Miss ABBA — I’ll Cherish This Piece of Art Forever

I am not an artist.  I can take pictures and I can color inside a line.  However, please don’t ask me to draw something because I’m horrible.  Art is not a strong suit for me.

The month of May marks three months since Miss ABBA went to puppy heaven and what would have been her 12th birthday.  I cherish those wonderful years and when I look at the pictures and when I think of her, a thousand times a day, I smile.

My friends have been great sending wonderful messages our way and thanks to Jewel and Vickie, I have two great pieces of art decorating the sun room walls with love, which was ABBA’s favorite room.

So, if today isn’t Miss ABBA’s birthday or the three-month mark of her trip to “puppy heaven”, then why am I talking so much about my special golden.

Since I’m not an artist, my friend, Kaye, knows someone who is a fantastic artist and took me to meet him.  His name is John Kautz.  Back in March, Kaye and I went out to lunch together and we stopped at O’Toole Design in Rock Island.  I showed John a few pictures of Miss ABBA and we made an appointment to have a piece of ABBA art work done on Friday, April 13th.

It would be the most personal piece of art that I would own and one that would go with me with everywhere and one that I would have until the day I die.

John sketched out the intricate details of Miss ABBA’s face from a picture last fall and once we decided that it captured the image of Miss ABBA that I would cherish forever, it was time to begin the painstaking art project.


I used the word painstaking because John was very precise with detail and color.  It wasn’t going to be a one-dimensional piece of art.  Many colors were used to bring out Miss ABBA’s soul and warmth.

Three-and-a-half painful hours later, through blood, but no sweat and tears, it was done.

Body art and getting inked isn’t for everyone.  It’s something that I considered back in Salisbury, Maryland, in 2005.  At that time, it was going to be a Reba tattoo, but the artist was not comfortable with it being so detailed and that’s all I need to hear.  I walked away.

However, I felt it was the time to reconsider because now I had a reason.  Miss ABBA, you’ll always be alive in my heart and memories and now I’ll carry your beautiful face with me forever.

John, thank you!

Anthony

Advertisements

53 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie on April 27, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!! Congrats! Did you shake for hours afterward from all the adrenaline?!?! I did…and they weren’t 3 1/2 hour tattoos 🙂

    Reply

  2. Stephanie,

    Thank you.

    It was an interesting feeling that evening. I braced myself for the worse going in and for the first hour or so, it was just an inconvenience. I always loved giving blood back in college, so the needles didn’t bother me.

    However, when we took a break midway through, the last half was a pain – literally. Toward the end, I was like, I’m ready for this to end.

    It was worth it. 🙂

    Peeps

    Reply

  3. Posted by Nikki Lee on April 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Anthony, this is beautiful. As soon as I saw it my eyes filled up with tears. Through the years of posts and pics I really feel I knew Miss Abba, and if nothing else, I knew what she meant to you and your family. What a beautiful way to keep her memory alive.
    Peace,
    Nikki

    Reply

  4. Nikki,

    Thank you very much. While you may not have met Miss ABBA in person, you definitely got to know her through my pics and posts. I’m glad you got to do that.

    She was a precious lady and I’ll cherish her forever. Thanks for going along for the ride.

    Peeps

    Reply

  5. Posted by karen mckee johnston on April 27, 2012 at 10:17 am

    how beautiful she is with you always every step of the way your love for her is immense

    Reply

  6. Karen,

    Thank you! I thought it would be a perfect tribute!

    Peeps

    Reply

  7. Posted by Tammy Ridpath on April 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

    What a beautiful tribute to MIss ABBA. He did a great job. I too feel like I lost a friend and I had never met her, but maybe some day I will on the other side. What a sweetie. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Tammy,

    Thank you. You would have loved her if you had gotten to meet her. She would have showered you with overwhelming affection!

    One day, we’ll all see her.

    Peeps

    Reply

  9. Posted by Kathy Hyson on April 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Like Nikki my eyes also filled with tears…he really captured Miss ABBA’s soulful eyes… he truly is an artist! Wonderful tribute for your sweet girl! 🙂

    Reply

  10. Kathy,

    Thank you. John did an amazing job. As he was doing it, he told me that they eyes would be the most realistic part and that it would the heart and soul of the tattoo. He was right.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

    Peeps

    Reply

  11. Anthony who did the Tat? Just Love it! Believe me I had tat’s put on my feet and they say that is one of the most painful part but I never felt it hurt at all. I wanna have a picyure of my kids put on my leg where I had their name put but don’t know who does them. But did a Great Job and now U can see Ms Abab all the time. She would be so Pleased<3

    Reply

  12. Wanda,

    It was John Kautz at O’Tool Design in Rock Island.

    Ouch, on your foot. I know that had to hurt. I think your leg will be a lot less painful.

    Drop by and see John!

    Peeps

    Reply

  13. Posted by joanne on April 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I love it! It’s beautiful…and you made me cry again!

    Reply

  14. What a wonderful tribute to Miss ABBA! The artist did a great job, too. It’s the perfect way to keep her memory cIose all the time. (I am trying to decide what I’d like for my 3rd tattoo now, so be ready for the urge to want another one!) 🙂

    Reply

  15. Posted by Kathy Markham McCoy on April 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Hmmm…a hot lookin’ guy with ink of his precious dog…what a great sight when I logged on!

    I absolutely love it, what a wonderful tribute to Miss ABBA. And I agree with everyone, the artist captured the soul of her perfectly. You can see the love in her eyes. I envy people with artistic ability, I always say I can’t even draw fuzz on a peach!

    Beautiful.

    Reply

  16. Joanne,

    Thank you and Miss ABBA would appreciate the love.

    Peeps

    Reply

  17. Vicky,

    Thank you. I’m pretty confident that this will be the only one. Especially, with the way it felt toward the end of the session this time. 🙂

    Peeps

    Reply

  18. Kathy,

    Ha! Ha! You crack me up!

    He did an amazing job and the feedback has been incredible.

    Take care,
    Peeps

    Reply

  19. Posted by Norma Jeane Smith on April 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    What a great tribute to Miss Abba! I love it, Anthony.

    Reply

  20. Posted by Juanita Holloway on April 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I have shed many tears over Miss Abba over the last months. Love the tattoo. We lost our Black Lab last summer. We’ve always had 2 dogs at a time but loosing each one gets harder, so we tell ourselves that our remaining one, Miss Piggy, will be the last. At 70 years old any more would probably outlast us.

    Reply

    • Juanita,

      Thank you very much for thinking of Miss ABBA and shedding tears for her and your black lab. My heart goes out to you. I know what you’re going through.

      Enjoy Miss Piggy and take care of yourself.

      Peeps

      Reply

  21. Posted by Judy on April 27, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Wow. He did a great job on that tatoo …

    Reply

  22. Judy,

    Yes, he did. I am so thrilled with it.

    Thank you,
    Peeps

    Reply

  23. Posted by MaryK on April 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    A beautiful piece of artwork and what a tribute! I got a tattoo about a year ago on my arm..it hurt!! Did yours?

    Reply

    • Mary,

      The first 1.5 hours didn’t hurt that bad. It was all new. However, after the break, the second 1.5 hours did, especially the last 45 minutes.

      Thank you!

      Peeps

      Reply

  24. Posted by Anne Miller on April 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Anthony,

    ABBA was a beautiful dog and remains a beautiful memory. How lucky you both were to have each other for those few short years! Love, Anne

    Reply

    • Anne,

      I was very lucky to have almost 12 years with her. What amazing times together!

      Now, I have another visual to last me a lifetime.

      I hope all is well with the Millers.

      Love,
      Anthony

      Reply

  25. Posted by Erika Putman on April 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Awesome, Anthony, totally awesome. It captures her likeness exactly. Good for you. And remember… no scratching!!!!

    Reply

  26. Posted by Dan & Lorna Dauw on April 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Anthony,

    Beautiful photo of ABBA. The artist did an excellent job of her image on your
    arm. ABBA was special to you, as you were to her. Sadly, it was her time, but
    time holds the memories.

    Dan & Lorna

    Reply

  27. Posted by Pam Hofstetter on April 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Miss ABBA had soulful eyes and a sense of nobility that were captured in your body art.

    Reply

  28. Oh, wow! He did a beautiful job!

    Your new ink made me cry!

    Reply

  29. Posted by Mary on April 27, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing. It looks awesome. My daughter has a paw print for each one of her dogs. I have one of them his name is Jake she was moving and could not take him with. So when I was out in AZ. I drove back here with him in my back seat. He has been in the family for almost 15 years. He is half rott and shepherd. and I know when his time comes I will miss him more than I can say.

    Reply

  30. Posted by Randy "Rudog" Henderson on April 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    That is the best way to display the love for anything. Like you said, you can take it to the grave. I love the detail and color. John definately did an awesome job. R.I.P. Miss ABBA.

    Reply

  31. Posted by Susan Richardson (Chenoweth) on April 27, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Oh Anthony, That is so sweet and a lovely idea for a personal TAT. It is beautiful. I hope you are doing good sweety. Wonderful art work. Take care Anthony.

    – Susan

    Reply

  32. Posted by Dixie on April 27, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    That is so sweet ..It turned out great..

    Reply

  33. Dixie,

    Yes, John did an incredible job. I’m glad you like it.

    Take care,
    Anthony

    Reply

  34. Posted by Janet on April 28, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Hey Anthony! What a tribute to MISS ABBA! It is beautiful and looks just like her.

    Reply

  35. Janet,

    Yes, it does. John did a fantastic job.

    Anthony

    Reply

  36. Anthony~Beautiful….the tat & the subject. Love, thoughts & prayers to you My Friend.
    Tami

    Reply

  37. Tami,

    Thank you very much. I love it! I hope life is treating you well.

    Peeps

    Reply

  38. Posted by jason on April 13, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Love it!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: