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In a typical household with kids, the walls are adorned with family photos, art projects, and homework assignments, all bearing the mark of a proud parent. Wendy Newell’s home is no exception to this rule. The only difference is that her only child is not a human, but rather, this 10-year-old German Shorthair Pointer mix named Riggins.
“I crossed over into ‘crazy dog lady’ eons ago,” Newell joked. Over the years, the former saleswoman-turned-dogsitter has met more and more women in situations like her own. These friendships have helped her to feel comfortable with all of the dog pictures taking up the memory on her phone .
“As I became friends with more single women with dogs, it’s really more of a support group of people who have the same type of family,” Newell said. “And as that was happening, I became less caring of what people thought.”
Newell first met Riggins 10 years ago while living in West Hollywood. As the story goes, Newell’s mother came across a family near their California house whose dog recently had puppies. Newell couldn’t resist checking them out.
“When my boyfriend and I got home [from vacation], the next day I went to look at these puppies nearby and when I left, my boyfriend said, ‘I know you’re coming home with a dog.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I am.’
One of many portrait of Riggins adorning Newell’s walls.
According to her post on Dogster, Newell’s first piece in her collection was a giant portrait of Riggins above her fireplace. “When Riggins and I moved to this house, we had left my ex and were both a little sad,” she wrote. “I commissioned the painting from a young artist I found online. I figured having Riggins above the fireplace would make our new place feel like a safe and happy home. I was right!”
This stunning stained glass window was made by a friend of Newell’s.
Although Newell struggles to pick a single favorite piece of art, she especially loves these photos taken by photographer Lori Fusaro.
*Wondering what towel art is, right? (We weren’t totally sure either.) It’s exactly what you think: a towel that’s been artfully arranged to look like, in this case, Riggins. Newell’s mother crafted this as a Christmas gift for the lucky dog: