Meghan & Missy
10" X 8" pen and ink
I couldn’t draw these two lovely lassies without harkening back to Sunday night episodes of Lassie on our black-and-white TV, my three brothers and I, crowded onto the couch in our pajamas, wiggling our drop-seat fannies, dangling our rubber-soled feet over the edge, elbowing each other, and eagerly awaiting Timmy’s next catastrophe and Lassie’s new heroism. Am I dating myself?
Brian & Leslie
Missy is a purebred rough-coated collie, not unlike Lassie. “You might notice,” Terri points out, “that Missy’s nose is slightly bent to her right and her lower jaw is shorter than her upper jaw. Thus, her lower teeth always show as if she’s smiling.”
Meghan was a collie/Brittany spaniel mix and—Alas!—no longer alive. “Meghan had a lot of collie characteristics,” Terri says, “but her ears could go up, out, or flop, whereas Missy’s ears always stand straight up.” Meghan was a happy dog; Missy is, too.
Again, I faced the challenge of bringing two dogs together—in this case, two dogs who had never met each other in real life—in the same drawing. My challenge was compounded by the fact that the photo references weren’t as close-up as I would have liked, the details not as clear. But I loved Meghan’s fly away ears in the night scene and Missy’s cocked head, skewed nose, and crooked smile in the couch scene. So I squinted and drew and remembered Timmy in trouble—yet again!—shouting “Get help, Lassie!” and Lassie bounding over hill and dale on her mission to bark some silly person into sensibility. She always saved the day—yet again!—in under 30 minutes. It was a fun week of drawing!