old country house blog


Toward the end of my Dads life, he had a very difficult time speaking.
He could mouth words and spell them out on an alphabet board 
but the whole process was 
extremely frustrating for him.
One day, when I was visiting him he looked at me and he patted the bed next to his side
and formed these words with his mouth :
“I wish I had a Golden retriever Puppy, right here.” .
I understood ever word.
My Dad
loved Golden Retrievers.
Funny, growing up we had a revolving door for dogs,

Me (my brother in the chair) and our Irish Setter CLEO. and some Siamese kittens!
My Mom is in the pink…she looks so young and in fact,
I think she was only about 30!

all breeds all sizes and never fewer than two at a time.

 But never a Golden Retriever or Lab of any color.
But later in life, after his children had grown and flown, 
he got a Golden Retriever Puppy.
That was all she wrote.
If I remember correctly he had 
“Beau”, “Quincy” “Nelson” and I KNOW I am forgetting one.

phoebe and nelson

They were his side by side companions and enjoyed traveling up to the cabin in North Georgia.
Yesterday, I was reading through all of the wonderful emails I have received, from all of you
offering words of comfort and support to me and my family.
….and in the midst of everything
was Pet Portrait commission for a 


Golden Retriever.
Already,  he is sending me messages.
Loud and clear.
Right here by my side. 

tate and nelson



  1. dear lesli,i came across your lovely blog yesterday through house of turqoise,and when i read about your fathers passing i had to write to offer my most sincere sympathy.you see,last september my father passed away.he died in a hospital bed beaten by cancer.it has been a year now and i still cannot believe its true.is has been a horrowing event in my life one that will haunt me forever.he was the kindest most loving father anyone could have and i now know that,like you said,he is wathcing over me from the heavens.i too thought that my dad would live forever.
    but now he does.
    here is a poem i find so consoling…
    Poem: Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, by Mary Elizabeth Frye
    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    I am in a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain,
    I am the fields of ripening grain.
    I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
    I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing,
    I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there. I do not die.

  2. Lesli- I can’t wait to see your Golden Retriever Pet Portrait! I volunteer for Memphis Area Golden Retriever Rescue (MAGRR) and have 3 Goldens. They are FABULOUS dogs! Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to afford to let you paint a portrait of one of mine! Love your blog and your work! 🙂

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