Wheeled dog immortalised in artwork
AN ADORABLE Westhoughton “Jackdoodle” Billy, who featured in the Bolton News last month, has gained yet another admirer.
Billy, who uses wheels instead of back legs after a slipped disc left him paralysed seven years ago, has now been immortalised in a work of art.
Keen amateur artist Les Calberbank, aged 80, from Lostock, was so touched by Billy’s story — he has defied the experts by surviving so long with such debilitating injuries — that he produced a painting of him as a gift to his owner.
Billy’s owner Diane Halloran, aged 50, was thrilled at Mr Calderbank’s gesture.
“It is absolutely fantastic, I’m really pleased with it and it’s going to take pride of place in my front room,” said Mrs Halloran.
“Mr Calderbank’s been very kind — it’s in a lovely frame.”
The 12x10 painting is a copy of the image of Billy with another of Mrs Halloran’s dogs, Theo, which appeared in the Bolton News.
Mr Calderbank said: “When I read the story in the paper, I thought what a wonderful lady.
“She clearly cared a hell of a lot about the dog and spending that money so it wasn’t put down was just fantastic.”
He does not accept money for his paintings, instead suggesting that people make a donation to Bolton Hospice, who cared for his wife Valerie before she died four years ago, by way of thanks.
“My satisfaction is seeing the looks on people’s faces when they see the painting,” he explained.
“I do get some pleasure from that, because the paintings are eternal — they will preserve people’s memories.”
Mr Calderbank took up painting about ten years ago after he retired and mainly does animal paintings for people who have recently lost their pets.
He also has depicted David Cameron and his cat, and was pleased to receive a letter of thanks after he sent the painting to Downing Street.
Of Billy, who came with Mrs Halloran to receive the painting at Mr Calderbank’s home, he said: “I thought the dog would make a really lovely painting and I’m glad the owner’s pleased with it.”
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