On july 10, 2018 our extraordinary watercolor artist, Shannon Whitney traveled to Bergin University of Canine Studies in Rhonert Park, to receive her second service dog.
She didn’t know the sex, name, or even breed but she was confident it will be the perfect match for her needs. Bergin goes through an extensive evaluation process of both the potential dogs and humans to match personalities and ensure the dog is able to perform any special tasks needed. All graduating service dogs know a minimum of 93 commands.
She was up there for two weeks while she learned the commands and how to work with her new assistant.
Tuscano was her service dog for 15 years. He picked up anything she dropped and handed it to her…unless it was tasty. He took off her socks and jacket. He brought the laundry to the washing machine. He gave her confidence and piece of mind when she was out in the world. His presence added an extra safety bubble when it was crowded.
A service dog is there to make life a little easier for someone with physical challenges. It is important that they be focused on their person because a distracted dog can make life even more of a challenge. This is why you should not pet or interact with someone else’s service dog – even when they’re super cute
Check out Shannon’s work at her website
I live in Castro Valley, California. I received a BS in Biology from UCLA in 1990. After graduating, I spent a year in Tanzania with the Peace Corps.
After the Peace Corps, I began taking a watercolor class, but I stopped painting after two years when climbing the corporate ladder, in the clinical laboratory field, took over.
Now that I have left the work force due to the progression of Muscular Dystrophy, I have picked up the brushes again.
I enjoy painting pictures that make people smile, maybe even chuckle. Animals in odd positions and situations are a favorite. I am currently trying to step out of my comfort zone and paint in a looser style – more abstract. Beyond commissioned pet portraits, I have successfully sold paintings to family, friends and through local boutiques.