This custom dog collage with paw prints of Maui and Diego was crafted from two of mom’s favorite snapshots. Maui and Diego were dog buddies, ALWAYS together. They had recently passed within a few days of each other, so it was important for mom to have a memory of them TOGETHER.
Here is Maui and Diego’s story in mom’s words:
“I was terrified of dogs until my then boyfriend (now husband) convinced me to adopt Maui from his parents. They weren’t giving her the attention she needed and she was still a young 6.5 year old dog that needed love and affection so I agreed…She was very much an introvert and would run everywhere she could. In her ten years with us, she went with us everywhere…Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, and even North Carolina for a race that I ran in. Her favorite place to visit, however, was Prince Edward Island. She was so free to explore the red sand beaches and run along the water.
The biggest, most important thing Maui did for us was encourage us to adopt and foster…Our fifth foster was a little chihuahua dachshund mix named Zeus. He connected with my husband the second they met, always following him everywhere and my husband knew he was a keeper and Zeus became Diego.
Diego came to the rescue as a stray. He was nervous, anxious, and fun…full of energy and always puffed out his chest when walking around the neighborhood…Diego loved to eat and would dance for treats.
We found out Diego had a heart murmur in 2017…It progressed to congestive heart failure in June 2019. He slowed down a lot after that but was still the loving, silly dog that we fell in love with.
He passed two days after we said goodbye to Maui. She was 16.5 years old and suffered a seizure…We think he passed from a broken heart. He and Maui were always together. We could always find them snuggled on the couch together or laying next to each other wherever they are. They loved each other and we loved them dearly.”
Why We Created a Collage and Included Paw Prints
After hearing her story, I completely understood why she was interested in a collage with two handcrafted etchings right next to each other in one memorial artwork. She had asked about including their paw prints, so we did.
Mom sent me a few images to look through and choose the best to be transformed into fine art. Then she scanned and emailed over Diego’s and Maui’s paw prints. (Here is a previous post I had written about how to get actual paw prints on paper from the circle clay impression the vet gives us back after our pet has passed.)
Maui and Diego’s dog collage with paw prints was a hybrid of different portrait options Greyboy Pet Prints offers: – the Pet Art Collage and – the Pet Art Memorial “Complete Keepsake Etching” that includes a paw print, dog tag or even sometimes a tiny bit of cremain ash from a special pet companion that has passed.
Preparations for Collage With Paw Prints
When I got started with Diego and Maui’s dog collage with paw prints, I had to plan out how to place their two etched portraits along with each of their paw prints. You can see the paw prints are different sizes. Here was the mockup:
I fine-tuned their pawprints in Photoshop and then printed their paw prints onto a separate piece of cardstock that I could trim and adhere to the dog art collage etchings.
(Top prints are original scan and bottom prints are fine-tuned.)
Etched Plates On The Printing Press
Using the two snapshots that me and their mom chose, I Photoshopped the images a bit and then etched them to metal plates. Ink was applied to the plates and they were paired VERY carefully with cotton paper (shown below) and run together through my Grammy’s printing press. (If you’d like, you can watch a 3 minute video on the bottom of my FAQ page showing how an etched portrait is crafted.) After creating their handmade dog collage, letting it dry overnight, then printing and adhering their paw prints to the dog collage, Diego and Maui’s artwork was ready to package with care, and ship to delight! I can’t wait to hear how mom likes it and sure hope it brings some happy memories to their home! So, if you have an idea to do something special to remember YOUR very loved buddy – however you envision – just ask and we’ll chat about what you have in mind 🙂 The dog collage with paw prints can be ordered in the Greyboy shop.