When Piper, a one-eyed English bulldog, was surrendered to the San Antonio Bulldog Rescue in Texas, rescue worker Mother Teresa worried it would be difficult to find the dog a new home.
Piper’s owner said he was afraid of the dog, claiming that she often growled and would charge at him if he raised his voice. But as Mother Teresa got to know Piper, she realized the bulldog had every right to be a little grumpy. In addition to the missing an eye, Piper had arthritis, a limp and a skin infection.
Clearly, what the dog needed was a little love and affection, so Mother Teresa spent three months working to earn Piper’s trust, even treating her to car rides to Sonic where the two would split a hot dog.
Although Mother Teresa knew how wonderful Piper was, she was concerned no one would want a one-eyed cranky canine, but then she received an adoption application from a couple looking for a special-needs dog. Jessica Stone, an artist, and her husband, Jeff, seemed like a perfect fit, so they took Piper home to meet her new sister, a rescued pit bull named Roxie.
Piper took to her forever home quickly. Even though she can hardly walk due to hip dysplasia, she wobbled to her new mom’s studio every day and watched her paint for hours. That’s when Jessica got the idea to give Piper a paintbrush of her own.
“All I had to do was shake up a can of paint, rustle paper or clang palette knives and she would appear,” Jessica said. “After six weeks of Piper excitedly wobbling into the studio every time I painted, I realized something fantastic was happening in her eyes and I wondered if she had a desire to paint.”
So Jessica dipped a paintbrush into nontoxic paint and placed the other end in Piper’s mouth. Then, while Jessica held the paper, Piper began to paint.
“People often ask how I trained Piper to become a painter, but I never trained her. It was all Piper,” Jessica said.
Today, Piper paints alongside Jessica, creating original artwork, which is sold across the globe, with a portion of the proceeds going to the San Antonio Bulldog Rescue.
“This unloved and rejected, one-eyed dog blossomed into a beautiful role model who touches hearts. Piper’s cause is not only to raise money and awareness for rescues, but also to show children and adults that different is beautiful,” Jessica said.