Pet Portraits… Getting Back To My Roots…

As you regular readers know, I take all of the photographs I post here on this blog. What you probably do not know is that I am an artist, and I have been painting and drawing my entire life. I have an art degree, I have worked in my chosen field my entire life, teach, and I am pretty crafty. So on a whim I decided to start personal painting again to reduce stress and see if I “still got it”…. You can let me know what you think. I painted both Albert and Cody (although Cody is not completed yet and is twice the size of Albert), and am open to commission work. So if you are interested in having your lil Buddy immortalized, let me know and we can work something out. You can see all the other craziness that I do on my website at

Now I want to brag about how great Cody is doing! He is healthy, vibrant, a great weight, playful and energetic. He has been out and about as well, going to visit one of his girlfriends, Maggie, about a week ago to run around her house with her and chase the cats that live with her. And then just yesterday his other girlfriend Sheriff came over for a visit to run around our house with him. He has also been running almost every day for a good fifteen minutes getting that blood flowing, and doing a bit of swimming as well. I check his neck glands every day multiple times a day, I am a bit obsessive about it being the overprotective Mom I am. So far so good!

The one thing I am noticing so much lately is how incredibly well behaved and good he is now. He will be six years old on July 15th this year… I really did not know if we would make that milestone. But as we get closer to it I am amazed at how much this boy has changed in the last six years. From the crazy puppy who seemed to not be in control of his own body and had trouble calming himself enough to listen, to the now amazingly attentive adult who wants nothing more than to please. When we are outside he is mostly off leash, and he sticks right by me. When we run with the ball he is all about the ball, and me. Listening to me perfectly, following me to the street edge when we are done, sitting at the street waiting for cars to pass, and then walking with me still off leash to our front door.  He sits on command, lays down on command, in fact when we play chicken I can throw it and tell him to sit while I do it and he will not get up and get it until I release him. Even though you can visibly see he is freaking out to get it… he is obsessed with the chicken! Such an amazing dog….  and really it is all about the time I spend with him engaged with his behavior.

Speaking of behavior… this is one of our normal late night occurrences…. Cody makes for a good pillow:

And more on behavior… the crazy loon Albert sometimes can be a total mush. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde really… he is awful and destructive and mean and bites and scratches and draws blood on a regular basis. And then he is like this… practically sleeping in my arms totally trusting.


So that is what is going on nowadays here as the summer gets into full swing and the weather becomes stiflingly hot. We are in drought conditions here in Florida right now, it has not rained of substance in months and the water levels here are lower than they have ever been. Record breaking. For South Florida this is crazy as we are subtropical… no rain is absolutely not normal. So the tiny bit of rain we got yesterday, the ten minutes of sprinkle was cause for celebration and we all went outside to stand in it to make sure it was actually happening.


I hope you are getting into good weather and enjoying the sun a bit! And once again, if you want a Pet Portrait done, I would love to hear from you!



~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on June 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Pet Portraits… Getting Back To My Roots…”

  1. Michelle: I can hear the happiness and relief in your “voice” as it comes through clearly in your writing. I found the tension leave my body as I read on, because whenever there’s a Cody update, I”m apprehensive.

    I know that the worry is never absolutely over (maturity is about living with uncertainty, isn’t it?) but it sounds like you are all living the life, discovering old passions and waiting for the rain. It’s lovely to read.

    Have a great day together, and good luck with reviving your artistry. You are very gifted!


  2. Thank you Alex! Always so nice to hear from you… I appreciate your compliments and your comments. We are doing good, and I hope you are too! Happy summer!

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