In Memory of Josie


Last February, literally days before the Pandemic hammer fell, I went on a cruise as a guest for the first time in my life. I had the pleasure of having an awesome conversation about art in a Royal Caribbean piano bar with Lisa Swisher. Lisa is currently a detective. Lisa is also a wonderful artist in her off time and will be retiring next year. I am excited about all the possibilities her future will hold artistically. SUCH a nice lady who deserves every good thing life can give.

Lisa asked me to paint a likeness of her late dog, Josie. Josie had a rough start in life. His finish, however, was of the most golden of happy endings with the Swisher family. I asked Lisa to tell me how Josie found his way to her and her husband Dan.


I was on my way home one afternoon when I noticed a beautiful Border Collie mix dog sitting alongside the road about 1⁄2 mile from my house with a pile of dog food in front of him. I stopped to try and get close but he ran into the woods. The following morning I again saw him sitting in the exact same spot, I assumed he was waiting for his owners to return for him. Again, I tried to

approach him but he went into the woods.

The following evening my husband Dan and I were on our way home from dinner and there he was in the exact same spot. We stopped the car and I told Dan to go on home and I would stay until I could get him to trust me. It took a little while but he finally came to me and I was able to rub him on the head. He immediately perked up, started wagging his tail and seemed happy. Josie followed me down the road by my side all the way home. Josie made right up to Dan and became his best friend. No matter where Dan was on the farm, you could be sure Josie was with him, most likely guarding the cows or horses, always working to impress Dan. Josie was with us for the next 9-10 years and was the most unusual and loyal dog I have ever known. Unfortunately Josie passed away from liver cancer a few months ago.


The fact that Josie sat in that same spot, wouldn’t come to someone he didn’t know and waited days for whoever it was that left him there, shows a level of commitment that most HUMANS won’t even make. Loyalty to the degree of sitting alone all night in the darkness thinking the person you knew was coming back after you.

Listening for the sound of their car and straining to find their scent. Likely confused over why he was left in this situation. This pup was only going on what he knew of life before finally surrendering to that walk down the lane to “home at last” with Lisa and Dan. I don’t know a soul who doesn’t feel a little like Josie did right now. Wondering why we ended up here. Dying for the familiar to come again and wondering if it ever will. Josie showed big faith when he finally decided that there might be a different road for him beyond the only life he knew. In this case, the best was yet to come. Be like Josie. Have big faith.

A heart felt thanks to Dan and Lisa Swisher for the love you gave this dog until his last breath. How wonderful you are for doing that! Bless you.

Josie is painted on an 8 x 10 canvas panel.

I used watercolor pans on this one. I’m loving that new direction.

If you have a commission you would like me to paint, please email me at