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The story of the fence of Dogs of 6th and Devoy and Friends

My name is Margaret Halsey. I am an artist and writer, and also run this web site,  www.bowwowwowmeow.com as well as www.petartisan.com.

I also have a web site called krachelart  www.krachelart.com.

 

You may have read my posts and seen a few pictures of the fence on www.bowwowwowmeow.com . I have been so busy recently I have not updated the web site.

 

Here is the story of the fence.

 

 

I started the fence for the love of the dog.

The lane where the fence is is a frequent walk of mine, with my dog Smyth, the black and white whippet.

After walking down the lane many many times, and after the owner of the fence had newly painted it a rust red, I thought that a wall of dog faces on it would look great, and would be very pleasing for all who walk down the lane with their dogs. Of course I knew that the owner Alice had a dog.

After talking to Alice, she loved the idea, and the project began in July 2015. She gave me $100 which I used to buy some paint.

First I came up with a logo and put in on the side part at the front of the fence. The logo included my dog and hers, and the words Dogs of 6th and Devoy. Her house and the fence is on 6th and my house just around the block is on Devoy.

Then I put her dog on the fence, and mine. With both Smyth and Taz on the fence I thought it would attract attention and I would get local dog owners to come forward with a request for their dogs.

I planned to have the dogs of the neigbourhood on it as there are at least 30 in the 4 block circuit.

Then I put a couple more local dogs on the fence. I put on Wallie and Jal, both close neighbours dogs.

Then I thought of also turning it into a fund raising project for dog related charities, I put up a sign at the fence, posted it on my web site www.bowwowwowmeow.com and bought some business cards.

 

I started asking for a minimum $50 per face. I though “$50 for a face on the fence for funds” sounded cute!

My next dog was a trio of dogs; they were past dogs of the people who live on the other side of the lane. The people wanted to see their 3 shitzu as they looked from their balcony onto the fence.

Next I put on a friend of Taz, as I thought the space beside her should be a friend she plays with. This is a lovely yellow Labrador.

 

Then I met Lynn Radbourne at a charity function for another dog group, and after finding out I was an artist she asked me if I would consider donating a painting of two guide dog puppies. Yes, I did the painting, and it was won in the bidding war by our local realtor Patti Goss.

Lynn told me then she would be getting a puppy and her and her husband would be raising it to be in the guide dog training program.  She sent me a picture of the lovely Siku and her litter mate Freeman, who was going to a local family to raise, also. It was some time later I asked Lynn if she would like the guide dogs, hers and the other puppy, on the fence, and she agreed. 

The good weather ended and It was some time later in the spring of 2016 that I started up again, and painted hers and the other puppy in this neighbourhood, Siku's sibling Freeman, on the fence.

It was then that I decided the main dog related charity for the fence would be BC and Alberta Guide Dogs. They also work with dogs for people on the Autism spectrum and I am very much in support of that as well, as I have a great niece on the scale.

Now, one year later, and since an article in the New Westminster paper, the New West Record, and a news item on CBC news at 11 on Monday August 15, and another on Global TV news at 6 and 11 on Sunday August 21, 2016, I have completely booked the rest of the fence.

 I am taking a waiting list now for another fence. I am looking for a fence. ( update as of September 5 2016, I have found one- more later)

 

The home and fence owner has agreed to preserve this fence and not paint over it, and should she ever decide to move away, we both want to ensure that the fence will go somewhere to live out the rest of its life so people can continue to see it, and have the dog faces bring calm to them, and a smile, and think about the Guide dogs, and continue to support them, perhaps be inspired to become a puppy raiser, or leave a legacy.

 

The lane was busy with foot traffic but it was not as busy with cars and truck last year when the project began. Now there are three houses in the area under construction and trucks have been using the lane, and they barely clear it. The lane is not wide enough I think for major construction trucks, and the city person in charge of construction, has talked to the three developments and ask them to use caution.  . Soon it should be back to normal traffic in the lane.

 

I have made a part donation so far to go towards sponsoring puppy training, and will be able donated at least a $1000.more.

 

With approximately 25 spaces on the fence after  the guide dogs and a few locals I painted on before the fund raising began, there is potential for 25 spots. At 50 a spot that would be 1250. And 80% would be $1000.

Correction, not just dogs. There are cats on the fence now too. I have the three cats of the owner of the fence, Alice. Libby is our neighbourhood cat that has been lucky enough to get a spot on the fence. She is our cat on a rust coloured fence.

My goal was to raise at least $1000 for the Guide dogs.  

 

80% of what I raise after supply cost will go to them, and the rest to another group called Citizen Canine Companion.

If I receive donated supplies then the donation to Guide Dogs is even more.

To date including committed, I will have collected $1950.

The paint and supplies cost approximately 400 so far, and with the clear varnish it will be around 500 to 700..

I will be able to donate 80% of the net, at $1160, including my first donation.

 

When it is finished I had another fence in mind, I have talked to the owners but they have not yet agreed, (they have now agreed as of September 5 2016)

I am looking for more fences, first in the New Westminster Sapperton area. I have now noticed two or three in the immediate neigbourhood and plan to talk to each ones owner about the project. The fence has to be in good shape, and the owner has to make a commitment to protect the painting on the fence for as long as is possible, a minimum of 5 years.

I have checked with a local paint company and as I am using outdoor paint, it should last that long or more. They suggest a clear coat protection on it when it is complete, and I intend to do that. For that I will be looking for help. Perhaps I will gather all the dog owners and they can clear coat protect their own dog face.

I hope to have the fence completed by the end of September 2016.

I had no idea this would be so popular, yet it has confirmed what I believe, that all dog owner have a very special bond with their dog, and so many of them either want to see their dogs face in a public places such as a fence, now, or as a memory for a dogs now over the rainbow bridge.

I have had several people who for them, the dog is as a memory.

I don’t want to say no to anyone who wants a painting on a fence. I can also offer painting on canvas or paper, which is my usual paint surface, and I will donate part of the cost to dog related charity. I can do something for $400 with 70% going to dog related charities, or 300 with 60%, or 200, with 50%.

I don’t want to say no to anyone.

I have saved the domain name www.furfacesonfences.com  and plan to build on this, doing other projects as solo artist in New Westminster or Coquitlam, and with other artists and people who are interested in being involved, in other areas.

 The first step if you are someone who is interested in having your dog on a fence is to send me an email with the picture, and tell me a bit about your dog. I will add you to my list.

When I have located another fence that will hold at least 20 dogs, I will start this, and as of now I already have 10 names on the waiting list.

Also, if people are aware of a fence or have a fence they would like such a project on, please contact me about it. It can be in any area of the lower mainland. (I will stick to that area for now) yet yesterday someone from France came to look at the fence. She took my card. She was saying how lovely it would if I could do this where she lives in France. Now I would not be opposed to that of course.

For future fences, so that I can raise more money for dog related causes, the suggested donation of $50 minimum, will be increased to minimum of a $100. I want to be able to donate at least 1000 a fence.  

I really want to raise $5000.on one or several future fences. It takes $5000. to sponsor a puppy, and with that you can choose its name. I have the name already for the first one. It is Bert.

My father, Herbert Joseph Halsey (1924-2002), also an artist, was my inspiration to paint from my teenage years and still. He said to me that I capture the spirit and soul of the dog in their eyes, in my painting. He would be very proud of this fence.

It takes me from 4 to 10 hours to paint a dog on this fence. On average 7 hours, and there are over 30 faces on this fence.

This fence has been a labour of love, the love of the dog.

The fence Dogs of 6th and Devoy and Friends, and the next one I do, I will be donating 80% to dog related charities, with BC Guide Dogs being the main one, and the only one in the first project.

 

Since starting the fence, and confirming what I believed myself, that the dog is such an important part of society, and the cat too (but that is another story for another day) I have started a group which will become a society, and also be a subsection of my web site www.bowwowwowmeow.com

It is called Citizen Canine Companion.

 

About CCC

Citizen Canine Companion (CCC) Is a sub section of Bowwowwowmeow. It is the not for profit arm, that promotes, the importance of dogs in our lives, the human/canine bond, It focuses on the importance of dogs for our well being. “Citizen Canine Companion- For the love of the dog”

Through its efforts it aims also to prevent cruelty to animals, and help find homes for dogs in shelters.

It was founded in and is home based in New Westminster British Columbia.

It was started in April 2016.

Projects

A project it is currently involved in is the mural of Dog (and cat) art called Dogs of 6th and Devoy, in New Westminster BC. 

I will write more on this site about it. Keep looking.

 

 

 



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