The Christmas school holidays are almost over, but the days are still short and the nights are dark. Even though we want to try to do more sports in the New Year and get up off the couch more often, the darkness acts like a guard that incites our weaker selves against us. The Germans call our weaker self an "inneres Schweinehund", literally a pig-dog.
If you own a dog, you have to face that beast – your own pig dog – in order to face the elements. Even if it rains. Even if it snows, no matter what weather... if the dog's gotta go… he's gotta go. And then Mom or Dad grabs the leash, layers their clothing according to the weather and walks the dog. I have noticed that this ritual leads to many new acquaintances among the others who are out on the very same mission. It is a very sociable group that reminds me a little of proud parents.
They praise their dogs, tell each other of their baby's eating preferences, laugh at the funny things their dog had done throughout the day and reveal their worries about the ailments and illnesses of their small or large four-legged family member. In a special way, these groups actually act like extended families.
I like that. I don't have a dog myself, but I play dog sitter for my neighbor when her Jack Russel terrier, Tiffy, can't go with her, because my neighbour has a doctor's or hairdresser's appointment or if she and your husband stay somewhere overnight where dogs are not allowed.
At the event drawings for 'Heidelberg wimmelt', I met many people who came with their dog to be drawn for the book.
I remember the beautiful curly-haired woman with locks that seemed like pure silver with her Labradoodle, a rather new cross-breed of Labrador and Poodle, the dog was very sweet and good. Look at the cover of 'Heidelberg wimmelt.' Can you find the two on the Old Bridge?
There was also a couple that I drew at Ku17, who had sent me an extra photo of their dog, a beautiful collie. Of course, the trio can be found on the Neckar meadow. Have you ever experienced a feeling of deja vu? The woman reminded me of two people I know, her husband was very friendly and it was easy to see how in love they were and that her dog was not only a pet, but much, much more.
A third encounter was at an event drawing with a gentleman who had a small pug. He was friendly and patient... my last ' victim ' at the Heidelberg Zoo. His dog even appears twice in ' Heidelberg wimmelt. ' Once with him at the castle parapet. And once near the old giant turtles with the wife and children of the elephant caretaker – this was a special request from the gentleman because the boy goes to the kindergarten where the man was a teacher, and on that particular day the boy led the pug through the zoo. The boy was particularly proud of this because it was a special responsibility for him.
And then there's old Papi, my sister's dog who is walking with my niece, Rachel and my nephew, Eric at the Königstuhl. When my sister first looked through 'Heidelberg wimmelt', she couldn't find her kids anywhere. She searched and searched and searched. It amused me (she texted me a few times about it) and I left her fidgeting for a while until I told her where to find the two in my wimmelbook.
All of these people have taken in a dog (or two) who has become a bonified family member. And you? Do you have a loyal furry friend at home? Tell me about your pet in the comments below. Now here is a puzzle for you: Can you find all the dogs in Heidelberg teeming? Even those I didn't describe in this blog?
Now here is a new puzzle for you: Can you find all the dogs in ‘Heidelberg wimmelt’? Even those I didn't describe in this blog?
New Year's Eve is over again, during which Tiffy, my neighbor's dog, went on a trip with her Mom and Dad to the North Sea, to get away from crazy Germans and their firecrackers (a tradition in Germany is to celebrate the New Year with loud fireworks (yes, everyone and anyone older than 16 can buy them) The new year has started and I've finally got a few rays of light from the sun. Life goes on.
Daylight is still short and the evenings are long, however. In order to enjoy this dark time of the year, take a journey through my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt,' which you can get from your favorite book seller, directly from the Silberburg-Verlag publishing house, or from an online bookstore of your choice. Make up some I-spy puzzles for each other, e.g. Who can find all the Nile geese? (My secret tip: next week the geese also play a role in this blog, but not exactly as you might think)
If you have a favorite pet that you want to have drawn, get in touch with me. Valentine's Day is coming soon and an illustration for your sweetheart is guaranteed to be a beautiful gift. Just send me a request. By the way, I also draw portraits of people.
See you next week!