Friday 23 August 2019

My Pet: Coco channels the Buddha effect


Denise Donnelly

I think it would be fair to say that most people have heard the expression "she has a nose for it". Describing that instinctive sensibility of how our sense of smell is guiding us towards something wondrous, appetizing - and maybe even potentially lucrative.

Cue Coco, my extremely lovable, loyal and gentle whippet - who most certainly has a 'nose' for good art!

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My name is Denise Donnelly and I run The Doorway Gallery on South Frederick Street, Dublin. We are home to Irish artists and exciting international painters and sculptors too. It's a busy spot with customers, clients, art works and exhibitions simultaneously swirling - and right by my side, guiding me through the ever exciting path of art dealing, is the ever unassuming Coco.

If you don't know much about whippets, know this: their sensitivity and intuition is one of their most striking features. They can be traced back to art works in Ancient Egypt, so I suppose you would have to say that they have staying power.

After Coco's morning walk into work, she has been known to take some downtime in the gallery. And during heightened moments of busyness (I confess that I have been known to generate a sustained amount of verbal communication - basically I talk a lot!) Coco comes to my assistance.

To counterpoint my multi-tasking, Coco offers the Buddha effect. Her chilled demeanour and soothing energy is like having a free meditation app on tap for all in the art gallery.

She likes treats, lots of treats. It's never a bad thing for any visiting artist to come equipped.

Dislikes are the cold weather. She is definitely not a fan of the long walk to work when the temperatures drop. That's when her bed, by my desk, is a main stay for the day.

I would say one of Coco's finest moments was Heidi Wickham's unveiling of a portrait of her. To join the collection of Heidi's portraits was a sure endorsement of Coco's discerning and delicate bone structure.

I've worked in the art business for over 15 years and I've always found that instinct plays a big part. You know good work when you see it. And it's safe to say, by chance or osmosis, that Coco has entered the art world with the same clarity and instinct as her forefathers.

Name: Coco

Finest hour: My close-up, painted by Heidi Wickham

Likes: Art

Dislikes: Cold weather

* If you would like your pet featured in this column please send a story of 440 words and a photograph to clearly labelled MY PET

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