A Priceless Gift

Friday afternoon, I heard the toot of our mail delivery truck’s horn. Lori, our friendly mail person, always toots the horn when I have a package waiting. She handed off a rather large box. I discovered it was from my friend, Donna. Donna is a fellow blogger who writes the wonderful blog, An Enchanted Cottage. We go back a long way, as Donna was one of the very first bloggers I met when I started blogging back in February of 2008. We have been friends ever since. We have a lot in common, not the least of which is our deeply felt love for all creatures. We are animal lovers, pure and simple. We believe in rescuing our pets, in finding a home for those dogs and cats who are in shelters and have been abandoned.

When I read Donna’s card and note, the tears started. And as I unveiled her gift, they poured.

Donna, who is an artist, created a piece of altered art from my favorite photo of Riley and Scout. Here’s the original photo:

I snapped this picture one day when I was sitting in the living room. It was one of those moments in time that I would have missed had I not had my camera right beside me.

Donna painted out the background and embellished the dogs with her hand painting.

Another view in the late afternoon light on the day I opened it :

Not only did Donna beautifully and lovingly enhance my babies, she matted the artwork and added a favorite quote. And placed it under glass in a beautiful white tray.

Don, who came home while I was unwrapping it, and by the way, Donna sent this to both of us, was stunned. He couldn’t believe someone would do this for us. I couldn’t either. But I know my friend Donna and I know how big her heart is.

I love that quote.

We love and miss our boy. Scout misses him. This moment in time, when Scout gently checked on her brother who was getting increasingly frail, breaks my heart and fills my heart at the same time. And now I have this unbelievably beautiful piece of altered art – this lovingly painted portrait of my beloved children – from a dear, dear friend. It is priceless to me, as is her friendship.

Donna lives in Massachusetts. I live in New York. We often talk about meeting up at some point halfway between our homes. It’s only a couple of hours away. Donna, once the winter weather is past, we are going to do it. That’s my vow.

Thank you.

Happy Sunday.


  1. Donnamae says

    Wow, Claudia! That is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Donna is not only a great friend, but also very talented. Hope you do get to meet! 😉

  2. says

    Oh my gosh, I am raining tears. What a wonderful surprise. I love the verse and the painting is so stunning. I am sure this is a treasure for you. I know how you miss your dear doggie. (((((HUGS))))) and Donna you are a wonderful person for doing that.

  3. GinaE says

    Oh Claudia, what a wonderful gift!!!!! You know I share in grieving right now for my own sweet girl, and I am so glad you have such a special friend in Donna. She is a gifted artist and has used that gift to give you such a beautiful way to always have Riley with you.
    Hugs, Gina

  4. Julie says

    Claudia – that is so beautiful, so thoughtful, especially this time of year. Your friend, Donna has a beautiful soul. I have to visit her blog now. Thanks for sharing, J

  5. says

    How absolutely beautiful! All of it, the original photo, the moment between the babies, the painting, and the friendship that has blossomed into the kind that gives such a gift. Just lovely. I am so glad you had the love of Riley. I pray you have Scoutie for a very long time to come.

  6. pam mikel says

    simply stunning. what a talented friend….there couldn’t have been a more thoughtful gift for you both. what a tribute, what a dear soul to have created this tribute.

  7. Regena Fickes says

    How blessed are you are to have such a wonderful friend. What a lovely tribute to the kind of love few people will ever take time to know. What a blessing to Donna to be able to make someone so happy. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  8. says

    Oh Claudia, that is just the most amazing gift. Donna is an angel, so talented and so full of love to do this for you.

  9. says

    Claudia, you are so sweet. Now I’m crying once again, just listening to you talk about your Scout and Riley. I couldn’t imagine using any dog quote but that one (and I have many saved). You and Don could have been the inspiration for that quote :) And yes, we SHALL meet up this summer for sure!

    Love and hugs,

  10. says

    Isn’t this blogging thing the best? To make such a dear and generous friend via this medium is just awesome. As a fellow artist, I know how much work it was to make this treasured art piece. You are loved.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  11. Annette Tracy says

    Claudia, how wonderful Donna did this beautiful picture. Her shading and detail is amazing. You owe it to yourselves to get together this summer.

  12. says

    Well, I needed a little early evening cry. That is such a beautiful gesture of friendship. How wonderful. I am off to visit this most wonderful woman- xo Diana

  13. says

    What a precious friend to take the time and make the effort to do something so generous and loving for you. Her work is just beautiful and it will be something you and Don will treasure forever!!

    What a friend she is to you.


  14. says

    What a fabulous present, Claudia! That is absolutely phenomenal. I’m so glad she did this for you. That’s something to cherish forever.



  15. Lori says

    I’m sure there are no words to say what this has meant to you…
    It is simply beautiful .


  16. says

    Claudia, I’m so happy for you! This just warms my heart that Donna would do such a kind loving thing such as this for you and Don! It’s wonderful when you can truly connect with another blogger. The artwork captures your babies essence is a beautiful way.

  17. Dianne R says

    Can you stand one more sloppy teary eyed comment re Donna’s quiet gift of love? Made and sent w/out your knowledge, arriving so unassumingly, yet a package that filled your heart. That IS the type of thing friends do. You and Donna are lucky to have each other.

  18. says

    What a beautiful and heartfelt gift, Claudia, representing not only your beloved Riley, but also your special friendship with the artist. I’m sure you’ll treasure it always.


Please check back to follow the conversation!