Thursday, April 11, 2019

Game Night

Driving home from my mural unveiling at Ivanhoe Park Brewery, Pam and I noticed a young woman biking across Mills Avenue in the light rain. She looked familiar, in fact, she was a friend of Pam's named Gabby. Pam pulled her truck over on the next block and shouted out her window to Gabby, "Do you need a lift?" Of course Gabby probably considered this an offer from a creep, but when she recognized Pam she was pleased. Gabby and Brent had just purchased a bungalow and she advised us to follow her to check it out.

The blue bungalow was indeed adorable in a nice quiet neighborhood. The front lawn was filled with native plants rather than a lawn. The home had a a front porch and a sizable back yard for their dog Zoe. We got a quick tour of the place and then Gabby and Pam decided to set up a date for a game night.

Gabby and Brent take care of Pam's dog Sprout any time we are traveling and we do the same for their dog Zoe. Pam and I picked up a foster puppy named Darcy and she is an unpredictable kraken of a beast. When Pam and I took care of Zoe, fights tended to break out between the three dogs. Zoe and Darcy would play rough having a ball, and then Sprout would break in snarling because he was protective of his girl Darcy.

Game night the dogs ran around the back yard with Darcy and Zoe playing rough while Sprout relaxed. They burned off plenty of excess energy. I sketched the first game which involved making up stories about horrible turn of  events. Gabby's brother showed up as the rules were being explained and he joined in reluctantly. Game play was constantly interrupted by bouts of over zealous dog play. Gabby's brother had to leave once the first game was over.

I wanted to play Settlers of Catan, so the sketch was done when that game came out. Settlers involves gathering resources to  build roads and settlements. The player who builds the largest settlement wins. It was a fun game involving plenty of bartering for needed resources. The game stretched late into the night with four large settlements spreading across the board.

War broke out. The war wasn't on the game board but among the beasts. Zoe enjoyed playing but grew tired of Darcy's incessant nudging and barking. "Darcy NO!" was shouted so often that you would think her name was Darcino. Several snarling brawls had to be broken up. Brent did a good job of separating the beasts by shuffling them apart with his legs. Pam did the same on a second occasion. Darcy the puppy was clearly to blame. She doesn't know when to slow down. Gabby and Brent had considered getting a puppy but that foster didn't work out. Zoe loves playing with people more than other dogs. She kept bringing me a toy while I was trying to sketch. When Zoe was put in the back  room, Darcy began nipping at Sprout, who just wanted to rest on the couch. I finally decided to leash Darcy to my chair limiting her movements. With other dogs to bite and bark at she soon stretched out on the floor and there was peace. She needed the rest. The next day she was going to be "fixed" at the vet.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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