Although each painting is special, it's even more so when working with previous clients, or those who've received my painting(s) as a gift.  
Such was the case with Polly. After receiving her gifts she wrote:
"My mother in law, Sharon, just gave us 2 ornaments you painted of our yellow labs.
We love them and I just had to get one for my Mom!"

Scooby Ornament ©Shelly Burden
  
"Scooby got his name from my little nephew...Thank you so much for such a special gift for my Mom. It is beautiful!!  My mom is going to love it!!" Polly

Loves time with his "Mom" and relaxing in the sun. A mature boy, he's still adorable, especially with his flopped ear!
Madison Ornament  ©Shelly Burden

Riley: "Riley was our baby girl. We adopted her from a rescue group when she was about 10 weeks old. We had been looking for a pup for awhile, and when we saw Riley, we just knew she was our girl. She picked us really. She had been abandoned with her siblings out on a mesa.
She brought so much joy to our lives. Her Papa wasn’t a “dog person” before he met her, but she stole his heart instantly. She enabled him to feel an unconditional love that he had never felt before, and she taught me so much. She loved to go to the park and play with her friends. She never met a stranger, and she was so good with new dogs.
I have to laugh at all of the loaves of bread she ate while counter surfing. We lost our sweet girl last September. She was 15 ½ years old. It was so tough to let her go. As I look back now, I am so grateful that she had so much love in her life. I hoped and prayed that she would live a long life, and she did. We were truly blessed. I miss you my sweet RiRi." Mama/Janine

"Riley & Lilly" Ornaments  ©Shelly Burden

 Lilly: "Our sweet Lilly became a member of the family eight years ago. Peanut, the family miniature poodle, welcomed her with great excitement but let her know who was boss.  Lilly loved and respected her "sister" and always looked after her!  Lilly's favorite pastimes are chasing squirrels and keeping them up the tree.  She enjoys watching TV with us, always on the lookout for animals to chase and bark at.  She loves to travel, staying in hotels and meeting new friends. 
Lilly is such a joy and important member of our family. We love and cherish her very much! 
She's such a good girl too. Dogs are the best!!!" Judy

After seeing her ornaments Judy wrote: "Shelly, they are absolutely gorgeous!!!  Thank you so very much!!"
  "Wilson" 16x20" Memorial Portrait. ©Shelly Burden

"
I pulled Wilson out of an Orange County, CA Shelter in Nov. '08, arriving just as the shelter was about to euthanize him. When I rescued him, he was very skinny and terribly food aggressive (if you tried to give him food, he'd snarl and bare his teeth and bite) He also had kennel cough. After a couple of months getting him healthy and having him work with a trainer, I starting working to adopt him. Ultimately, after 3 failed tries at that (he kept nipping people), my wife, Tammi, and I decided to bring him into our home.
He immediately fit in and quickly became not only the alpha but my best buddy. He'd follow me everywhere and when I was not home, would keep staring out the window waiting for my return. We'd also let him sleep on the bed...I would frequently wake up during the night to find him laying right up against me. He was simply the most wonderful dog I have ever known. Everyone who met him fell in love with his big jowls, giant brown eyes and loving disposition. He longed for attention and would rub my arm with his paw until I‘d agree to pet him for at least 10-15 minutes. And, when I worked at home, he would lay just a few feet from me, with one eye closed and the other firmly fixed on my location.

More recently, we discovered that Wilson had two inoperable tumors near his heart and another in his throat. His heart had also started to weaken. We took him to the best specialists we could find in TX and thought we were at least buying time...this morning he suffered a heart attack and passed away. He was a wonderful friend and the most loving dog I have ever known and will be deeply missed.

Thank you, Shelly, for helping Tammi and me honor Wilson's life and legacy." Wayne
Update: Wayne and Tammi have given another boxer a wonderfully loving home. Zek, a senior found through Legacy Boxer Rescue. Last I heard Zek was making himself at home, settling in and doing well. 
 "Unfortunately Logan passed away while we were in London on vacation. He is missed daily! Logan was the family clown, as are most Boxers, but more importantly he was the heart & soul of our family. Heidi and I always looked forward to his greeting wiggles and sweet kisses when we returned home.
Logan's personality was joyous and he shared it with everyone he met!" Jeff

"Logan" 8x10 Memorial Commissioned Watercolor ©Shelly Burden

Jeff wrote: "The portrait looks fantastic! Boxers each have their unique looks & personalities. It's fantastic that you can capture that essence so well! Thanks again!!"


 "She's our little angel dog! Lacy is all about the belly! She loves her food! One of her favorite things is giving Steve ear kisses! She always greets us with loads of kisses & tons of love! Lacy LouLou is our little puppy girl!" Valerie
 "Lacy" 11x14 Commissioned Watercolor ©Shelly Burden
Of her portrait Valerie had this to say, "Oh, my! I cannot WAIT to see Steve's face when he opens his present!!!!!! He is going to LOVE your portrait of Lacy! You captured our little angel dog's sweet face perfectly! THANK YOU!!!"