It is understood that dogs, like their wild ancestor, the wolf, gather in packs. These packs consist of family groupings including parents and generations of offspring. One of the characteristics that separate dogs from wolves is dogs’ ability to bond and communicate with humans. Dogs accept humans as part of their pack.
In the summer of 2014, I cradled a puppy named Grover in my arms. My husband and I embarked on a 12-hour ride home with our new baby. We became an instant family on that ride. Grover was the final piece in the puzzle of all-the-things-I-knew-I-wanted. Love and family take many forms. There is an ideal portrayal of what the American family is. My family is not that. Still, I find all the joys, vulnerabilities, and daily routines that come with building a conventional family also exist in my little trio of eight legs. I was once alone listening for my small voice amidst the chatter of a larger world. Now I belong to a pack, the big voice in my little world.
The work-in-progress series, My Trinity is a Fortress, is an ode to my family. The images are my gratitude, my fears, and my pride. It is difficult to see what a thing is when you’re standing in the middle of it. So I illustrate my life in fantastical tableaus I can hold in my hands to gaze upon that which I cannot see from the inside.