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Exhibit shows bond between pets, owners

ENCINITAS — An exhibit at the Encinitas Library titled “My Best Friend,” showcases the special relationship that exists between Southern Californians and their pets.
The display runs through Aug. 29 and is presented by the city of Encinitas in partnership with Rancho Coastal Humane Society and Cardiff Dog Days of Summer.
Dogs, cats and exotic birds are featured as well as owls, chickens, donkeys and fish.
Artist Diane Stacy honored her 6-year-old cockatiel, Fifi L’Amour, with a chalk and ink drawing embellished with fabric, feathers and string.
Stacy said her love of birds goes back several years ago when she lived in San Francisco and bought a couple of parakeets who eventually began to breed.
“All of a sudden, I never got sad,” she said. “What I’ve learned from communication with birds is that they use visualization to communicate telepathically. Humans have it, but usually block it, or doubt it.”
Kathy Knight, a retired educator, made a collage using discarded magazines she got from the library. She adopted Sage, a “Jack Hua Hua” (Chihuahua-Jack Russell terrier) eight years ago from the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. Today he is 11.
“Sage changed my life,” she said. “At the time I got him, I didn’t know any of my neighbors. He opened up my world. In addition to my neighbors, I met people at the (Cardiff) campground.”
Artist Pat Piper used her skill as a mosaic artist to create a portrait of her two dogs, Spooky, a Rottweiler mix, and Rusty, a Heeler.
“Tom (my brother) found Spooky at Rancho Coastal Humane Society about 10 years ago when she was a puppy,” she said. “He says she found him.
“Rusty is a homeless puppy from a little town in Colorado.  He loves to run, swim and play ball to the max.  He is athletic and exuberant; a very happy (and lucky) dog.”
Software developer Tavis Hord used a CAD program to create a 3-D portrait of his purebred rat terrier, Girl. Hord got the pup 11 years ago as a gift from his brother.
“A neighbor purchased her as a puppy for $400, then chained her in the backyard,” he said. “When she began having seizures, they were going to euthanize her. My dad went over and got her, and my brother brought her to me.”
In total, more than 220 artwork submissions from throughout Southern California were entered. Only 55 were accepted. They represent the spectrum from folk art to fine art including master printmakers, collage, egg tempera, wash, oil, acrylic, pencil, ceramic, aqua tint, woodblock print and gouache.
“Everyone from kids to seniors is going to love this show!” said curator Jim Hornung. “Many of the artworks tell a story. The artists have written an artist’s statement to tell you about their best friend.”
“My Best Friend” was the idea of the Visual Art Selection Committee, which juries artist applications and selects 32 art exhibits that are mounted each year at the Encinitas Library and Encinitas City Hall.
The Encinitas Library is located at 540 Cornish Drive. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.  For more information, contact Hornung at (760) 753-5458.xx