Zuma, acrylics on paper, 27.9 x 42cm, October 2022 (© Carin Steen)
I know, I always say that the dog in question is a special one, and they all are, really, but this one is EXTRA special because I happen to be her "tía".
Zuma belonged to a friend of mine here in Spain, one of a close knit group of wonderful people who gracefully "adopted" me in their circle when I moved here in 2019. Unfortunately, Leire tragically and unexpectedly passed away earlier this year.
Zuma is about seven years old but as good-looking and playful as a puppy. She was rescued from an abandoned farm where her only company was a huge mastiff. Leire gave her a home and a wonderful life, often at the seaside they both loved so much. A very happy doggy, except for when she hears fireworks. Then she hides in the darkest corner until the coast is clear again.
After Leire's passing, Zuma was taken in by her brother and his girlfriend, both part of the same group of friends. They had never the intention to adopt a dog, but of course Zuma is family and they'll do anything to keep her happy. Whenever they are busy or away, or when there's too much fireworks going on where they live, Zuma stays with me and my roommate. Or whenever we feel "dog-deprived". It's sort of a joined custody arrangement. We love having her and Zuma loves the long hikes and chasing tiny fishes at the beach. Needless to say we spoil her rotten, because that's what aunties do. I found painting this portrait that Zuma's new parents commissioned was quite emotional but I'm glad I did it. In the background, of course, the coastline of our beloved Poo.
Zuma, we love you!