Hi, I'm Vicki Holt--I want to share with you how this work is interwoven in my life and why it is so important to me.
From earliest childhood I recall having a deep affinity for animals and nature. I grew up in a small western Washington town and counted dogs and cats, barn mice, frogs, and even insects as my friends. I left Washington as a young adult to live in other states and abroad but returned to the northwest after twenty years.
During those years I searched for my life's work, but it was not until the disappearance of my dog, Copper, that I caught a glimpse of it. Each day as I swept through local animal shelters looking for Copper, I saw the hopeful eyes of so many animals yearning for a home. The memory of those homeless pets continued to haunt me even after Copper was returned a few months later. In the meantime my family had grown: I had added a cat and a rare breed of dog called a Kuvasz. I soon discovered this breed was showing up in shelters with increasing frequency, so it wasn't long before I volunteered to represent the Kuvasz breed with Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue. I have been active in dog rescue ever since.
As I moved along this path, an unexpected opportunity arose. In 1998, I discovered a latent artistic talent. I began painting portraits of pets for friends and family. Through referrals, my portrait business grew. With each portrait I would find myself connecting with the animal's energy, even though I was working only from photos. That communication resulted in wonderful portrayals of people's pets.
The more involved I became with animals through rescue, painting, and my own companions, the more I was drawn to work with them. After first one then the other of my two dogs reached the end of their lives, I took in a feral cat as a companion for my original cat Pewter. I also began to offer day care and overnight care for the pets of others.
I now divide my time among rescuing dogs and cats, pet sitting, painting pet portraits, and working part-time in an environmental career. Through each of these pursuits my life is enriched, and I am able to express my belief in the value and wisdom of all living things.