My favorite part of dogsitting is getting to know the pup well enough to capture their personality in a doodle.
I’ve always been a dog lover, but when I downsized and moved to Seattle and a 12′ x 17′ studio apartment, I had to leave my dog behind (with friends who had lots of space and lots of love to give him). Now that I’m Dog-less (literally, maintaining an Instagram account of my dogless life, called @dogless.in.seattle) I get my doggie fix by dog-sitting for folks in my extended circle.
A couple of gigs in, I found myself doodling the pups on occasion and realized this would be a fun way to practice my doodling skills and leave a fun gift for the dog’s owners. Though I usually give away these doodles, they are some of my favorites, so I’ve decided to collect them into one post.
1. Doodle Doodle
This pup was present at the women’s March in January 2018. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to doodle this doodle in a raincoat.
2. Memorial Doodle
I got to dog-sit this super chill pup for two weeks of summer before he passed away. This fetch-loving good boy loved laying upside down, fetching, and licking carpet. When I received word that he had passed away I made this little memorial card for his family.
This was one of the first dogs I doodled as I began to grow more confident in my illustration a few years ago.
3. Island Doodles
When I returned from my art journaling adventure last summer in Italy, I still had the urge to illustrate almost everything. So when a friend and I headed to Port Townsend, Washington for a weekend away and I fell head over heels in love with at least a half a dozen dogs, I knew I had to feature them in a doodle mashup completed over coffee the next morning.
4. Dogsitter Doodle
My favorite recurrent dog sitting job is taking care of this giant spring-loaded black standard poodle named Sadie. While this doodle doesn’t capture the absolute balance with which this dog leaps through life, it does capture a bit of her spunk and mischief – two qualities I particularly enjoy. This infographic style dog doodle captures both her owner’s instructions for care while they are away and a little bit of humor about her particularities.
5. Digital Pug Doodle
For about a year I have been trying to master the skills needed for doing at least some doodling on a tablet. My Surface Pro has been a good companion, but since it also functions as my only media device/TV, I don’t often dedicate a lot of time to digital sketching. When I’m housesitting, though, I often have a couch and TV – and will often prop my Surface Pro up while watching a movie. I was dog sitting this happy little pupper on just such an occasion when I decided to create a digital version of him.
The pug is a particular goof, with unique needs and features, that make for a very fun “taking care of” illustration.
6. Corgi Cartoon
Described to me when I took the dogsitting gig as “Hank the Derpy Corgi,” his derpiness did not disappoint. This fun little corgi turned into an absolute favorite dog doodle. While originally intended to be another “how to care for” doodle, this one seemed finished as soon as Hank was watercolored.
Though one of the laziest pups I’ve ever taken care of, Hank is a regal little guy, I love how this doodle captures his regalness and also his silly little corgi–ness.
7. Golden Retriever Doodles
About a year ago, my friend got matched with a therapy dog for her practice. The dog she got had been previously trained as a paraplegic assistance dog and then a PTSD service dog. This Very Good Boy is everything a highly trained Golden Retriever/Lab should be, and he stole my heart the moment we met and he took my socks off on command as a party trick! This little service dog digital doodle was created as a birthday gift for his person.
8. “Do I Want to Pet That Dog?” – A Reference Chart
I want to pet dogs, but not ALL the dogs. I made this chart for a friend of mine when she found herself continually confounded by the fact that I didn’t squeal over *every* dog, just some of them.