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The Job of a Studio Dog

This post is written by Cosmo, the best studio dog ever.

A studio dog is a position in an artistic family. In short, the job is to maintain the artist’s mental and physical health. This happens by interrupting the artist regularly, but not too often, to get exercise, process inspiration, and stay grounded.

Artists often criticize themselves too much, so it’s essential to love them unconditionally. Whatever they create, they are always worth to get noticed and appreciated. It’s not the job of a dog to decide whether the art is good or bad but to value their temperament and overall creative personality.

Encouraging the artist to take breaks is not always easy. A regular schedule for interruptions is recommended. Sometimes the artist can get annoyed, but it’s good to remember that art is like pig ears. It’s easy to develop an addiction to them. Dogs can’t live with pig ears only, and artists can’t survive by only making art.

When walking the artist, it’s helpful to understand that eyes are her nose. She needs to stop and take pictures once in a while, and these sights are not always what a dog would appreciate.

Creating art is lonely. The artist may want to be alone, but there’s also a limit. Just lying on the studio’s floor can keep her company.

The hardest part of the job is to understand how the internet works. The artist wants to share pictures and stories like this, so sometimes studio dogs also end up on the internet. No matter how old you are, it’s your job to look cute and approachable. It helps if you are not entirely black or white and if you have lop ears. And when the artist is browsing the internet, that’s some kind of a pig ear too.

The job of a studio dog is a job for life. You don’t leave the artist until you have to. At the age of 15 and a half, it’s now time to say goodbye and pass the position to my assistant Stella. She is much cuter than I am, and I’m pretty sure she will handle other things as well. I do have trained her for over eight years.

Lematja’s Heathcliff, “Cosmo”, 23.3.2005 – 18.9.2020. Our hearts are broken, it was so hard to let him go.

76 thoughts on “The Job of a Studio Dog

  1. I feel your pain. Our Ada (the dog of Lappland) passed away two years ago. Now and then, when walking in a forest I think how Ada would have reacted to birds or squirrels that I meet on the way.

    Also the idea of our well-being been improved by having pets resonates with me.

    Take care!

    1. Thanks so much, Pia! Those memories live as long as we do. There’s a saying “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world” and I think that applies to pets as well.

  2. Oh Paivi, so very sad to lose a wonderful and beloved pet. The rainbow bridge is a busy place where our dear pets go to play among the clouds and the stars for eternity. RIP dear Cosmo. xx

  3. Oh Paivi, so sorry to hear about Cosmo, but how wonderful he was in your life he was a true friend. Rest well Cosmo xx

  4. Dear Paivi I’m so sad for you over the passing of Cosmo. Losing a dearly loved family member is very painful and I’m crying for you.
    Sending you heartfelt love and huge hugs. XO

  5. I’m so sorry. Over the years, I have lost a dog and several cats. It is so hard to say goodbye, but after time and healing with the help of one’s other pets, it is possible to remember the good times.

  6. These pictures are a beautiful tribute to a kind companion. He was loved. Your broken heart will heal in time, my friend.

  7. Widget left a couple years ago and she agrees wholeheartedly with Cosmo about his wonderful job. She will play with him if he would like, and she can share her thoughts because she understood about having an artist Mom. Rusty took over her jobs admirably and I am wondering about finding him a new helper since he is mature now. We will miss them so much, won’t we?!! My heart to your heart.

  8. My heart is with you Paivi it is so hard to let them go…remember what a wonderful life you had together and fill your personal treasure chest with all those special happy moments Janet x

  9. so so very sorry for your loss…………cosmo is over the rainbow bridge playing and running again with our jenne, maggie and hanna who we lost amost a year ago………….hugs…………………

  10. What a blessing you have been to Paivi, Cosmo. You will be in her heart forever. Rest In Peace. Sending hugs to you both 💖

  11. So sorry to hear of your loss- so very tough to say goodbye. I love this piece. Here’s a poem for you by Mary Oliver.
    Her Grave- Mary Oliver

    She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
    She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
    from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile—–
    and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
    cunning elbows,
    and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
    perfect arch of her neck.
    It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
    We did not think of music,
    but, anyway, it began to rain
    Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.
    Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.
    My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
    of happiness as she barged
    through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
    wild, slightly mossy tongue.
    Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
    He is wiser than that, I think.
    A dog lives fifteen years, if you’re lucky.
    Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
    think it is all their own music?
    A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
    do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
    trees, or the laws which pertain to them.
    Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
    think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
    of her long slumber?
    A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
    smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
    almost nothing.
    Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
    the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
    of his own making?
    She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
    wait for me, or be somewhere.
    Now she is buried under the pines.
    Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
    not to be angry.
    Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering
    The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
    of the infallible energies?
    How strong was her dark body!
    How apt is her grave place.
    How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.
    the slick mountains of love break
    over us.

    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie! I especially liked “A dog can never tell you what she knows from the smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
      almost nothing.”

  12. Isn’t amazing how dogs are so tolerant and loving with us humans! What a gift to have the experience. Glad Cosmo was in your life and shared so much love. Makes me want to do a tribute art peice to all our patient loving friends. Had a few who have passed on and when I think of them they still make me smile.

  13. Paivi, I am crying with you. I have lost many dogs over the years and each one was a dear friend. They are always here in my heart, making me smile at the times I most need it. And the love they gave to me is a gift that I will also carry with me wherever I go. I always picture my departed friends running and playing in Heaven, joyous in their new young bodies.

    I hope your memories of Cosmo will give you many smiles and much comfort.

  14. Sorry to hear about your loss Paivi. We have had many dogs over the years and they always live on with you with fantastic, comforting memories. We love your home country and my husband worked for many years with university of Lapland students there.
    Such a lovely and heartfelt story.

  15. This is so timely. We lost our 11-year-old white male standard poodle to cancer on 9/11. He was a “studio dog” and seemingly never tired of watching Mom. I’m especially grateful that our s.d.’s are non-judgmental – a job requirement. There is no feeling in the world like the broken heart when we lose our best friends. And no feeling in the world like the one when we discover they have chosen their successor for you, if you will only open your heart.

  16. Dear Paivi, how sad that you will no longer have Cosmo by your side, but know that he was always well loved and appreciated. Sending you love.

  17. So sorry you’ve lost your assistant. I had a cat once who would come downstairs with me every morning to my home office and lay on the back of my chair all day while I worked. I so missed her when she passed at 17. Animals can become members of your family – a cross between child and best friend. Cosmo will be waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. Be sure to bring him a pig ear!

    1. Thank you, Nancy. I have never hear this “a cross between child and best friend”, and that’s so brilliantly said, thanks again.

  18. Anybody that has had a dog as a family member knows the pain your heart is feeling. Each one is different, but the same kind of pain. They take a piece of your heart. You loved Cosmo enough to let him go, one of the hardest things we do. Another star will shine brighter than all the rest.
    He will never be gone completely, as long as you remember him, he will be with you and Stella.
    Rest easy Cosmo your job is done.

  19. What a beautiful and moving tribute to such a special dog that will always have a place in your heart. I’m so sorry for this loss but your pain will subside and your memories that hurt now will turn into warm hugs as you remember so much that you shared for so long. What a joy Cosmo will continue to be for you. I imagine Stella will also be wondering what is happening and need extra love at this time. Your post today is a celebration of Cosmo’s life and so beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with all your followers and please know we care.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Stella has been upset too. We just have to get used to the new normal, which doesn’t feel normal at all. Thanks for caring.

  20. I’m so sorry for your loss, it’s so hard to lose our best friends. What a lovely tribute to him, he was a beautiful dog.

  21. I love this story…even made me cry. I know your special art dog will always be by your side, just in spirit. Stella will still be taking cues from him. Dogs have that keen
    ability. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hate the final story that has to happen. Thinking
    and praying for you & your family. Linda

  22. The best tribute to a faithful friend. Just think of all those pig ears he can have now in heaven. God bless you, Cosmo.

  23. Oh, Paivi, I am so sorry for the loss of your good friend and family member, Cosmo. May his memory be a blessing to and for you. He will always live on in your hearts.

  24. What an honor to have been so loved. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. Memories will never go away. Bless your family with continued love for the friends we care for.

  25. So sorry to hear you have lost one of your best friends. They bring us such joy which makes it all the harder when they go. Big hug!

  26. So sad, but so beautifully inspired by Cosmo. Our companions live on, often unseen, but sooner or later Cosmo will find a way to let you know that you’re only a breath/touch/smile apart.

  27. Paivi, what a beautiful write up from your lovely companion, I’m so sorry for your loss, he sounds just wonderful and left his position in good hands. Lovely memories will carry you through. much love!!

  28. Dear Paivi,
    I’m sad to read that Cosmo has gone. Such a lovely dog. I understand that you are very sad. We all wish that our beloved dogs could be grow as old as we do.
    And I think that Stella searches for him. For her it’s a great loss too.
    Wish you and your husband all the best.

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