top of page


“The Tails of Mother Dog”
An Adult Children's Story

Once upon a time, a poor little Mother Dog found that she was pregnant with a belly full of accidental puppies. In fact she gave birth to five little puppies. Unlike the human mothers that had bottles to nurse their offspring, she had only three tits to feed her pups with, but she did the best she could and the puppies grew big and strong.

One puppy grew up to be a Seeing-Eye-Dog. Puppy number 2 became a Rescue Dog. Puppy number 3 became a Guard Dog. Puppy number 4 became a Petting Dog for an Old Folk's Home and last but not least puppy number 5 became a Fireman's Dog. Each of these puppies has a story to tell, but today I am telling you the tale of Mother Dog. After raising her five accidental puppies Mother Dog started on her adventures. Every day was full of chores for her to do. Starting with the days of the week, on Monday she cleaned her Dog House and cooked her food. On Tuesday she exercised and swam a mile at the YMCA pool. On Wednesday she went shopping and to the library. On Thursday she went to the zoo or the museum or a movie and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday she worked on her artwork. She traveled to New York, Spain, Trinidad, Tobago, Peru, but there were still many more places she wanted to go and hoped to go see in the future.

She loved the beach chasing all the birds and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately her beach house blew away during Hurricane Ike. The good thing was that she no longer had to clean, repair or rent it, but the bad thing was she loved the beach house and so, this was a great loss (death) to her.

She also took care of seven other Dog Houses, called The Art Farm that she rented out to other Dogs. She had to clean and repair these Dog Houses when the other dogs moved on to other places. She met lots and lots of dogs that were on the move and most of them were pretty nice, but some were very bad dogs and messed up the dog houses so bad that she had to hire help to repair them. She also rented a big warehouse called Mother Dog Studios where other dogs could come to make artwork. She and her significant other, Daddy Dog, (not the father of the accidental puppies) rented twenty spaces out to Arthounds who made thoughtful art to make humans think about the life they are living. Some of the art was very good and some was very bad but she didn't care one way or the other as long as they were trying to do their best and they were “Good Dogs.” Her philosophy was that the first 1,000 paintings or artworks are experiments anyway so one might as well get going down the road of creativity.

In some ways Mother Dog lived her life like her Grandmother, the Little Red Hen. She was ambitious, industrious, and hard-working and helped others when she could. In return she hoped others would see her good works and try to return them but that didn't happen very much. She tried not to be depressed like human beings were prone to be in those times, so she stay very busy working in her garden growing tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant and herbs. She also painted many, many pictures of birds whose souls flew up to heaven and that filled her with wonderful hope.

One day she started feeling very lonely so she decided to build a big Dog House with a studio. This took nine months to do and she had to hire another Carpenter Dog and Architect Dog to help her. When her house was finished she invited her other significant dog “Daddy Dog” to live with her. She had barely moved in to the new Dog House when her puppy that grew up to be a Petting Dog for the Old Folk's home brought home her accidental puppy to live with them.

Now she had a family again and was “busy as a bee” like her Aunt Bee taking care of everyone all over again. The baby pup needed three meals a day, to be licked every day and taught not to pee in the dog house but outside and last but not least, taught the ways of being a “good dog.” Still, the house needed to mopped and vacuumed once a week and she needed to make artwork for art shows twice a year. She was no longer a young dog but was past per prime and getting older. She thought about how long she was going to live and how she was going to keep up all this hard work. She also wanted to live a long life in order to see her grand-dog-son grow up to be a great-grown-up dog. She took her vitamins, got a flu shot, went to the vet for a check-up every year and tried to stay well.

Now she is 700 years old in dog life, she wonders, will she make it to 1000?


to be continued,

Charlie Jean Sartwelle

In the year 2012

Mother Dog Collages

Acrylic and mixed media collages, 5 x 7 in.

bottom of page