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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Odie portrait in progress 7 - "The windows to the soul"

After two days of work I finished Odie’s eyes. That took a lot of concentration. I’m happy with it so far. I think I captured his sweet eyes.

Colored pencil and watercolor portrait of a red Doberman in a beach scene, in progress

Odie’s upper head is finished, the rest of the portrait is still just underpainting. (See my previous Blog posts if you want to know about the underpainting and how it was done.)

I want to also share this close-up and describe what I was striving to capture in the eyes of Odie, the “windows to his soul”. Below is what Robin wrote about the soul of gentle, sweet Odie....

Close up of colored pencil and watercolor portrait of a red Doberman in a beach scene, in progress

When I asked Robin to tell me about Odie before working on his portrait, she wrote:

So my Odie-Man,

You saw the picture on FB of his adoptaversary. I'm not sure if you could tell what a scared little boy he was. He had been dumped in a shelter and as you probably know, some dobermans just do not survive in that environment. Odin was one of them. When Dobie Ranch Rescue pulled him a week later (as soon as they were able) he had not eaten for a week while in the shelter. As soon as I heard his heartbreaking story and saw his pictures, I knew I wanted him but wasn't sure how our other male Kirby would deal. We were originally going to foster him until we could determine if he and Kirby could get along (they don't) but then Diane was concerned about uprooting him again so I said we would just go ahead and adopt and work it out. We have been "working it out" ever since, but I haven't regretted a day with him and would do it all again. He has been a blessing.

He came to us very fearful. Based on some of his responses, we believe a man had beaten him at some point. We worked on socializing him and he got progressively better (he still has fear but the responses have changed). He is a ladies man and has melted the hearts of the women at the vet as well. He gives them those big eyes and that sweet face and they swoon.

He is extremely gentle. I can play with him and he never bites down, he has never once hurt me playing…

He has toys with squeakers that he uses to communicate. Mike calls them his "communicators". He says when I am working at the office and it's time for me to get home, he will start squeaking and howling. When I get home, it turns into a happy squeak. If I am in another area of the house, he "calls" me with a different squeak (they really are distinct). We also get the happy squeak after he has gone out to the bathroom or been fed. He plays squeak games with Mike where Mike will squeak out a pattern and Odie will mimic it (not kidding - it is adorable). I have to travel for work from time to time. Mike says then he gives pitiful calls with his communicators.

He is a snuggle bug. … He also loves to give kisses, and they are not wet, sloppy kisses but soft sweet kisses. When I walk by him laying on the bed, he lifts up for a kiss and I have to "pay the toll" of a kiss to go past…. He wakes me up in the morning with a kiss then presses his head against my mouth so I can kiss his head.

He is a REALLY good boy, he listens well and knows how to tell us what he needs.

It is hard for me to believe he is 9 years old already, time has gone by so fast. He is showing that silver in the muzzle now and it both breaks and warms my heart. He is my heart.

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