"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes 2004

"Ain't Life Grand" by Kathy Hoynes  2004

24 December 2006

Not a creature was stirring...

I love this time of night. All the pups are sleeping, visions of squeaky toys dance in their heads. I've made sure the homeless cats are all snug in their beds...well actually they have a home. It's my potting shed. My "Charlie Brown Christmas CD" is playing and I will be dancing around the living room when the "Lucy & Linus" tune comes up. And a bit later I'll go down to the village square to enjoy the lights. It's cold here tonight - gloves and scarf weather - so my Christmas Eve is complete. Tomorrow morning I'll get up bright and early, call a few friends and then start to prepare everything for Christmas dinner.

I wish you all the happiest Christmas and hope your day is filled with joy and good cheer!

23 December 2006

Christmas Shopping

Just got back from some last minute Christmas shopping at the mall. What the heck was I thinking???!!!?!?!?!?!?!???? It was insane. Makes me wonder if re-gifting is really so bad.


19 December 2006

Marty's Moment

Marty is the senior member of the house – both in age and in residency. He’s a sweet 12 year old brindle boy with a kabuki white face and huge dark eyes surrounded by long, lovely lashes. Marty loves to give kisses. His breath is terrible so I guess you could call them stinky kisses but Marty gives the BEST stinky kisses. Marty has very big, very expressive ears even if they do make him look like Brighty of the Grand Canyon. He has a little trouble walking as there are problems with 2 of his disks, but Marty is nothing if not spunky and has learned to navigate around all the pushing and shoving of the other pups. It’s a joy to see him romping around the yard with his lopsided gait, leading off a group roo.

Marty has mastered the art of the woof. If he stands by the French doors wagging his tail and giving two soft woofs that means I should open the door and let him out. One loud woof after meals means he’s finished eating and I can remove his bowl. Several agitated woofs of increasing volume means he would like me to come ASAP to give him hugs and kisses.

So it’s only natural that this very special boy is suddenly an artist’s supermodel. I recently drew Marty sleeping with his MooCow stuffie and a Swiss cheese pillow as a fundraising image for GPA-Wisconsin (www.gpawisconsin.org) . The group has turned it into a great assortment of must have items – t-shirts, cards, holiday ornaments. Marty hasn’t said much about all this but I think it’s very cool!

Marty had another modeling go round when I was asked to do illustrations for a story called “Sandell’s Exciting Day” by Carol Sumilas Boshears which appears in the Winter issue of CG Magazine. True a brindle male looks nothing like a fawn female but that’s where artistic license come into play. And Marty already had the long eyelashes. I don’t think Marty minds too much.

Well, I must dash...someone is woofing and it's getting louder.

18 December 2006

My 1st Foster

One would think that with 9 greyhound running around the house, I'd be crazy to take in a foster greyhound. About a month ago, my first foster greyhound, Huey, arrived at my doorstep. (no comments on my sanity, please) To say I was nervous is an understatement! Huey had been in a previous home for several years and the owners had issues with his behavior. Things happen, I 'spose. Huey was understandably perplexed upon his arrival even though the pups made him welcome. As I was not sure just what to expect, a living room/dining room lock down had been imposed for the evening. During final bed check I discovered that Huey was missing - from inside the house that is. He'd gotten the hang of the doggie door and was laying on one of the outdoor beds in the moonlight. While he seemed perfectly happy, he was shivering so I went outside and persuaded him to come back into the house. By that time all the good sleep spots in the house were occupied and Huey looked up at me with big sad greyhound eyes. Against my better judgement I brought Huey into the living room where he promptly plopped himself down on the fluffiest bed and fell asleep. He sure didn't look like he'd do anything dastardly to my living room but just to be on the safe side I spent the night on the couch.

Huey is the happiest of greyhounds. He's sweet and loving and if you tickle his ears just right, he'll smile. He's very easy going and trusting. Huey has even let me trim his nails...a very risky thing as I had never trimmed nails before. Huey's are white and a bit translucent so it was quite easy however, I still won't trim the nails of the other pups. There have been a couple of families interested in Huey but so far he has not found his "family" but he will!

Huey will make someone the perfect greyhound. For now, there will be a couple of extra presents under the tree this year.


16 December 2006


I've had rather a funky couple of days so leave it to my friend Pat to send me a goofy e-mail to make me giggle. Pat is warped, marginally wicked and tons of fun. My grandfather, who is on the far right of the photo, was much the same and would have loved Pat and thoroughly enjoyed her sense of humour. Heck, if I didn't know better, I would have said he wrote the e-mail she sent me. So from my cozy little dysfunctional family to yours, join me in singing some disturbed Christmas carols.



1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are.

3. Amnesia --- I Don't Know if I'll be Home for Christmas.

4. Narcissistic ---Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me.

5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and
Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and...

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me.

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire .

8. Full Personality Disorder-- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout,
Maybe I'll tell You Why.

9. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ---Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

10. Agoraphobia --- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn't Leave My House.

11. Senile Dementia --- Walking in a Winter Wonderland Miles From My House in
My Slippers and Robe.

12. Oppositional Defiant Disorder --- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned
Down the House.

13. Social Anxiety Disorder --- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas while I Sit
Here and Hyperventilate.

11 December 2006

Big Paw Prints to Fill

When my lovely Winston passed away in January 2005, I was devastated. He was the perfect spot in my world and I was suddenly adrift. While he did not define me as a person, I felt that his presence had shaped who I was and how my art evolved for the 8 years we were together. Who would recognize me without the big brindle greyhound in the Crayola yellow collar leashed to my arm? It was difficult to express my grief in words so I expressed my grief over Winston the only way I knew how – through my art. The three images I created allowed me to survive the rawness of those first months in a quiet house. When they were finished, it was time to face the world again.

But was it? I felt I was still not ready. I began to doubt if I would ever adopt another greyhound but I missed having a dog. I missed the touch of a cold nose under my arm, jolting me out of a sound sleep. I missed the understanding of a sweet, fuzzy face as I shared all my secrets. I missed “that look”. Would another greyhound ever look at me like that again? I was uncomfortably jealous of my friends as they had what I no longer did. Winston is forever engraved on my heart. He left very big paw prints to fill. Another greyhound would never be Winston but I didn’t want him to be. A new greyhound deserved to be a dog of his own uniqueness, finding his place in the world and in my life. But my life was not as it should be and I had no idea when and if it would ever be normal again.

It’s funny how life manages to get you back on track even when you have no clue as to where the track will take you.

The prospect of suddenly sharing my life with 9 greyhounds never fazed me. How could it? I had nothing to compare it to. I had nothing to be afraid of. Ignorance can be bliss. 9 fuzzy faces opened their hearts and their home to me. One by one they each offered me their own unique gift.

Beauty made sure she took care of her newest “pup”.
Marty made sure I smiled.
Remy made sure I had a friend to snuggle with.
Scotty made sure I was protected.
Harley made sure I had someone to play with.
Nutmeg made sure I shared my things.
Blueberry made sure I continued what I started.
Bobo made sure I learn to expect the unexpected.
Dee made sure my new house felt like my home.

No, they are not Winston. Nor would I want them to be. They are Remy, Scotty, Marty, Blueberry, Nutmeg, Harley, Beauty, Bobo and Dee. And I love each of them for who they are. Hopefully as time goes on, I can give each of them a tiny bit of what Winston gave me.

Yes, Winston had very big paw prints to fill and it took 9 greyhounds to fill them.


10 December 2006

"Who's There?"

In my last entry I told you a little bit about Scotty, my beautiful, noble and camera shy greyhound. I'd like to share a drawing I did of Scotty which captures his typical pose when he detects a camera pointed in his direction.

"Who's There?" by Kathy Hoynes 2006

Have a wonderful weekend!


06 December 2006

Stinky Feet

Ya know how people say that after a period of time a human begins to resemble their dog? What happens when the dog starts to imitate the human??!!

Scotty is my beautiful red fawn. He's stunningly regal and has huge soft brown eyes. He hates getting his picture taken and I have yet to get a photo of him that isn't blurred or with his head turned. He loves getting his tummy rubbed when no one else is looking. And he has a very big "woof". If I were a greyhound, I'd like to be like Scotty.

I am a klutz. If there is a pile of poop, I'll be the one to step in it...literally! In the yard, on a walk, minding my own business (no pun intended). Especially if I have on a to-die-for pair of Jimmy Choo's. I'm hopeless!!!

So why would a greyhound as noble as Scotty feel the need to "be like Kathy"?

Scotty has observed me well for he's developed the uncanny knack of stepping in poop. Full paw. It's like he's making a plaster cast for posterity. But Scotty is very neat about this faux-paw (there I go again!). Rather than tracking his discovery thru the house, he will promptly sit on the closest bed and wait for his poopy paw to be discovered and cleaned. He would never dream of walking around with this paw in such a state. And to be honest - how could he? Scotty never fails to encase his finely doggyicured toenails in 2 inches of...er...um...poop. Even if he tried to walk, he'd be totally off balance. Which is what a lot of people say about me. But I digress....

Then again, maybe Scotty has not picked up my klutziness. Perhaps he is just exerting his own unique form of artistic expression.