When we brought Drew home from the Humane Society, his older brother, Wiley, showed him around our small house. Then Wiley started to bark at the living room window. Drew stood there thinking about what he had just learned, and then turned, ran to our bedroom, and jumped up on the bed to see out the window. From that moment, I knew that life with Drew was going to be different from anything the Beasleys had done before.
Drew proved to be a handful at first, and we had some rough times, with Drew finding ways out of the backyard and jumping off the porch roof after he learned to open the door to the second-floor deck. With time, we all learned how to live together, but I’m still not sure who was doing the training. Unlike his prior brother and sisters, he was very independent and seemed to consider whether what you were asking him to do was really to his advantage before obeying . . . or not.
Drew quickly became my muse and was a driving force in my development as an artist. There was always another photo of him with some interesting facial expression or body language that fascinated me. I was never without inspiration. Trying to capture all the aspects of his personality inspired me to create 13 artworks of him.
Drew opened the world to me as his popularity became worldwide on Facebook. Whenever we had a new like, I would tell him what a famous dog he had become.
In May 2015 we learned that there was a potential mass on or near his kidneys. Knowing that anesthesia was hard on him, from his first dental cleaning 12 years ago, my husband, Jack, and I decided that his quality of life was the priority. So from then on he was spoiled to the best of our ability.
We learned to stop and smell everything on walks, and that walks don’t have to be done in the most direct route—wandering
is a good thing. Sometimes just standing in the sun watching life and talking with neighbors was a good day. Without my understanding what he was doing, Drew slowly taught me that it is OK to come home to a quiet house without a dog waiting at the door. I would find him asleep, first in his crate and later upstairs in his chair in my studio.
On February 9, 2016, Drew cuddled on his quilt with Jack and me and quietly and peacefully moved on to his next great adventure. As much as my heart aches, he did not leave a hole there, but rather he left it filled with love. Drew was an amazing and funny dog who has touched many lives in person and through my art. His memory will live on, especially when Susan, who never met him, keeps his picture on her fridge.
Good-bye, my friend.