May 2, 2005
Dog paws covered in paint. The image is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, especially if he or she has light-colored carpet.
Despite that, dozens of Scottsdale residents allowed their dogs to traipse around in the stain-causing goo Sunday morning as part of Scottsdale Art Wag, a celebration of dogs and art benefitting local animal welfare groups.
The event was held at In the Raw, a dog-friendly coffee shop on Hayden Road and Via de Ventura.
Seven animal welfare groups chose famous artists as themes for their booths and organized artistic games and activities for pets and their owners.
Gilbert-based Friends for Life Animal Sanctuary chose Jackson Pollock, who created his enormous paintings by wildly splattering paint onto canvases, for its booth’s theme artist. At the booth, dogs did the animal version of Pollock’s work by walking in paint and onto a piece of white paper.
Each painting cost $20, which went to the nonprofit, volunteer-run organization.
Scottsdale resident Megan Gaffney, 25, paid for her dog to make a painting.
But Booker, a 1-year-old Great Dane mix, wasn’t interested in being an artist.
He walked around in red, blue, yellow and green paint, but he didn’t want to
step on the paper.
Gaffney finally picked his paws up and did the work for him.
"I was hoping he would do a little more, but I was kind of impressed he didn’t want to get the paper dirty," Gaffney said.
"He’s my kid. He’s got to make me some art," Gaffney said.
Jannelle Cosgriff of Friends for Life said not all dogs are eager to paint, but many enjoy it. Paintings made by dogs surrounded Cosgriff at the group’s booth. She said dogs living in shelters were the primary artists.
One pink and purple painting was particularly eyecatching. Cosgriff said a dog named Charlie painted it. Charlie came to Friends for Life after losing the skin from half of his body and face while being dragged behind a truck.
"Charlie is a great artist," she said.
Other animal welfare groups at Art Wag included AZ Cat Assistance, AZ Golden Retriever Connection, Arizona Beagle Rescue, Racing Home Greyhound Adoption, Pets 911 Auxiliary, and the Arizona Pug Rescue and Adoption Network.
Brenda Minton, the event’s organizer and owner of In the Raw, said she hopes the event raised awareness about homeless pets and the importance of spaying and neutering.
For information, visit www.rawsomebar.com.