'She's just so funny and derpy looking': people paint pictures of their pets at Pourhouse


Nickole Gonser begins to paint her dog Lucy at Paint Your Pet on Sunday. Participants used custom-made paint-by-numbers to guide their paintings. Rose Bythrow Buy Photos

Tables at Pourhouse Café were crowded with canvases, paint and pictures of animals for the Coffee and Canvas Paint Your Pet on Sunday. Participants brought photographs of their pets to paint by number and raise money for Our Lil' Bit of Heaven Animal Rescue & Sanctuary.

The sanctuary, based in Poland, Indiana, takes care of 194 dogs that Danyele Green, from the sanctuary, said are less adoptable. These include pit bull breeds, older dogs and dogs that may have medical issues.

“We rehabilitate them and then find them homes through either adoption, fostering or forever fostering,” Green said.

Before the event started, the sanctuary raised $400 through ticket purchases. With knit items and raffle tickets for sale at the event, Green estimated that the sanctuary raised $700.

The event filled 40 seats with people painting their pets. A few were excited to share their furry and scaly friends’ stories. 

The Dog - Bosley

Bloomington resident Bethany Reutter painted her childhood dog, Bosley, who died about a month ago. She said she was painting him because she wanted to have some pictures of him around the house.

Reutter said Bosley was crazy, snuggly, attention-happy and loving.

“He wanted to snuggle all the time,” she said. “He was a 60-pound lap dog.”

Some of Bosley’s greatest loves were playing with the neighbors' kids and peanut butter, Reutter said. 

“He always wanted to play,” Reutter said. “The neighbors’ kids would all run into our yard just to love on him while they waited for the bus because they knew he didn't care and he was a safe dog that they knew they were allowed to pet.”

Reutter said she now owns a dog from Our Lil’ Bit of Heaven Sanctuary named Remy. She is a rat-terrier mixed with a beagle.

"I would recommend anybody and everybody to Our Lil’ Bit of Heaven; they are phenomenal," Reutter said.

The Cat – Lucy

Patricia Crouch, an IU employee from Gosport, Indiana, said she came to paint her pet because she wanted to support Our Lil’ Bit of Heaven Sanctuary.

Crouch said that her cat, Lucy, was one of four cats born in her living room from a feral cat who showed up at her door. All four cats were named after different "Peanuts" characters.

"I have Linus, Lucy and Snoopy, and they all are very much like their personalities,” Crouch said. “So, she's very persnickety and frisky and feisty and opinionated. She likes to cuddle on her terms."

Crouch said Lucy loves catnip and sitting on top of the china cabinet.

“I'll try to hide it, but she gets in the cabinets and finds it and knocks everything out of the cabinet to get it,” Crouch said.

The Tortoise – Patches

Liza Saracina, an IU alumna and Bloomington resident, said she wanted to paint her pet tortoise, Patches, because she wanted to have a picture of her.

"It was always my dream to have a tortoise, and we finally got Patches a year ago,” Saracina said. “She's just so funny and derpy looking. I just love her, so I wanted a picture of her."

Patches is a Hermann’s tortoise and is only three or four inches long. Fully grown, Saracina said she will be 8 to 10 inches. She said Hermann’s tortoises are one of the smallest breeds.

"She's so grumpy," Saracina said. "If I disturb her when she's sleepy, she thinks it's the end of the world." 

“And, she always thinks she's starving," she added. "She never gets enough food. I never feed her enough, and it's always a desperate time for her."

Saracina said that bath time was one of Patches' favorite things.

“You have to give tortoises baths two to three times a week because they can dehydrate pretty easily,” Saracina said. “They can soak water through their skin, so we stick her in this little tub for about 10 minutes, and she just loves it."

Patches is only a year old, but Saracina said she hopes that Patches will live until 75.

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