Karen Hoglund Photography | I brake for dogs

I brake for dogs

March 10, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

St patricks day dog decoration artSt patricks day dog decoration artSt patricks day dog decoration art One day my husband and I were driving when he slammed on the brakes and said, "There's a dog in that bush". I looked, expecting to see a lost dog. Instead, I saw an enormous dog sculpture mounted in a bush. Not to mention it was decorated for St. Patrick's Day. Well, you don't see that every day!

I love unique art so I did a little detective work to find more about the dog sculpture. Here's what I found out from Pete, the homeowner/artist/dog lover. 

How did he come up with the idea for decorating the bush? 
It was inspired by Pete's (late) dog, Maggie. He made it 7 years ago when Maggie was still around to serve as a model. Pete enjoys welding and making metal yard sculptures so he had the necessary construction skills. Once he thought of the idea, it became an artistic challenge. Artistic welding is harder than it looks and I appreciate the considerable talent required!

What is the sculpture made of?
The base skeleton is made from 1/8" welding rod. The base is covered with chicken wire and duct tape. Spray adhesive was used to glue black plastic garbage bags on the outside. The dog collar is made of recycled carpet and the eyes are made out of old floodlights. (No, the lightbulbs don't turn on. Pete thought that would be too eerie.) The seasonal holiday decorations are made from wood and aluminum scraps. A Broncos scarf was made from orange and blue newspaper bags. The sculpture is attached to the bush with cords. It is all relatively weather-proof and only needs a new covering of garbage bags once a year or so. 

Tell me about Maggie, the dog the sculpture is modeled after.
As you can imagine, Maggie was an extraordinary dog. She lived with Pete from age 4 until she died at age 12 and he still misses her. The sculpture was made when she was 7 years old. To create the sculpture's dimensions, Pete exactingly measured and multiplied the size of her head five times. Today, Pete has a new dog, Jazzy. She's a black lab who looks similar to Maggie.

What holidays is the bush decorated for? 
Broncos Superbowl (Yes, this is a holiday in Denver!)
Valentine's Day
St. Patrick's Day
Easter - if the weather's not too hot.
The bush takes a break from decorations in the summer so it can grow.

What do the neighbors think?
They love it! They even leave Christmas presents under the bush for Jazzy. 

Will Pete ever make another dog sculpture?
Sadly, no. It was a labor of love and one of a kind. He's been approached by people wanting to commission one of their dog but he has declined. Too bad because I have the perfect tree for one in my yard!

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Here's Jazzy in front of the bush. Or, should I call it a tree?

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This is the first year there was a Broncos theme. It was decorated before the playoffs so perhaps it brought good luck?

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This year the Thanksgiving pilgrim hat needed repair so Pete used the Halloween hat and switched out the dog tag.

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