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A custom artwork I will treasure forever

Published on 16 May 2020 at 13:45

A custom artwork you will treasure forever...I only found out this week what that truly means. You can think of a description of your art, you can think it’s right . But to actually feel it is something else.

Yesterday I almost panicked. Trying to search my family portrait. I had it on my ‘about’ website page but removed it. Did I have it on social media? When my iMac crashed I lost a lot of files.. what if it wasn’t there anymore? What if I lost my own artwork of a time I loved most?


As most of you know I have two old dachshunds Neeltje and Teuntje and a Spaniel named Daantje. Well, had two dachshunds. Teuntje went to the rainbow bridge this Tuesday. I knew the moment was coming soon, since he was old and his body was not up to it anymore. Months I gave him the extra care he needed in his final stages of life. He must have heard the story of his life a million times, because I kept telling him all his adventures, how he was as a pup, how much I loved him. Tuesday I noticed he behaved odd. Lifting his neck like he smelled something. I took him to my bed and hold him as he started breathing slow with a heavy sound. I stroke the hair on his little head and hold him. The breathing stopped. His eyes were open and there was a glaze, his tongue out of his mouth. I just layed there for five minutes with him. Grateful it all went so fast and he didn’t seem to have had a lot of pain. I let Neeltje and Daantje on the bed to say goodbye, each responding in their own way. They knew he was gone, heartbreaking for all. Before closing the blankets I took my final time with him, telling him again I love him and that I was grateful and proud to have had him in my dog family. I gave him a final kiss on his ear and gently closed the blankets around him. I buried him that evening in my families garden.

I was so well prepared that I underestimated the days that where going to come. I knew with my head this was for the best, he was old, he could rest, he had a good life and all of the comforting thoughts... but the missing is real.

The morning I woke up I didn’t want to go out of bed. I knew when I would look in the kitchen he wouldn’t be there. I wasn’t prepared for that, the total hole he left of fifteen years being a part of the family. It was a dark day, everything I saw reminded me of him, I noticed his little pawprints on the carpet, his wet nose prints on the window, his little grey hairs....every bowl I touched he ate out...his cuddle bears. I cried so much..he really is gone. The long time together comes back in flashes. All the time he was with me, all the memories. 

He shared all the heartbreaks, friends and family that are no longer with us, happy times of joy and laughter. Four times we moved in those years.. he loved it when we moved to a little house in the woods, he could lay in the sun for hours. Relaxing with the sound of the birds in the back. Teun was a bit of a lazy fella, never seen a dog more relaxed then him. And so these memories of him come back, that give me happiness and sadness. 

More than ever I now understand the value of the art I make. It may be fun to have it created now, but it will also bring comfort and joy in the future when things are changed and you want to re-feel those times.

The family portrait is from us in the woods, sun shining. Our little family. It holds us in a time where I would like to go back to. I will get it printed so I can look at it every day.. and be in that time and place for a while. Truly a portrait I will treasure forever.

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Nancy Edwards
7 months ago

Jessica, this is one of the most beautiful tributes I have ever read. The memories of your precious Teuntje will always live on in your heart. Hugs to all.❤️

Jacqueline Conley
7 months ago

Oh Jessica, my heart breaks for you. I know how you are feeling. It is the missing part. They are gone. It takes time, the pain lessens, but that one piece is missing from your heart. I always comfort believing I will see then again. I picture them in heaven with family, running free and happy. He knew he was well loved and loved you too. May God bless you and comfort you. Love and hugs. Jackie Conley and Duncan. The painting of all of you is precious!

Sue Havens
7 months ago

Oh Jessica, I hear all the pain you feel as well as the love you have for your boy Teuntje. I’m so glad you were able to hold him when he passed and gave him the start of his journey over the Rainbow Bridge. I’m sure my sweet cocker Taffy will greet him and help him transitioning to Heaven. God bless you!