Noah (by Carin Steen)
Noah, acrylics on wood, 16.5cm, 2019

I have wholeheartedly loved each pet I ever had, but not every dog is a "heart dog". Noah surely was. She came into my life in 2017 when she was barely three weeks old and she was trouble from day one.

A knock on my door. One of the neighbourhood kids was standing there with the tiniest of pups, covered in fleas. He told me his little sister had come home with the pup. At school they had a theme around Noah and his arc, and the teacher thought it was a good idea to ask the kids to bring an animal to class. So kids picked up random puppies and kittens, unvaccinated and way too young to be separated from their moms, later to be randomly distributed among the students (without their parents' consent). 

Noah was fearless and clueless. She would walk on dangerous edges (and fall down), be in other dogs' food bowls (and get bitten) and she couldn't care less even though she got badly injured several times. I've never seen a dog so curious nor had I been in so many houses along the routes we used to walk. Noah would enter every open door she saw. Very embarrassing to have to collect your dog from a complete stranger's master bedroom closet! She'd even jump in parked cars whenever she had a chance.

Of all the puppies I've fostered, none was more trouble than Noah. Not one chewed on more shoes, money or jewelry. I was absolutely not planning on adopting yet another dog (had two at the time already, plus foster pups), but no other creature ever made me laugh as much as Noah. So when she was put up for adoption, well, I became a Foster Failure. And never was I happier to fail at something. 

Unfortunately, Noah died suddenly in March of 2018, barely 13 months old, probably of a brain aneurism. My heart was broken and it still is.

Noah, acrylics on paper 24.5 x 19.5cm, 2017