Fracking the Super Bowl snacks

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One of these sweaters …

… is not like the others … can you tell which one it is?

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Tough one, ain’t it? What’s that? You want a hint? Whadaya think this is, Sesame Street? Oh, alright. Watch the opening ceremonies of the Sochi Winter Olympics on Feb. 7 for the answer.

The artist, the bulldog

a bulldog asleepIf there’s one thing people learn after a few years of having pets, it’s that you don’t own them, they own you. But if the pet happens to be an English bulldog, there’s something else. They don’t do anything unless they want to, and all they really want to do is … nothing. Most loveable but also the most stubborn and laziest beings on Earth. After people.

That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to read the story of Piper, the painting bulldog. Astounded by it, actually.

Piper strikes a very classic bulldog pose for her owner, Jessica Stone. This usually can be interpreted as "Smile? You must be joking." Copyright © Jessica Stone

Piper strikes a very classic bulldog pose for her owner. painter Jessica Stone. This usually can be interpreted as “Say cheese? You must be joking. I eat cheese,” but Piper’s different. Copyright © Jessica Stone

Piper is the proud owner of artist Jessica Stone. The one-bright-eyed rescued bullie was with Stone at her Austin, Texas, studio one day and evidently felt the urge to send a mental message to her owner – gimme a paint brush already, I feel an inspiration coming on. Jessica got the message, got a brush, dipped it in paint, held a piece of paper and added Piper.

Stone says Piper took brush in mouth and started a-wiggling and a-waving it on the paper. Good Lord, the girl was painting. And it was, well, as it turned out … there’s really no other way to put it … it was a painting.

The artist at work. Copyright © Jessica Stone

The artist at work. Copyright © Jessica Stone

“Her pieces are just so carefree and whimsical, and they amaze me.” Stone told a reporter in a story about Piper’s artistic ability.

She ain’t fooling. And she’s not the only amazed Piper-painter person down in the heart of Texas. The pooch has a following.

I think this one should be called Portrait of the Artist as a Young Pup. Copyright © 2012 Piper Stone Artwork

This one might be called Portrait of the Artist as a Young Pup. Copyright © 2012 Piper Stone Artwork

One painting hasn’t been enough for Piper. Turns out she is very inspired. More than that, successful too. We’re not talking about a starving artist here. She’s sold more than 120 of them, along with shirts with prints of her work and her used brushes (signed by her teeth, no doubt) for the benefit of the San Antonio Bulldog Rescue, the organization that brought Piper and Jessica together.

This pooch isn't a Piper, she's a Pawcasso. Copyright © 2012 Piper Stone Artwork

This pooch isn’t a Piper, she’s a Pawcasso. Copyright © 2012 Piper Stone Artwork

What a nice story. What a wonderful and very talented white bulldog.

Whoa, hold on. We have a white bulldog. We have a brown one too, but what if the white ones are special? What if they come along only once in great while, like the mythical White Buffalo?

You know, I always had a feeling Wilbur was more than your average English bulldog. But now I realize I wasn’t getting his messages. Wasn’t paying attention to the signs. I’m sure he’s been sending them. I went through some of the 3,965 pictures we’ve taken of him and his brothers and sisters, this time really examining, really looking at each one. The picture, once blurred, slowly began to come into focus.

Notice that an artist must be a quiet, yet keen, observer of life. And I thought he was just sitting in the sun. What a fool am I.

Notice that an artist must be a quiet, yet keen, observer of life. And I thought he was just sitting in the sun. What a fool am I.

But what artistic venue is Wilbur’s forte? He’s never shown an interest in paint, never asked for the camera when we’ve taken pictures of him … what the heck is this artist-in-my-residence trying to tell me?

I went back to flipping through the photographs. Nothing, nothing, more nothing. And then I found it. It was right there in front of me.

a bulldog painter performance artNotice the artistry. Pay heed to the passion, the canine creativity. I didn’t see it at first, but can’t miss it now. How had I been so blind?

Wilbur – choreographer. Wilbur – performance artist. Transformer of the physical sleeping dogs into a fantastical image … of the very Circle of Life!

Wilbur – the next Twyla Tharp.