The Dog Whisperer and I Have Something In Common

This post is about dogs portraits, dog whisperers, and an artist / dog trainer named Lesley Zoromski.

One day while at work at Skylark Images, a ball of energy named Lesley Zoromski stopped by to check out our services-or rather, she slowed down, switching speeds from fast to normal for a few minutes. I doubt that there is a stop button on that girl.

Lesley showed my colleague and I her work, and requested a scan.We started talking about dogs,  as her “piece” was a beautiful delicate portrait of a dog. It was so realistic and full of personality; it was really wonderful.

Lesley told me about her dog, Cricket and I introduced her to Syd, who came over to say hello. Lesley had an immediate rapport with my dog, and for good reason. Turns out, she is also a dog trainer at a very reputable, high-end canine training facility in town.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago; Lesley came into Skylark as she has every few months, but this time she came for a special reason-to present me with a pastel portrait of The Bean, her first pastel work. Honestly, I knew about the portrait and I knew she would create a wonderful  portrait for me. I was wrong. What she made is truly awesome, colorful and true, my dog laughing right off of the paper as if alive once again. Wow.

see it now

Ms Zoromski also had other portraits for us to scan, including one of Junior, one of The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan’s dogs. She told me she hoped to present the portrait to Cesar personally at a conference in LA in a few weeks. No, it was not a commission, just a gift accompanied by a hope that she would be able to express to Cesar personally what his work has meant to her.

Judging from the pictures Lesley sent me, I would say she succeeded. Have a look at that excited, happy, and almost star struck gal on the right.

Looks like junior liked the portrait as well.


Photographs © Darrell Zoromski and are being used with the permission of the photographer.

So Cesar and I have a Lesley Zoromski original work in common-Sydney in pastel, Junior rendered in colored pencil.

Looking at Sydney dancing and laughing that sunny day I can’t resist  putting words in Sydney’s mouth: ” Hey Cesar, Dog Whisperer, train this.”


 © Sara Silver Photographer 2011


Surviving the Grief of Losing My Dog


Anyone who knows me is aware of my connection with Sydney. She and I were inseparable and spent 24/7 together. When she died, it is undeniable that a part of me died with her. At first I could hardly breathe. I sobbed continuously, and felt completely alone. Then I found that immersing myself in her helped me stay afloat, so I made a little memorybook recalling her life. In six weeks I had finished, and faced the abyss of grief yet again. I started cycling during the tough hours after work, and that helped me think a bit. I decided to do what I hadn’t been able to do while Syd was alive, and took a trip to Southern Utah. I flew to Las Vegas and picked up my rent a car. My trip to see the wonders of Bryce, Zion, Snow Canyon, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and other colorful places began. I spent the week with a car and all my camera equipment and had a blast. Syd was always on my mind, but it was distracting to be in such beautiful places and so I relaxed a little. When I returned I started looking at adoptable animals at the local shelters, first online only, then, finally, I visited a few. 2 weeks later and 5 months after the death of my beloved Sydney Bean, I have a new dog.

I must be a lucky soul. My new friend, Bodie (found on Bodega Hwy, Bodie is a shortened version of Bodega; her nickname is much longer: “Bodacious  Bodega”) is a beautiful McNab (?) Border Collie mix, about 5 years old. She is smart, well-trained, responsive, sweet, friendly, unflappable, energetic yet with a calm disposition. We both hit the lottery. I will never be over Sydney and wonder if I will ever stop thinking about her, but I now have a little sunshine in my life again, and that is precious. Thank god for dogs. Thank god for Bodie. Thank god for Sydney Bean.

Goodbye, Sweet Bean

Dear Friends of Sydney Bean

Syd died yesterday evening following a severe downturn in her condition. I am devastated. I could never prepare to be without the little sweet being that has been by my side literally for 18 years.

I decided to give her a final resting place at the Pet Cemetery at Cypress Hill Cemetery in Petaluma. She will always be there for a visit and nothing can ever be built over her. I expect to bury her the beginning of this coming week, and I will know more on Monday morning.

I want to thank everyone who ever had a kind word or thought for Sydney. I will always be deeply grateful to those of you who let her into your lives knowing she and I were a “package deal”. I often thought she was the better end of the deal which I’m sure you understand.

While I am convinced she wouldn’t have had such a wonderful and long life if she and I  hadn’t been together each day, it makes the present without her very painful. I tried to speak to my dad a few moments ago and it was almost too hard, which is why I am emailing this to you all.

Below is a photo of Sydney, the last one, taken on Steelhead Beach on the Russian River Friday evening. She had just drank a gallon of clear river water, which was her drink of choice, and was contentedly napping when I snapped this. Sydney loved creeks and rivers, I’ll never know why.

May She Rest In Peace

Sara, Syd’s Mom

List Of Things Useful When Caring for an Old Dog

A sturdy wagon – self explanatory. Loads of fun, my dog smiles and gets a bit more interested when we roll together. She also likes the attention it creates. People are kind and curious.

Some t-shirts – Good for keeping your puppy mobile when they otherwise couldn’t get up or walk. Tye Dye is our favorite. Just put it on ’em like it would be normally worn and hold the bottom up to support them when rising or walking. Watch out for loose shirts, a tripping hazard!

Pillows – For comfort, everywhere. Large, mostly. Washable definitely.

Sydney in Dreamland

Sydney in Dreamland

This is a very short and silly iMovie, my first, and features the mind of my 18 + year-old puppy, Sydney, a 1960s tv clip, and awesome sound effects. Really. (Would I lie?)
Note (July 7 2010)
Pup-A Roo Syd has been diagnosed with cancer and while she still acts like she could live forever (that was my plan) she actually has very little time.
Sorry for the downer. The movie will cheer you up, I hope. It does give me cheer.

Originally uploaded by sara silver