sophie got a few extra head rubs and hugs. It was a Christmas, I will never forget.


No comments:

Post a Comment