Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bria - English Labrador Retriever SAR


Bria
English Black Labrador retriever Search & Rescue Dog with DAWGS
4"x6" Oil on Panel

From her owner, Jennifer:

Bria is a four year old English Black Labrador retriever who has been training for search and rescue since 2005, first with my husband Matt and for the past year, with me. Having recently become a certified Field Assistant myself, my goal is to be a dog and handler team able to work in the field together by the end of 2008.

Bria has been called a natural and is so incredibly focused and in her element while she is working that just watching her makes me beam with pride. I’ve told my teammates time and again that only hope I can be as good of a handler as she is a search dog. While Bria is not working, she is seeking as well as giving love and attention to everyone around her and will occasionally romp and play with her fellow dog teammates, that is if there’s nothing available for snacking.

Disaster and Wilderness Ground Searchers (DAWGS) is a volunteer search unit dedicated to the training of search and rescue dogs, handlers and support personnel in order to provide professional and highly-skilled search and rescue teams in the event of emergency response events. Formed in 1997 and operational in the spring of 1998, their primary search area is the state of Connecticut, although they are willing to assist disaster relief efforts and lost person searches wherever they are needed."

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In this painting of Bria, I was trying to portray what her handler calls her personality of "calm, sweet and peaceful with a gentle soul". Remember, these are just small, quick ol sketches, not full portraits. Because it was late, this photo was taken with a flash, and I will try to get a better photo up soon, she really isn't quite so blue in the actual painting.

Thank you, Jennifer, Bria and all the other handlers & dogs out there that dedicate so much time and money to save us from harm.

If you are a member of Search & Rescue, K-9 or Mounted Patrol, please allow me to paint a small portrait for you at no charge, in gratitude for your service.
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