My parents built a deck behind their house some years ago. At the foot of the steps leading up to it, my mom decided to pour a concrete slab to keep the ground there protected and  firm for safety. Two of our dogs proceeded to walk right through the wet concrete, leaving perfect paw prints behind. My mom realized what a wonderful memento they’d just let her and proceeded to round up her other two dogs and press their little paws in, leaving behind a permanent mark from each of our beloved pooches. Now gone, we remember them fondly as we pass over their little prints. You might have a few photos of your pet stashed away in albums, but have you ever considered doing more to make memories of your pet?  There are some fun projects and outings you can participate in with your pet to create some art for your home while making something that will help you remember your pet for years to come. If your pet is large enough and will tolerate you touching his feet or paws, make an impression! Either in plaster or with paint on paper, press your pet’s pads and get a memento for years to come. For small pets, just let them scamper about in a bit of non-toxic, pet-safe paint and then across a pad of paper. Remember to use pet-safe materials and clean your pet’s feet thoroughly when finished. This is not a great idea for pets with sensitive skin or pets with very absorbent skin, like reptiles and amphibians. Ask your vet first! If you’re artistically-inclined, why not try sketching or painting your pet’s portrait? Even if you’re not a great artist, it’s a fun exercise that helps you express your creative side while spending time with your pet. Remember, some of the world’s most famous paintings aren’t necessarily the most realistic or accurate. Even cute cartoony doodles can be a wonderful reminder of your sweet pet pal. Try photographing your pet. Perhaps capture your pet at play or curled up to sleep in her favorite spot. Try not to use the flash that will cause glowy eyes and is often annoying to your pet. Instead, light the area naturally with tons of lamps or take the photo outside. If you don’t necessarily have a great camera or much photography experience, no worries. You can always zazz up a picture using photo editing software or online tools. If you’re not keen on DIY, you can always hire a professional! Many photographers specialize in taking pet portraits. Don’t be camera shy! Be sure to have a few photos taken with your pet. Many artists will also create pet portraits for you. Most prefer to work from a photograph, so be sure to take a lot of reference pictures of your pet. Etsy.com is a site that specializes in handmade goods. Many of the crafters there produce pet-centric goods that can be personalized to match your pet. A permanent reminder of your time with your pets is something you will surely cherish in years to come. And who knows, maybe your pet is secretly the perfect model and muse for your art career!
Posted on 2012-04-01 by Amanda Harper