Dee Dee Murry is an artist who works out of her Centralia home.
“I’m a realist. I do wildlife, horses, and dogs. I like to paint every hair on the animal,” she said.
Dee Dee works upstairs. Her roommate, also an artist, works downstairs.
“Hallie is an abstract impressionist,” said Dee Dee. “I thought I had a pretty good year, but she made more money than I did last year. My blind dog makes more money than I do. Yeah.”
You read that right.
Dee Dee’s roommate is a blind dog who loves to paint. Dee Dee trained her a couple of years ago.
Here’s how it goes. Dee Dee encourages her with the following words: “Paint? Can you paint, Hallie?” Hallie then picks up a brush with her teeth and begins poking the empty canvas with her paint brush. Thirty seconds later, after a dozen dabs, the 13-year-old long haired dachshund has created an abstract painting.
“She paints faster the better the treat is,” said Dee Dee.
The day we met them, Hallie was enjoying her biscuits made of cauliflower and turkey. We got to see the ‘humanitarian’ plaque Hallie was awarded for the donations she’s made to a nonprofit Purple Heart Rescue, which helps abandoned and abused dogs. Every dollar from every sale goes to organization. Last year’s sales came to $15,000.
“I’m her biggest fan,” said Deb Harp, who helps rehabilitate the rescue dogs at Purple Heart Rescue. “I can’t even tell you how many lives she’s touched.”
Two years ago Hallie developed sudden acquired retinal degenerations syndrome, a disease in dogs that causes sudden blindness. And there’s more. Hallie is losing her hearing too.
“She can barely hear, “ said Dee Dee. “And she’s going bald and she’s short.”
The humor helps. Dee Dee is savoring the remaining time she has with the precious dog she rescued 11 years ago.
“She is my life. I do everything for her and with her.”
Who knew 'everything’ would also including painting.
"I’m so proud of her,” said Dee Dee. “Don’t get me going. Yeah. Very proud.”