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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n14)
Howling at the Moon by Susan Smith
posted: Jul. 09, 2010

Howling at the Moon header

When you live in Midtown (the neighborhoods of Broad Ripple, Butler-Tarkington, Meridian-Kessler and Mapleton Fall Creek) there's so much available for your needs that you don't really have to leave. Why would I want to fight the traffic and spend driving time and gas to go to Castleton and beyond? That's how I have been thinking for too long. Honestly, that's rather close-minded. It took an "event" to get me to venture beyond my neighborhood realm. What a stick-in-the-mud I've become! The event was a gallery showing downtown at the Athenaeum ArtSpace.
Six years ago we chanced upon local artist, Judith Sturges, who specializes in pet portraits. We were so head over heels with our newly adopted shelter dog that we just had to have her portrait done. It must have been an omen. We did not know at the time that we would be opening a pet food store and that every good business needs a portrait of their CEO (Canine Executive Officer). Judith was kind enough to be on hand at our store opening, nearly four years ago. We are on her mailing list so recently we got a postcard announcing an art show she was a part of. . . .. "For the Love of Dogs" the art of shelter dogs. The artists' reception was Friday night, July 2nd. This sounded like fun so off we went. It was wonderful. Seven of Indy's premier artists were on hand to share their illustrations, ten of which were dogs from Humane Society of Indianapolis. The biographies posted alongside some of the artwork was touching. I am told by curator Casey Jo Ailes (and fellow BRG columnist), that all but one was adopted. Jill Ditmire of Mass Ave Wine Shoppe (and fellow BRG columnist) was on hand pouring wine and serving cheese and crackers. For this event she was serving (no less) Black Dog, a sweet red from Madison Vineyards. The reception was very nice. Best yet is the opportunity for you to see this ongoing show. It is upstairs at the Athenaeum at 401 E. Michigan Street through July 30th. Never will you have this chance to view so many pet artists at one time. You can go and compare all of their work and gather information so that you can have your pet portrait made. The featured artists are James Kelly, Casey Jo and Curtis Ailes, Cindy Cradler, Christine Plantenga, Karen Seltzer and Judith Sturges. What makes this special is that many of the artists have previously been involved with Humane Society of Indianapolis, so this show which benefits HSI, is one more way they are giving. Should you be considering a pet portrait, now is the time because 20% of your purchase goes to the shelter. You can also stop in at our store and see work by Judith Sturges, Karen Seltzer and Christopher Harden. Chris is not showing at the Athenaeum but has been set up at the Paws in the Park event in Broad Ripple and has given generously to various rescue groups' fundraisers.
After oohing and aahing over all the fabulous doggie art it was time to set out in the night air to grab some dinner. I had forgotten just how lively and lovely downtown has become and this is why I need to get out more. Across the street at the Murat Temple, Jersey Boys was drawing a lively crowd. Down the street The Chatterbox looked inviting with tables out in front. We settled in at Old Point Tavern on their patio. While waiting for our order, a big semi arrived with a delivery for Marsh (formerly O'Malia's). He took up the whole street and maneuvered back and forth many times until he fit, in reverse, into their narrow, low, covered docking area. It was a fine art, skillfully practiced, perfected and not easily done. Call it the "Dance of the Semi". When it was unloaded he pulled out and honked. Everyone on the patio cheered and applauded. It had been most entertaining. Clearly, I'm not the only one who needs to get out more. Our dinner was quite good. The menu is great. Added to the fun was strolling actors in costume working the patio crowd for the theatre scene in the area. It was hard to leave. It was relaxing and entertaining.
I'm thinking now I will have to get Sara's portrait painted. She is our CFO (Chief Feline Officer) and we can't play favorites. She comes to work with me regularly. Pets make you smile!

Susan Smith is a life-long area resident and is the owner of City Dogs Grocery located at 52nd and College. Send your pet related questions/comments to
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Brought to you by: Broad Ripple collector pins
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