At last All Creatures Great and Small, artCentral’s awesome August and September exhibition, is about to open. Generously underwritten by Central Pet Care and featuring fifty-plus photographic images created by members of the Four State Photography Enthusiasts (FSPE), All Creatures Great and Small will be on display throughout Hyde House at 1110 East Thirteenth Street in Carthage during weekend gallery hours from August 23 to September 22. The Opening Reception takes place on Friday, August 23, 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The public is invited. Admission is free.
After months of anticipation and planning, my husband David’s and my morning coffee conversations have shifted. They began with “How will the Exhibit Prospectus be written?” Now they focus on last preparations like fine-tuning the reception table installation and our declaring, “Let’s use our collection of wooden animals!” All of this started with a puppy picture of our brand new Aussie, Lasyrenn—sister to Chiquita, our nine year old Wheaten Terrier Poodle, and Ding, our rather ancient long-haired white cat.
Lasyrenn’s photo as a little puppy, taken on a lushly green hillside lawn during her first trip to Kansas City, inspired the All Creatures Great and Small theme for this summer’s artCamp where all the classes were animal-centric. That same image shows her as the very small poster puppy on the flyers and postcards for the coming exhibition which showcases all manner of animal parents and their offspring.
Our time for acquiring our own offspring had long passed with David’s and my having married quite late. Even so, we followed our natural urgings to expand our blended family. First we added our four laying hens. Then we saw a compelling notice on the door of Midwest AG Supply—our much loved, close-to-home feed store on the corner of Grant and Central in Carthage.
I felt my heart leap as we read, “Registered Australian Shepherd Puppies”. David said, “Go and look.” I did. Love-at-first-sight made me yearn for the sweet, wee merle, the only blond one, the littlest of nine. I brought her home. David insisted, “Her name will be Lasyrenn (la-se-wren),” Creole for The Siren, the patron spirit of artists and musicians in Haiti.
Full of playfulness and antics, though she was always chew-chew-chewing up everything, we thought Lasyrenn was an adorable fluff ball. Chiquita behaved as though she thought Lasyrenn was nothing but an aggravation. When Lasyrenn romped around her, Chickie just growled and turned away. She was having nothing of our puppy’s charming cuteness and bothersome nonsense.
As the last two years sped by and Chiquita’s grumpiness continued, the tension in our household rose and rose. Chiquita was no longer the “bigger big sister”. Lasyrenn had grown taller than she and was not willing to accept being growled into submission. When the discord in our household kept escalating, we reached out for help. Dog trainer Morgan Dutton appeared, walked into an out-of-control bark fest in progress and diagnosed our family as a dysfunctional pack. “I can help train the puppies,” she encouraged, “But you’ll have to be trained, too.”
For weeks we’ve been working and training every day to realign our pact order. Like all of life’s lessons worth learning, occasionally some are mastered quickly, others can be rather slow. Sometimes they even take a frustrating step back, but we continue on with our commitment to restore peace and quiet to our home. The positive behavioral changes are really happening, and we are resolved in our hope to one day have Lasyrenn ready to work as an Emotional Support Dog (ESD).
To offer our girls more opportunities for learning and socialization outside our home, in addition to working with Morgan, we’ve added weekly obedience classes taught by Jessicca Bailey at Central Pet Care’s Canine Academy. Central Pet Care, offering an always calm atmosphere and super care, is where we take our girls to see Dr. Melanie Grundy. (Throughout her new puppy checkup and inoculations, Lasyrenn actually slept soundly in the arms of Dr. Grundy!) We also see Dr. Richard Brus and our all-time favorite groomer, Lisa Lipscomb.
I send out special “thank yous” to those at Central Pet Care who are assuring the success of artCentral’s All Creatures Great and Small. They include Manager, Eddy Grundy, and Managing Assistant, Desiree Breidenstein, who said “yes” and facilitated my request for underwriting for this exciting exhibit.
The board members of artCentral are playing their parts, as well. Wendi Douglas is serving as reception impresario. Jane Ballard, a many-gifted and multi-talented photographer, wrote the exhibit prospectus, reached out to the members of the Four State Photography Enthusiasts and arranged cash awards for outstanding images. Award winning images will be selected by board member and skilled photographer, Kerry Sturgis, who first began his photography work while serving in the Navy. He’s studied photography in exhibitions the world over and developed a keen eye for photographic creativity and technique. Come see Kerry Sturgis’s choices and all the other enchanting images.
In All Creatures Great and Small you’ll find every size of wonder sure to please you!