Comments Welcome

Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"Shadow's Story"

A few months ago I was commissioned for a very special painting. Lynda Snyder asked me to paint a portrait of their rescue dog "Shadow" for her husband Dave for Christmas. When Dave was out of the house one day, my husband Eddie and I went over to their home in Grand Terrace to take photos and meet "Shadow". What a character, and what a wonderful story he has. It was so nice to see how well he has adjusted to his new surroundings and how loved this little guy is and it shows!

There are so many stories about unwanted and mistreated animals in this world, but this one has a happy ending. I don't know who is happier the Snyder's or Shadow. I think all of them were meant for each other and this is what makes my job as an artist so rewarding. Congratulations Dave and Lynda for taking "Shadow" into your home and treating him like the special dog he is and for giving me the opportunity to get to know him and paint him.

If you are not in the position to adopt an unwanted pet or pure bred dog, please think of them from time to time and donate to your local animal shelters or your pure bred rescue groups in your area. You will feel very good about your donation, just think your donation helped find "Shadow" the home he deserves.

Until next time, Enjoy the Art and "Shadow's story" below. Terry

(Be sure to share Shadow's story with your family and friends)
SHADOW’S STORY (written by his new dad Dave)

As near as anyone could determine he was born in December 2006. For us (Dave and Lynda Snyder) his story begins at the end of August 2007. The interval in between is mostly mystery although he sent pictures of a barren yard near a construction site to animal communicator Dr. Monica Diedrich.

August 2007. It had been 7 months since the Snyder’s beloved Tramp succumbed to a liver autoimmune disease. It was time for another rescue, time for a companion to 10 year old Australian Shepherd Brenna who was beginning to show her age. Enter Countless rescue group and government shelter sites were perused. Suddenly Lynda said “Look at this one.” The picture had been posted a mere 2 hours earlier on the San Bernardino County Devore shelter website. “Can we go see him?”

Within two hours we were outside his kennel as he kept pushing two smaller terrier mixes away from the fence. His fur was horribly matted, resembling the coat of a shedding buffalo. Later we learned he was infested with fleas and ticks. But inside that coat was a bundle of exuberance, energy, mischief, and love just waiting to be expressed. He licked our hands, and our faces, if we got them next to the wire. He was clearly sending a message. Dave looked right into his eyes and asked, “Do you know something we don’t know?” Immediately there was a resounding bark. The deal was sealed. We had just chosen each other, for better or for worse.

He had been found by animal control running loose near I-15 in Fontana. He could not be adopted out until the next day and there was still the matter of Brenna and whether they would get along. The next day we showed up a half hour before opening, wanting to be sure we were first in line. He overwhelmed Brenna who tried her best to get away from him. While Dave balked, Lynda said they would be fine.

And they were, eventually working out the living arrangement between them. They have 2-3 play sessions each day now during which it is very evident Brenna is still top dog. Brenna has renewed vigor and now acts 3-4 years younger than before he arrived.

And how did he become “Shadow” since his original name was not known? Several names were tried without response. So since he followed us everywhere we tried “Shadow” and he responded. He now responds to Shadow, Shadster, Shad, Shaddie and Shadillac. It is a joy to take him for a walk or a ride in the car and watch faces light up. Shadow, the social butterfly, energizes people in the community the same way he energizes his forever home.

Christmas 2008. The last present is handed to Dave and he is told to close his eyes and reach into the bag. He pulls out something wooden. He opens his eyes and stares in disbelief at a portrait of Shadow painted by our friend Terry Chacon. He is touched to tears. Lynda slowly leafs through a 2009 calendar of Terry’s portraits of animals. Dave thinks “Wouldn’t it be something if Shadow was in the calendar?” Then there he was surprise number two. “Wow.” Then surprise number three. Terry, without knowing its significance, had chosen him to represent August 2009, the second anniversary of his choosing his forever family.

(As fate would have it, I did not know that Shadow was picked up by the Snyder's from the shelter in Aug. of 2007, and now he is Mr. Aug. in my 2009 calendar of Pet Portraits. Here is an email I received from Dave yesterday-


I am totally at a loss for words. The portrait of Shadow is beautiful. My description, in Shadow's Story, of getting the present really says it all. You and Lynda have given me one of the most memorable gifts of my life. Thank you.

We will try to send you a picture later today or tomorrow.


what a great story!)


  1. Love the painting of "Shadow", and the way you framed it! Happy New Year Terry!

  2. Hey Terry, I tried to post a comment before and (I think) I was unsuccessful, so sorry if this is a repeat. I love the painting of "Shadow". I think it must take a dog lover to capture the soul of an animal! Framing is nice too!


Comments without signatures will not be posted on my blog. If you want me to reply, please put in your email address. Thanks, Terry d. Chacon