Earlier this year, we teamed up with Dog Milk to offer designers the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind pet bed through a fun Design Contest. Here's the amazing story behind the inspiration for our winning design, "Chamberlin's Dream" by artist Missy Johnson.
By Missy Johnson
I have a friend. He's short, fuzzy, gives the best kisses and has inspired my life in so many ways. His name is Chamberlin and he's a sweet, black dog that was tied to a tree and left in the yard of his family's home. His family moved away and left Chamberlin and another pet friend in the backyard for over 2 months. When the dogs were found Chamberlin's fuzzy friend had passed away but the shelter rescuers saw a spark to live in Chamberlin, this special dog I call my friend.
My rescue awareness group, Dogs for the Paws recognizes amazing pet stories and Chamberlin's has been one of the most inspirational! I use my pet themed art to celebrate rescue pets and Chamberlin is a huge success story! Over the last 2 years, he has come back from extreme starvation and neglect. Because of complications during his recovery, his front legs won't work but that doesn't stop him. He's got a cool wheelchair and a cart that gives him the freedom to attend rescue events and meet the hundreds of fans he has in his local community. Through his Facebook page he has captured the hearts of the World, from Canada to Australia.
I have donated art to Chamberlin and his shelter team at the Guilford County Animal Shelter and always look for new opportunities to help raise awareness for this special fuzzy boy who brings such happiness to my life and inspires my art. When I heard about the design contest hosted by P.L.A.Y. And Dog Milk I jumped at the chance to win a special gift for Chamberlin. Over the years I have given Chamberlin numerous blankets and such for him to use but to have a design of him, made into a bed would be the ultimate gift I could give!
Winning the contest, and being able to go visit Chamberlin and present him with his new bed was so much fun. To see him enjoying his gift and taking pictures with him made my whole year! My friend, Gina came with me to meet this special fuzzy soul that has captured my heart. She was surprised how active he is and loved spending time with his "Team Chamberlin" family at the shelter. This dedicated "family" is so proud of their boy and his progress. There is just something about this black dog that speaks to so many without saying a word. When he looks at me, my heart melts and I am so proud that he is enjoying the bed which he inspired. It is called "Chamberlin's Dream". Honestly, Chamberlin has no idea he is different or special...and in my World he is perfect.
Charleston SC artist, Missy Johnson is always ready to put brush to canvas or pen to paper to help raise awareness for animals in need. Founder of the pet rescue awareness movement, dogs4thepaws.com Missy, dubbed the "Rembrandt for Rovers," keeps busy woofing and blogging to help rescues/ shelters across our nation and beyond. Missy also offers commissions , design and illustration services through her design company, Art & Dog Design, to a wide variety of clients from coast to coast.