The Spirited Springer Spaniel



This is what the author Larry Shook  said about my kind:
“The spaniel heart is warm. The soft spaniel eye brims with love. If ever the world’s diplomats and arms negotiators learn the spaniel gaze, there will be peace on earth.”

I am an English Springer Spaniel.

Portrait of the English Springer Spaniel

Portrait of Springer Spaniel done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Illustrations, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Springer Spaniel | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

First, a clarification.
Springer spaniels are of two types.
1. English Springer Spaniels and
2. Welsh Springer Spaniels.

We are almost the same except that the Welsh Spaniels have a more square body structure and are more independent than the English Springer Spaniels.

What distinguishes us from other dogs is our long droopy ears that are almost as long as our heads and are covered with thick wavy hair.

I must also tell you that there’s another dog-breed that’s called Cocker Spaniels. The Cocker Spaniels were considered Springer Spaniels till 1800s. Historically however, springer spaniels were bred as gun dogs for hunting missions or flushing the game from marshes etc. We are good retrievers and we love to retrieve, whether it be the hunted game or a ball from a yard. We are also good at recognizing scents (almost as good as that scent hound Beagle) and are often employed at ports and airports to sniff out illegal items and immigrants.

By nature, we springer spaniels are very affectionate and love company. We are excellent family dogs for families that can devote time to their dog and play with them. Definitely springer spaniels aren’t for the elderly who live a sedentary life, because we are high-energy dogs who love to play. We have excellent memory and will dig out hidden objects even after months. We are very gentle with people both with children and strangers. They aren’t very aggressive and love the company of people. It is often said that quite like Boxer they too never leave their puppyhood.

Springer Spaniels have a lot of stamina and so walking us two to three times a day is quite normal. In absence of exercise we could become dull and destructive. If we are trained from puppyhood, training us is easy.

The Springer Spaniel’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 18-21 in
  • Weight: 48-72 lb
  • Coat: The coat’s color is Liver or black with white markings – mainly white with black or liver markings. They have tan markings especially on their legs and snout. Colors vary from dark red to fawn and brindled with white markings. Their long-haired coat is thick and needs regular brushing on daily basis.
  • Life Span:  12-14 years

Pictures of Celebrities and Famous Personalities with their spaniels:

Hear are pictures of some celebrities with spaniels

Springer Spaniels on Pinterest:

Here is an interesting pin on Springer Spaniels

Amazing Springer Spaniel Heroes:


Murphy works for Her Majesty’s Prison Service in Norwich, UK, and searches for mobile phones.


Buster the  Royal Army Veterinary Corps search-dog was given the prestigious Dickin Medal for for discovering the explosive to be deployed by extremists in Iraq.

Here is a cute photo of Buster with his handler Sgt Danny Morgan after he received the PDSA Dickin Medal


Jake, aka Hubble Keck, a London Metropolitan dog was given People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Gold Medal and Blue Cross Animal Hospital Medal for playing an active and  critical role in explosives detection after the London Bombings in July 2005.


SFPD dog Mac, a three year-old Springer awarded a Department star for his assistance in the seizure of more than $3,750,000.00 in illegal proceeds from narcotics trafficking.


Jack, the Springer Spaniel and member of Arms and Explosives Search dogs team saves lives in Afghanistan.

Mrs. Murphy:

Mrs. Murphy a pet spaniel saves life of South Wales woman by sniffing out breast cancer.

AKC Page for Poodles:

Visit this link to seek more information on English Springer Spaniels on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Beagle – An Incorrigible Sniffaholic!

Portrait of Beagle done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.
“So much to sniff, so little time to bay. A pack of beagles sounds like a symphony with individual instruments–a low oboe, a staccato bell, a bicycle horn, a stuttering trumpet, crescendo and decrescendo until there is just the oboe…and then little whoops…then silence when the scent is lost.”– Stephanie Lilley, Regency Romance Writer, Beagle-lover, and Dog-blogger.

I think that quote says it all. We beagles are scent-hounds, and for us heaven is made of a million scents.

{I’ll let this crazy artist talk about us, but being a Beagle, I’ll sniff it all out once it’s written. You’ll find the beagle wisdom in brackets similar to the ones used here.}

Portrait of the Beagle

Portrait of Beagle done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Beagle | Medium: Pen &amp | Ink, Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Beagle are scent hounds, which means that they are super-sniffers. {Oh yeah! Who doesn’t know that?}

In past, they were employed as hunting dogs and they would accompany hunters to help them discover rabbits, deer, and other small animals. {Just clarifying… Deer aren’t small.}

While the credit of developing beagles as scent hounds goes to the United Kingdom, they are known to have existed for more than 2000 years. However, after the nineteenth century they became popular around the world.

The now-extinct Talbot hounds are said to be their ancestors. The Talbots were first brought to the UK (from France) by William the Conqueror. He had the idea that they could help in hunting stags. As the number of stags dwindled, the Talbots were gradually transformed into the smaller, cuter, but equally smart beagle. {I think that we are a lot smarter. We aren’t extinct, you see?}

So why do Beagles have long and floppy ears?
Actually, a beagle’s long and floppy ears hold the scent better. They sweep the scent and concentrate it between them so that they may push the scent closer to the nose. In fact, the only dog that’s a better sniffer, is the Bloodhound. Once the beagles and the bloodhounds detect a smell, it’s almost impossible to recall them. {Have you tried recalling us with something that smells better – for instance, our favorite treat?}


So why Bloodhounds are employed as sniffer dogs more often than the Beagles?
It boils down to trainability. Beagles are somewhat stubborn. They are like this artist here. They are happier choosing their own sniffables; they don’t like anyone telling them what to sniff and what not to. This obviously means that they’ve got to take a hit on their fame-quotient, but that how they are…and in fact, that’s a big part of their appeal. {I’ll go with that.}

Beagles are very affectionate and they are very good with kids. They love to live with a family which showers attention on them and because they have a pack orientation they can be trained to accept a family member to be the alpha of the pack. Due to their pack-psychology, they have a very high level of loyalty. Quite like the Collie and the Boxer, they can be noisy if left alone in isolation for a long time. They prefer homes where the family members are present all the time. They love to exercise and prefer to live in a house with big yards. While beagles need a lot of exercise, generally they are low maintenance dogs with low aggression. {Phew! That paragraph was a big enough yard for my whole pack.}

The Beagle’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 12-15 in
  • Weight: 15-30 lb
  • Coat: They are generally tricolor with tan, black and white or lemon, black or white. Their back is predominantly black, and chest, legs and top middle portion of the snout has white. Head and ears mainly have red or lemon color. They have a short-haired coat and they do not require a lot of maintenance.
  • Life Span:  13-14 years
  • Alternate Names: English Beagle

What Beagles do for Humans?

Beagles Brigade of US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Beagle’s extraordinary ability to detect smells has led USDA to establish a team of more than 60 Beagles to detect illicit food articles like banned meats, fruits and vegetables across 21 international airports across the country. This team of Beagles is given a special name: The Beagles Brigade. Each beagle who is selected to be included in the Beagles Brigade is trained for weeks before he or she earns his commission. Read more about the Beagles Brigade here.

Beagles in Medical Testing

Beagles have an unusual capability of not passing their genetic disorders to their progeny. This has landed them in trouble as they are widely used in medical testing. Lot of animal rights groups have been protesting. We hope that the laws are soon changed and our Beagles don’t have to go through those ghastly experiments any more.

Read more about Beagle Freedom Project which is a service of Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME). Founded in 2004, ARME is a nonprofit advocacy group created to eliminate the suffering of all animals through rescue, public education and outreach.

Real Life Beagle Heroes


Daniel, the “miracle beagle” that survived Alabama gas chamber, wins American Hero Dog Award


Belle, a 17 pound Beagle makes a cellphone call to save owner’s life


Madie the beagle pup saves the family from carbon monoxide poisoning


AKC Page for Beagles:

Visit this link to seek more information on Beagles on American Kennel Club Website.


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A Dapper Dog – The Cairn Terrier

Portrait of Cairn Terrier dog done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

I am a terrier… more specifically, a Cairn Terrier – but as the first terrier on this blog, I take the responsibility of introducing the entire terrier-kind to you.

While I don’t ascribe any ill-intent to the statement “I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat,” made by Alfred Edward Housman the famous English classical scholar and Poet, I must admit that he didn’t know as much about terriers as he knew about poetry. We know our rats and we know them well. We know all kinds of vermin – and the fact of the matter is that we were put on earth with the sole purpose of assisting the well-being of humans by hunting vermin and most importantly the rats.

I have a feeling that a lot more terriers would be joining us on this blog, so I’d much prefer to keep this post focused on the Cairn Terrier. Let me talk to the artist about it.

Me the Terrier: “Hey, Shafali! Take this over and write about the Cairn Terrier, while I take care of the mouse that’s been living in your studio for the last three years.”
Shafali the artist: Yes Sire! It’ll be done, but leave that mouse alone. He’s a family member.

Family member? A mouse? Something’s wrong with this woman. Oh, yeah! I get it! She’s an artist. That’s what’s wrong with her!

Portrait of the Cairn Terrier

Portrait of Cairn Terrier done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets, Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife Art , Artworks etc. in black and white, by Shafali.

Portrait: Cairn Terrier | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

The Cairn Terrier got its name from the rocks of Scottish Highlands. They used to be working dogs who dug out badgers, foxes, and other small predators.

The Cairns guard their territories zealously and are always on the look-out for intruders. They are very active, and they’d rather run than walk. They don’t like to be in confined spaces. Cairns are great household pets who are willing to adapt when they are showered with love and affection. Their harsh shaggy coat enables them to fight off the vagaries of weather.

Their extreme intelligence and their highly independent nature makes them somewhat difficult to train but if the trainer understands their temperament and devises tasks that can match their intelligence, they transform into willing learners. They love challenges; they are possessive about their toys, they love to dig (that’s why they are called terriers,) and so houses that have fences around them to give the them a free run of the space, are the best for the Cairns. Though they are small when compared to a Golden Retriever or a Boxer, they still like open spaces that allow them to run around..

The Cairn Terrier’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 10-12 in
  • Weight: 13-16 lb
  • Coat: It comes in all colors except white. Commons colors are brown, dark red, grey, cream, black, wheat. They have rough coat that requires regular maintenance. They not only need daily combing but their hair also need to be clipped regularly.
  • Life Span:  13-15 years

Some Famous Cairn Terriers:

Terry the Famous Cairn Terrier from The Wizard of Oz

Terry was a brindled Cairn Terrier who played the role of Toto in the famous movie The Wizard of Oz in 1939. She did her own stunts in the movie. At one time she nearly died when a guard stepped over her due to which her foot was broken. After that she recuperated in the house of Judy Garland and she developed close attachment to her. Judy had wanted to adopt Terry but the dog refused.

Terry  acted in 15 different movies. Her first movie was Ready for Love in 1934. She also acted in the movie Bright Eyes.Her salary was $125 per week which was more than what many human actors of that time made. She died at the age of 11 and a permanent memorial was dedicated to her Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angles.

Real Life Terrier Heroes


Trixie a 17-Year-Old Blind & Nearly Deaf Cairn Terrier  Saves Caregiver’s Life

Mitt & Kess:

Two-year-old Cairn Terriers Mitt and Kess save a family from blaze terror


Ridley the pet Cairn Terrier is trained to sniff out endangered turtle eggs buried in the sand so they can be incubated and saved

AKC Carin Terrier Page:

Visit this link to seek more information on Cairn Terriers on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Kooky Kitten – A Short-haired Tabby

Portrait of Short-haired Tabby Kitten done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.
“A kitten is the delight of a household. All day long a comedy is played out by an incomparable actor.” Champfleury, The Cat Past and Present.

Portrait of a Kitten

Portrait of Short-haired Tabby Kitten done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Short-haired Tabby Kitten (full body) | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

My Ma says, I shouldn’t be telling you who I am because we shouldn’t brag. Ma says, calling yourself a cat or a kitten is bragging. Guess you’ve already met Ma. If you haven’t, you can read about her and also view the portrait of the short-haired Tabby Cat here.

We Kittens are little bundles of joy but of course, you already know that.

We are energetic, playful, and very alert, so it may come as a surprise to you that we are born deaf and blind. We are helpless little rag dolls and we depend on our moms for everything. For first few days we just make some odd noises and the only touch we recognize is mom’s. Gradually each of us in the litter develop a preference towards a teat and then we seldom change our suckling teat.

When we are about a week old, we open our eyes a little but it takes us about 2-3 weeks to open them fully. This is also the time when we begin to crawl. Then we stand on our fours and finally walk – we are quite like little babies actually. When we are a month old, we begin to run and play with mom and with our other siblings. This also help us build social communication skills and become confident and assertive. Until this age, we are totally dependent on mom’s milk but after this age we also start sampling other food.

In wild, little kittens wouldn’t survive without their mother’s guidance. She teaches them how to hunt for food. This begins when the mother brings home her kill and allows the kittens to practice. By the age of six months, the kittens become independent and begin hunting on their own.

Kittens that grow up in a human home can be weaned away from their mother’s milk with baby food. At two-months they are ready to take solid food that can be increased in their diet gradually.

It takes us about three months to get our permanent eye color and our permanent teeth. When we are six months old, most of us are totally independent. (Mom says, the same cannot be said of dogs.)

If you want to get a bigger dose of kitten-info, check out this wikipedia page on kittens.

If you’ve just got your first kitten and you are fretting over what you must and mustn’t feed her, read about feeding your Kitten here.

Why does a falling cat always lands on its paws? The Hyper-sensitive balancing Mechanism in Cats!

Ma says, we cats are magical. One of our magical tricks  is that we always land on our paws.

Humans and animals are able to balance themselves because of the liquid that fills their internal ear. Any variation in posture is picked up as imbalance by the liquid, which SMSes the brain to make the muscles of the limbs move to regain the balance. In cats this mechanism is hyper-sensitive. The messages to the brain reach much faster than they do in humans so when a cat falls, in a fraction of a second a message is conveyed to the brain and then the brain messages the muscles of the legs and other parts of the body enabling the cat turn its body midway to prepare for a safe landing. In cats, all this is a split-second reaction and this is why a cat always lands right.

Cats who because famous because of their YouTube videos:

From a piano virtuoso to the chattiest cats on the Web, this site has rounded up some frisky felines made famous by their viral videos. Here is the link to ten cats that owe their fame to YouTube.

Pet Cats of Famous People

Let me leave you with…

Cute pictures of Cute Kittens

Here are two Pinterest boards to bowl you over:

Cute Kittens


Impossibly Cute Kittens

and also

Kitten Portraits

Now this kitten is hungry and must run to Ma .

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The Graceful yet Lionhearted Poodle


Portrait of Standard Poodle dog done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

This is what the author Louis Sabin  said about my kind:
“Even the tiniest poodle is lionhearted, ready to do anything to defend home, master, and mistress.”

First things first. We poodles are beautiful. In the world of dogs, we are the equivalent of mystery, elegance, and luxury. We are simply breathtakingly awesome. Keeping in with the tradition of luxurious living, I’ll let the artist who drew my portrait, talk about us.

Portrait of the Poodle

Portrait of Standard Poodle done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Standard Poodle | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Standard Poodles that are also the oldest poodles, were bred in the 15th century in France and Germany.

Standard Poodles are big dogs as compared to the smaller-sized Miniature and Medium Poodles. They were originally working dogs who did the job of retrieving the hunt by going into the water. This is why the French call them Caniche, which means duck dog. Poodles love water and have a thick curly coat which help them stay warm in the cold water.

Today, they are generally associated with haircuts that look fancy, but these fancy poodle haircuts, had a purpose. Their thick coats posed as a hindrance in their agility in swimming, and in the cold water they needed to stay warm. So they were given haircut which kept their fur at the elbow joints and the tail intact. This helped them stay warm and the tail hair also gave them added buoyancy in water. Their special fur-arrangement became characteristic to poodles, and now even though they mostly are companion dogs, their fur is still cut in that special way.

Poodles are known for their intelligence and are very affectionate. They are very comfortable with children and love to play with them. They are agile – so much so that in the first half of the 20th century they were employed by various circuses to perform as clowns. They are known to perform tricks like rope-balancing etc. Their extreme intelligence has resulted in their being the only dogs who can be taught complex skills such as skipping a rope.

Quite like the Collie, Poodles are very sensitive dogs and can get annoyed very easily when ignored completely. They require attention of their owners and enjoy being a family dog. Their size demands that they should be kept in a big home instead of an apartment. Though they do not require heavy workout but should undergo moderate exercise like going for a walk twice a day.

The Standard Poodle’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height: 22-25 in
  • Weight: 45-75 lb
  • Coat: It is in solid colors and generally come in black, brown, blue and white. The dense and curly coat requires regular brushing and clipping of hair.
  • Life Span:  10-13 years
  • Alternate Names: Pudle,Caniche,Barbone

Some Famous Poodles:

Roly – The Eastenders Poodle

Roly was an apricot color standard poodle who acted in the BBC’s famous soap opera EastEnders. She started acting in 1993 in the serial and acted in many episodes. The show because so popular that Roly was made property of BBC and was given an ID Card. Roly was taken to live with Julia Smith, the producer of the show, at her home in London. Roly and Willy the pug shared a dressing room at Elstree studios.

Some More Famous Poodles

Real Life Poodle Heroes


Neo, the snake-bitten poodle saves an 11-year kid and his 9-year old sister from a rattle snake in Texas


Buddy, the poodle Saves Seven Year Old Girl From Two Attacking Dogs


Pooh, a seeing-eye dog in Alabama has been hailed as a hero for saving her owner’s life during a gas leak


Teddy the Toy Poodle Rescues His Young Owner Trapped in a Fire

 And finally…

Crazy Fancy Poodle Hair Cuts

Speaking as the K9 Rep of the Poodles, I give those crazy hair cuts a Hind-up! (I’m sure you know what that means.)

AKC Page for Poodles:

Visit this link to seek more information on Poodles on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Wirey-Cute Dachshund Pup


Portrait of Dachshund Wire-haired Pup done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.
“The Dachshund’s affectionate
He wants to wed with you:
Lie down to sleep,
And he’s in bed with you.
Sit in a chair,
He’s there.
You break his heart.” 
E.B. White

Portrait of a Dachshund Pup

Portrait of Dachshund Wire-haired Pup done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Dachshund Wire-haired Pup | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 5 inches x 7 inches

I am so cute that artist drew a full-body portrait for me 🙂

Portrait of Dachshund Wire-haired Pup (full-body)done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Dachshund Wire-haired Pup (full-body) | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

I’m a Dachshund pup – the wire-haired kind whose coat is black. If you’ve heard the term sausage dog, you’ve heard of us.

If you are a pup chum, you’d recognize us in a jiffy. With our short legs and long back, we look so different from all the other dogs.

I’ll now let Shafali, our portrait artist, tell you more about our breed.

Over to Shafali.

Shafali says,

“Dachshunds were bred to be badger-hunting dogs. In fact, in German, the term Dachshund means “badger dog”. These Earth Dogs were used to hunt badgers, foxes and rabbits. For Dachshunds, their short stature was a boon as it helped them slip into the homes of their prey with ease.

Now Dachshunds are mainly found as companion dogs. There are three types of Dachshunds, classified on the basis of their hair: smooth-hair, long-haired and wire-haired. Dachshunds could be standard-size or miniature. Their super-cuteness can be ascribed to their innocent buttony eyes and their long ears that swing like pendulums when they walk. They have a distinctive ridge over oh-so-expressive eyes.

Dachshunds have retained their curiosity and their independence. They aren’t easy to train unless they develop a special, emotional bond with their trainer. They require moderate exercise. While walks are good for them, jumps are not because they could impact their long backs. Because of their small size they can be ideal pet dogs for people who live in apartments and are short on space, which is essential for other high energy dogs. They can be noisy and if not trained properly, they can bark your ears off.

Thank you!”

The Dachshund’s Physical Attributes:

  • Height:   5-7 in (Miniature) 8-11 in (Standard)
  • Weight: 10-14 lb (Miniature) 15-25 lb (Standard)
  • Coat: Hair colors are Black, Chocolate, Red and Tan. Smooth Hair Dachshunds have a thin coat and they are fairly low-maintenance, while long-haired and wire-haired breed require regular combing to prevent hair-matting and tangling.
  • Life Span:  14-17 years
  • Alternate Name: Dachshunds have many names: Wiener dog, hot dog, sausage dog, long dog – if you know of any other, do leave a note.

You can read more about the physical and other characteristics of Dachshunds here.

Celebrity Dachshunds:

Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund

Crusoe is a celebrity dachshund who was named after “Robinson Crusoe.” Crusoe loves adventures. According to his website, Crusoe is “The wiener dog who thinks he’s more of a celebrity than he really is”. He has achieved fame by showing off his homemade wacky costumes on his website. You can also like Crusoe on his Facebook page which has more than 50000 likes.  He is also winner of Best Pet or Animal Weblog Award for 2013 & 2014.

Ammo the Painting Dachshund

Ammo is a dachshund based in Pennsylvania who assist his mom run her small custom frame shop. He works as a side-kick for three painting ponies – Chincoteague Ponies. He also paints on his own with water color and create paintings which have been sold world over. Ammo is a recognized therapy dog and you can learn about the adventures of Ammo on his gallery.  Also, watch Ammo paint with his paws here

Now presenting some real-life Dachshund Heroes.

Real Life Dachshund Heroes


Missy, a tiny 11-year old dachshund from Yamhill, Oregon, saves life of her 66-year old owner recovering from open heart surgery


Bradley, a 4 lb dachshund, save his owner from ferocious 400lb black bear attack


A blind, deaf, three-legged Dachshund named True turns out to be true hero as he saves his family from fire.

AKC Page for Golden Retrievers:

Visit this link to seek more information on Dachshunds on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Forever Pup – The Boxer


Portrait of Boxer done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

I am a Boxer. Writer Stephanie Abraham wrote the following words for me:
“He will make you laugh; he will make you cry; he will try your patience; he will outwit you when he can.  And he will love you with intensity that will surprise and amaze you.  He will be your canine soul mate.”  -From her book “The Boxer: Family Favorite

Portrait of the Boxer

Portrait of Boxer done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Boxer | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

We were first bred in Germany around 100 years ago. Yes, that makes us a contemporary of the German Shepherd. Our ancestor was the  German Bullenbeisser, which is now, sadly, extinct. Boxers and Bulldogs worked as Guard Dogs during the World War I.

Despite our somewhat forbidding looks, we are rather cute. We are high-energy dogs and the pup within us continues to frolic throughout our lives. Some of us are boisterous, but we all love our human families and we are considered very gentle with children. This of course doesn’t mean that children should be taking us for walks, because our large size makes us slightly difficult to be handled by the very young and the very old.

Boxers aren’t aggressive and yet we make fantastic guard dogs because our loyalty makes us guard our homes zealously. Even among dogs we are rather high on loyalty.

We have a rather unique physiognomy. We have this typical dome-shaped head and the lower jaw extends slightly beyond the upper – you can call it an underbite. Our nose is curved upwards and We have thick and droopy lips. All in all, we look exotic and different.

The Boxer’s Physical Attributes:

Here are a few physical characteristics that’ll give you an idea of  our arresting looks:

  • Height: 22-25 in
  • Weight: 55-75 lb
  • Coat: Colors vary from dark red to fawn and brindled with white markings. We have a coat of shiny, short hair that’s easy to maintain.
  • Life Span:  10-12 years

Pictures of Celebrities with Boxers:

Here is web-page which contains pictures of famous hollywood and other celebrities with their Boxer-friends.

On the above page, you can view pictures of the following celebrities (actors, singers, racers, models, wrestlers, show hosts) with their Boxer family members.
Jessical Biel, Jordan Knight,Greg Biffle (NASCAR racer),Gisele Bundchen ,Chelsea Handler ,Sean Lowe (Bachelor Season 8),
Aishwarya Rai (Bollywood Star),Hugh Jackman and Boxer JJ, Travis Brorsen and his Boxer won CBS’s hit reality show “Greatest American Dog.”,Cameron Diaz,Jennifer Love Hewitt,Justin Timberlake,Luke Perry,Kim Kardashian,Gisele Bundchen,Tony Armstrong,Tony Curtis, Eric Yukon.

Now you know – we the Boxers hobnob with the high and mighty of the star-world.

A Boxer and a Piglet Grow Up Together and Their Video goes Viral

Susie the Boxer was pleasantly surprised when her human mom brought home a little abandoned piglet. The little piglet was named Tabitha. You can read the story of their friendship here.

Watch their YouTube video “Piggy and Puggy” here. When it was uploaded in 2011 it had gone viral.

And now about some real-life Boxer heroes…

Amazing Boxer Heroes.




All these stories tell you how brave and loyal we are. If you have a Boxer at your home, please leave a comment and tell us how special he or she is.

AKC Page for Boxers:

Visit this link to seek more information on Boxers on American Kennel Club Website.


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The Majestic Short-haired Tabby Cat


Portrait of Short-haired tabby cat done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

I don’t have to tell you that I am a cat, because unlike dogs, we don’t suffer from any sort of identity crisis. In fact, a human called Mark Twain had this to say about us.:
“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

I agree with Mark Twain. We are superior. Period.

Portrait of Short-haired tabby cat done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Short-haired tabby cat | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

Let me tell you about my kind of cat – the short-haired tabby… or the Puss-in-the-boots.

About Short-Haired Cat:

Short-haired cats have coat-hair that’s a lot shorter than that of the Longhair cats. Their hair grows no more than 2.5″ while the hair of the long-hair could grow up to a length of 5″. The gene for short-hair is dominant and so you see more short-haired cats than the long-haired ones. This gene-dominance could have evolutionary genesis too because in the wild, short hair prevents their hair from getting tangled in the bushes. In homes short hair cats are low-maintenance as their hair doesn’t get tangled and they have to be brushed less often. Read more about domestic short-hair cat facts.

About Tabby Cat:

A tabby cat has stripes or spots in their coat. These markings come in different colors such as black, brown, tan, or blue. One of the more distinctive feature of a tabby cat is that on their foreheads they have a pattern resembling the letter M. You can read more about different colors and patterns of tabby cats here.

The Amazing Flexibility of Cats!

Cats are super-flexible – and we know that because a cat always lands on its feet. This ability comes from its spine which has muscles binding it together. In contrast the human backbone is bound by ligaments instead of muscles. Additionally, the cats have twenty-six more vertebrae than humans. This makes their spine relatively longer and provides them more freedom to turn. There’s another important characteristic of their anatomy, which makes the cats more flexible. The shoulder of the cat is structured in such a way that it gives its forelegs the ability to move in any direction.

An Internet Celebrity: Tard – The Grumpy Cat

Tard – The Grumpy Cat is a real cat whose real name is Tardar Sauce. She has earned the nickname of “The Grumpy Cat” because of the unusually grumpy expression that never leaves her face. Tard became an Internet celebrity when her owner’s brother posted a picture of hers and it went viral. Believe it or not – the Official Grumpy Cat Facebook page has more than 5 million likes! Grumpy Cat has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, Anderson Live, VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, The Soup and American Idol. She has featured on the covers of Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine too.

Here is a link to the web page of the Grumpy Cat.

Talk about being famous…only a cat could become famous for a grumpy face!

Imitation is the Best Form of Flattery

Before I end this post, I want to re-emphasize that you may try all you want, but you can never achieve the grace and the flexibility of a cat – not even when you are Halle Berry.

If you are wondering what I am talking about, you haven’t heard of the Catwoman.
The Catwoman, I assure you, couldn’t hold a candle to a real cat. A real cat, on the other hand, could walk away with an Oscar for playing the role of a Womancat!

What’s your opinion?
(Not that it matters…not unless you are a cat!)


1 Comment

The Gentle & Sensitive Rough Collie


Portrait of Rough Collie dog done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Kittens, Dogs, Pups and Wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

There was once a man whose eulogy for a dog named Drum moved a courtroom jury to tears. This is what he said:
“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog….He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world….When all other friends desert, he remains.”    George Graham Vest – a former US Senator

Portrait of Rough Collie done in pen and ink - Custom Portrait Commissions of Pets by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Rough Collie | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

I am a dog. More specifically, I am a Rough Collie. The above quote applies as much to me as to any other dog in the world. Here’s a little about me.

General Characteristics:

The Rough Collie was bred first in Northern Britain but we shot into prominence when we caught the eye of Queen Victoria. And yet, the credit for making the Rough Collie a household face, goes to the movie “Lassie.” We are intelligent, sensitive, and loyal. Because of our sensitive nature we are easy to train if given proper attention and corresponding rewards.

We are of gentle nature and this makes us excellent companions for children. Because we are sensitive, once a person loses our trust, we find it difficult to trust again. We are very patient and calm and this makes us excellent family dogs.

So far, we’ve been talking about our inner beauty. Let me tell you that in human parlance, you could say that we are drop-dead-gorgeous.

We are famous for our lustrous coat, which is very smooth – but this also means that our coat is high-maintenance. If you decide to take one of us home, be prepared for a daily or at most an alternate day brushing routine, or the coat of your Collie would become knotty. We need some exercise, but certainly not as much as a German Shepherd does.

Another thing. We are quite like people. We don’t like to be ignored and left alone – it makes us sad and depressed, and if you ignore us long enough, we also become aggressive. You won’t do it with a kid, don’t do it with us. We are just like them. We love attention, and when we do something to please you, we love to get a belly-rub, a pat, or a treat.

Rough Collies vs. Shelties?

We and the Shelties – cousins?! Absolutely not. There’s no connection whatsoever. They aren’t miniature collies. Nope. They developed separately, they are half our size, and their foreheads are shaped differently too. Shelties are actually Shetland Sheepdogs – and though they are cute in their own way, we aren’t related.

Here are our measurements (ahem!)

Physical Attributes:

Let me begin with the obvious. We are super-beautiful. A few other details:

  • Height: 20-24 in
  • Weight: 45-65 lb
  • Coat: Long and shiny coat in colors Sable White, Blue Merle, or Tricolor black. Generally a white-collar around the neck and tan marking around the eyes.
  • Life Span:  12-14 years

You can read more about the physical and other characteristics of the Rough Collies here.

Let me tell you about Lassie.

Hollywood’s Most Celebrated Rough Collie – Lassie:

Lassie was a Rough Collie who could talk to humans – but that was in the movies. The real hero was Pal  (1940-1958), the actor who played the female dog Lassie in the famous Hollywood movie Lassie Come Home produced by MGM Studios in 1943.

Believe it or not (I didn’t,) MGM auditioned around 1500 dogs before they selected Pal to play the role of Lassie. In the movie, Pal plays the role of Lassie who is an extremely intelligent dog with the uncanny ability to communicate with humans. Lassie’s ability to understand humans led to the famous catchphrase “What is it, Lassie?” Rudd Weatherwax who trained Pal for Lassie’s role worked as hollywood animal trainer. Later Pal also acted in pilots which were done for the television series Lassie.

When Pal became old, his son Lassie Junior took the mantle from him and acted in the Lassie TV series. However, Pal would come to the studio sets to watch his son play the role of Lassie and was given a bed behind the set. Everyone on the set called Pal “The Old Man”. When Pal died at the age of 18 (age the age of 126 in human-years), Rudd was devastated. He buried him in his ranch, and would visit the grave of Pal quite often. In fact, he never saw a Lassie movie again, the rest of his life.

Reveille – The Official Mascot of Texas A & M University:

Reveille VIII, is a female Rough Collie who assumed her duty of the official mascot of Texas A & M university in the year 2008. Reveille is officially care for by Corps of Cadets Company E-2 also called “Mascot Company”. The mascot dog has her own cellphone which is operated by mascot corporal and has her own student identification card. The university has a cemetery where all the past Reveilles are buried.

Read more about Reveille and the Aggie Tradition here.

Quoting from the above page:
“Reveille is the most revered dog on campus. Company E-2 has the privilege of taking care of Reveille. If she is sleeping on a cadet’s bed, that cadet must sleep on the floor.”

I say Amen to that.
What do you say?

AKC Page for Collie:

Visit this link to seek more information on Collies on American Kennel Club Website.



The Gallant German Shepherd


Portrait of German Shepherd a.k.a Alsatian dog done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Dogs, Kittens, Pups and wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

Do you know your German Shepherd a.k.a. Alsatian?
Here’s who he is.
“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” – Unknown

Portrait of German Shepherd a.k.a Alsatian / GSD done in pen and ink - Custom Pet Portraits by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: German Shepherd | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

I am a German Shepherd. Please note that I am not a Belgian Shepherd Malinois (the guy looks a lot like me, and some say that he’s smarter too, but I have my doubts.)

General Characteristics:

We are known for our alertness, loyalty and intelligence.

We are called German Shepherds because we were first bred in Germany (sometime around the 1900s,) and because we were bred for the purpose of herding and protecting the cattle from the evil guys – the bears and the wolves.

Over time our unparalleled abilities led people to employ us as guard dogs all around the world. We are extensively used by  the Police & Military forces in controlling mobs. Our cousins the Belgian Shepherds or the Malinois are often recruited by the military and the police.

We also do a lot of search & rescue work during earthquakes and in mountainous terrains. We are excellent pets too because we are devoted and loyal and we guard our families and our homes with our lives.

We have an athletic build and we don’t tire easily – so if you get one of us as a pet dog, you must remember that we need to be active. That’s the only way to channel all our energy. We are very intelligent so you can easily train us. We love discipline (why else do you think we take up all those military jobs?)

And yes, we the German Shepherds love kids. (Who doesn’t?)

The German Shepherd’s Physical Attributes:

Let me begin with the obvious. We are super-beautiful. A few other details:

  • Height: 23-26 in
  • Weight: 75-90 lb
  • Coat: Solid black, black with gold on legs, black and grey. Can be long-haired or short-haired. They shed the whole year-round and have a very thick undercoat.
  • Life Span:  12-13 years
  • Alternate Names: Alsatian / Deutscher / Schaferhund
  • An Acute sense of hearing: Can hear sounds as far as 80 ft away.

You can read more about the physical and other characteristics of the German Shepherd here.
Quite like the Golden Retriever, we’ve starred in the movies too.

Hollywood German Shepherd Celebrities:

Rin Tin Tin

  • Rin Tin Tin was a messenger dog who was wounded in World War I. He was rescued by an American soldier, Duncan Lee who lived near Hollywood. He trained Rin Tin Tin and the dog started acting in many silent films produced by Hollywood in those times. Overnight the dog acquired a celebrity status and his career lasted more than a decade. In his obituary the United Press wrote “The most celebrated dog in the world has left to go the hunting grounds in the Elysian fields”. Rin Tin Tin was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


  • Strongheart was a German Police dog who served in German Red Cross and was later transported to Hollywood by the husband-wife film-maker couple Laurence Trimble and Jane Murfin. He acted in many movies in 1920s and was a celebrity dog. Strongheart also has a star to his credit on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Pictures of Human Hollywood Celebrities with German Shepherds:

The Pin “GSD – German Shepherd Dog with Celebrities” contains pictures of popular hollywood stars like Daniel Craig, Hillary Swank, Enrique Iglesias, John Travolta, Pierce Brosnan, Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bob Dylan, Betty White, Clark Gable, Jackie Kennedy, Gregory Peck and many more with their favorite German Shepherds.

German Shepherds in Comics.

  • Ace the Bat-hound: In the 1950s/60s, a German Shepherd called Ace partnered with Batman and Robin in fighting crime. He even wore a mask!
  • Rex the Wonder Dog: Rex another DC Comics Dog hero was a German Shepherd.

You must wonder why we the Alsatians (yep, that’s our other name,) figure in so many movies and comics as heroes.

Remember, all fiction is based on reality. The GSD is a Hero – both off-screen and on-screen.

Here are some real-life GSD heroes to prove my point.

Real Life German Shepherd Heroes:


Jade, Hero German Shepherd, Saves Newborn Baby Abandoned In Birmingham Park In England


German shepherd “Lifeguard” Saves Child from Drowning


Hero German Shepherd Protects Toddler Lost in the Australian Bush

AKC Page for German Shepherd:

Visit this link to seek more information on German Shepherds on American Kennel Club Website.


You have a question?

You want to know what a GSD is?

Sheesh! And I thought that you were smart! A GSD is a German Shepherd Dog!


Leave a comment

The Glamorous Golden Retriever

Portrait of Golden Retriever dog done in pen and ink by pet portrait artist Shafali - Cats, Dogs, Kittens, Pups and wildlife drawings, sketches, art.

This is what Dean Koontz once said about my kind:
“Golden retrievers are not bred to be guard dogs, and considering the size of their hearts and their irrepressible joy in life, they are less likely to bite than to bark, less likely to bark than to lick a hand in greeting. In spite of their size, they think they are lap dogs, and in spite of being dogs, they think they are also human, and nearly every human they meet is judged to have the potential to be a boon companion who might, at many moment, cry, “Let’s go!” and lead them on a great adventure.”

Portrait of Golden Retriever done in pen and ink - Pet Portraits by Shafali - Animal drawings, Sketches, Wildlife art, Artworks etc. in black and white.

Portrait: Golden Retriever | Medium: Pen & Ink | Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

I am a Golden Retriever, or a Goldie as we are called by those who love us. We were originally bred as gun-dogs for retrieving the game during the hunting sessions. Taking our training sessions seriously is in our genes. We are obedient and loyal, and when we are young, we are little bundles of energy. And yet, quite like the humans, we too become obese with age, especially, if were aren’t given enough opportunity to exercise. We love water, so if you’ve got a pool or if you live near water, we’d love to be your guests.

I don’t really have to emphasize that we are very friendly and affectionate, and we are gentle with children. You can call us family dogs. Because of our gentle nature, we also work as therapy dogs.

Anyone who’s lived with our kind, would tell you that we are very intelligent too and so we find employment as service dogs for the elderly.

The Golden Retriever’s Physical Attributes:

Let me begin with the obvious. We are super-beautiful. A few other details:

  • Height: 22-24 in
  • Weight: 65-80 lb
  • Coat: Thick and shiny. Comes in shades of cream to golden which lightens in color as age advances.
  • Life Span:  12-14 years

You can read more about the physical and other characteristics of the Golden Retriever here.
We’ve starred in movies too. (obviously because of our striking good looks and our intelligence.)

Here are some movies with Golden Retrievers as main characters:

And now a little about Buddy…the famous Golden Retriever Actor:

Buddy was a Goldie who acted in films and TV Serials. He is remembered for his role as Comet in Full House Television Series. Buddy’s owner found him as a stray dog and later trained him to play basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and hockey. He has acted in the Air Bud series of movies (also called Disney Buddies)  in which he has demonstrated his sports skills.

Visit Buddy’s Wikipedia page here.

This of course doesn’t mean that our heroics begin and end on the silver screen. Following are some real-life Golden Retriever Heroes.

Golden Retriever Real Heroes.


In 2004, a 7-year-old, Brutis (not Brutus, it’s an important distinction and so I emphasize it here,) saved a child from a coral snake. In the process Brutis got fatally bitten by the snake which left him almost dead. His heroism was recognized and he was flown to Los Angeles where he received National Hero Dog Award.

Read the whole story about how Brutis saved a child from a deadly coral snake here.


This 4-year-old service dog helped save life of his paralyzed ex-soldier companion who found his wheelchair stuck in a muddy field.


AKC Page for Golden Retrievers:

Visit this link to seek more information on Golden Retrievers on American Kennel Club Website.


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