Paintings for the Irish Guide Dogs

Paintings for the Irish Guide Dogs; A treat for art lovers and dog lovers!

At the beginning of the year I came up with an idea of fundraising for some animal charities. The idea was to paint two animals from each charity and sell limited edition prints of the paintings. I decided to concentrate on two such charities based in Cork. The first charity I chose to work with is the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, a National charity with headquarters based on the Model Farm Road in Cork. My earliest memory of the Irish Guide Dogs charity was collecting silver aluminium foil from chocolate wrappers in National School for the Guide Dogs. (At the time I didn’t understand what in earth the dogs could do with these wrappers but I insisted that it was very important to keep eating lots of chocolate just so I could help those dogs!!)

I contacted Anne Burns Fundraising Administrator with the Irish Guide Dogs to tell her of my idea of creating some Paintings for the Irish Guide Dogs to help raise some funds for the charity. Anne was really enthusiastic about the project and she invited me to come to the centre to photograph the dogs last month. The opportunity of visiting the Guide Dogs filled me with great excitement. I always associated the golden retriever or labrador with the Guide Dogs but I was amazed to see the varied breeds of dogs; Labradoodle, (labrador x poodle) Golden Doodle (Golden Retriever x Poodle), German Shepherd x Golden Retriver. Anne introduced me to Olive O’Sullivan a Senior Guide Dog Trainer and she explained about how the Guide Dogs offer a comprehensive suite of services which enable both blind and vision impaired persons and families of children with Autism to achieve increased independence and an improved quality of life; The Guide Dog Programme for people who are blind or vision impaired and the Assistance Dog Programme for families of children with autism. She told me all the ways these dogs can change the lives of the people who receive them. They really are awesome animals.

The two Paintings for the Irish Guide Dogs I chose to paint are both Labrador x Retriever Cross.

It’s hard not to fall in love with these dogs, one in particular was Toby, he was so affectionate. At every opportunity between shots he would come over and rest his head on my shoulder *heart-melter!*. It didn’t surprise me one bit to learn that Toby will be going on the assistance programme and will make one little boy or girl very happy indeed.

Here is an amazing video that explains alot better than I ever could about the amazing work of the Irish Guide Dogs.

The two Paintings for the Irish Guide Dogs I chose to paint are both Labrador x Retriever Cross. Here are photographs of the little heroes, aren’t they gorgeous!
Photos of Irish Guide Dogs Scully and Toby

That’s Scully on the left and Toby on the right, they are both 18 months old. In my next blog I will show you the development of the painting of Scully. To make sure you don’t miss the next installment, click on the RSS feed button (that’s the orange button on the far right) and have updates sent directly to your email.

The Paintings for the Irish Guide Dogs will be completed later this month, in time for Christmas, and will make a beautiful gift for any dog lover with the added benefit of supporting a much loved charity. A limited edition run of only 50 signed and framed archival prints (€75 each) will be made of each dog with profits going directly to the charity. Each print will carry the story of the dog so you can follow their unique journey. You can place your order in advance by emailing

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