One of the many wonderful aspects of owning dogs is the way they seem to connect us to each other. The other night while walking my two pugs down the street, a number of neighbors whom I have seldom, if ever, spoken to, came out of their homes and off their porches to meet Waffles. "I see you have another pug? Did you lose the old one?" one of them asked.

Another came over and asked, "What happened to Vader?" while she bent down to pet Waffles' head. "Hi, Alfie," she said. I didn't even know this woman knew my name, let alone my pugs'. Dogs help build community; they bridge gaps, making it easier for us to approach each other, to say hello.
I have many plans in store for this blog. I have finally found a design team that is working on creating a web site with my blog as the centerpiece. Tonight I received an email from friend, fellow blogger and artist, Maria Wulf, about a new giveaway concept a small group of us is hoping to launch next month on our blogs, and I am eagerly looking forward to sharing the details with you. One of my hopes is that this blog will expand the community that I am already finding with other artists, writers, bloggers and dog owners.

Last year at this time I was posting a photo or two, talking a little about my dogs, putting up a collage here and there. Then, I showed my collages at Maria's Pig Barn Gallery, joined her husband John Katz' writers' group. I met Nancy of Spinning Glass Studio at a show where Maria was also exhibiting and enjoyed a quiet afternoon bonding with them and another new friend, Jane McMillen of Little House Home Arts. We will all be participating in the giveaway in the hopes of sharing each other's work and blogs with our collective readers. Most importantly, to me, however, I am finding a creative community of friendship and support that is urging me forward and causing me to grow.
I think most dog owners would list the companionship their dogs provide as one of the reasons we love them. Many of us find that our love of dogs opens us up to new possibilities. That has certainly been the case for me, my creative life and this blog. It is not a coincidence that my pugs have been the focus of much of my photography, writing and art. Now they are helping lead me down a new street, where friends are coming off their porches, out of their homes and introducing themselves, helping form a community of which I am thankful to be a part.