This Pup ‘Paw-casso’ Will Paint for Treats
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
People love to teach their dogs new tricks, but teaching your pup to paint is quite unique. Hunter is a 4-year-old Shiba Inu from Edmonton Alberta, Canada that has made quite a name for himself as the ‘Paw-casso’ of dogs. He happily paints away especially when there is a treat involved in his creation. His human parents, Kenny Au and Denise Lo, go by the social media noms de plumes of ‘Hudad’ and ‘Humom.’
They have taught Hunter the fine art of abstract painting. Neither of them have backgrounds as artists. “My wife does have some very successful ones in our family,” Kenny Au told Your Daily Dish. “I’m a computer engineer and my wife is an ESL (English as Second Language) instructor. We taught him to paint mainly because we like teaching him new tricks, and also we had an empty wall in our house that needed a conversation piece. We were very surprised at the results, and did not expect the paintings would look as good as they do.” Hunter’s first painting — appropriately titled First — was different shades of non-toxic acrylic blues done on regular loose leaf paper before he switched over to heavy weight, acid free acrylic paper. Au said it was meant to be for practice, but the response on the internet wasn’t to be ignored. “I went ahead and posted a picture of him on the internet,” he told Your Daily Dish. “The response was so positive that we ended up opening the Etsy store “Shiba Art Online” right away. We kept the originals, but we still don’t have a painting to hang on the wall for ourselves yet!” To date, Hunter has created several masterpieces including Gold Coast, Midnight Reverie, Lavender Fields, Coral Reef and Selfie, which bares the colors of Hunter himself – black and beige all available for purchase. They have even received a custom order from “Richard” which has the colors of purple and gray. The human involvement in getting these works of art done is the occasional kibble to encourage Hunter to keep going. “Our involvement in the painting is restricted to choosing the colors, giving him the brush, occasionally adjusting where he is standing, and rewarding him with a kibble when he completes a stroke. Hunter is the only one touching the brush to the paper and I wouldn’t feel right if we were any more involved than that,” Au told Your Daily Dish. The art of naming each painting comes from Denise Lo. “She’s just better at it,” Au admitted. Paintings sell for $38.68, which is the American equivalent of $50 Canadian. First and Selfie are the best sellers. Au believes it’s because of their origins. “This was really interesting to us because, although they are not necessarily our favorites, these are the paintings that have the most story to them,” Kenny Au said. Before Hunter even puts the paintbrush in his mouth to paint, he is fully exercised after a long walk. He usually does two sessions a day. “One after his long walk at around 4:00 p.m., and another at around 9:00 p.m. when we usually give him his last treat of the day before he goes to sleep,” Kenny Au said. “I think that just the companionship is our reward. He brings a lot of life to our household, and forces us to stay active. Although he’s super cute and seems well-behaved, we had our challenges raising him, and just seeing him grow and mature is pretty great.” Many inquiring minds wanted to know if Hunter signs the painting with his paw — as asked on “Frequently Asked Questions” – on their Etsy page. Hudad and Humom responded, “Hunter is kind of a clean freak and hates getting his paws dirty, so we won’t be able to put paint on his paws. However, we did create a stamp from a mold of his paw, so you can choose to add this to your painting.” If all this sounds too doggone impossible — here is the video from Nameless.TV — to illustrate Hunter’s talents.
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