Last spring we took in a multitude of neighborhood feral kittens and our livestock guardian dog, an Akbash named Piper, took to them like a mama hen. LGDs have a very strong protective and guarding instinct that makes them weak in the knees around baby animals – from goats to sheep to fowl to, apparently, kittens.
I wanted to commemorate Piper’s relationship with the kittens in an image I titled “Protector of the Small” (the title of one of my favorite Tamora Pierce series). The image evolved as I tried to add more personality to it and played around with different kitten poses. I ended up completely overwhelmed by my kitten choices and a massive creative block. While explaining my dilemma to a fellow artist, she looked at the image and said, “The story’s the expression. Forget everything else.”
And she was right.