home about contact
kay's blog
personal stories and ethical willsorganizational & corporate historiesanimal companion stories

Pet stories ~ celebrating our animal companions

Oral historian Kay Reid will create the story of your beloved pet, past or present.
Artist Maggie Wisdom will paint a portrait of your pet, or you and your pet together.


Kay’s Stories

kay and her dogIn recording life histories, I have been moved and occasionally astonished by people’s stories of their animals, who endure in our memories as do favorite teachers, aunts and uncles. I’ve learned a lot from listening to people’s pet stories. For some of us a beloved dog may be an instinctual animal who smiles at us because of meals, and walks where it gets to sniff the grasses. For others the beloved pet, whether beautiful, cute or handsomely ugly, is a being with a soul and a singular once-in-the-universe personality.

When a beloved animal dies, our hearts break. When my old, old Bonita could not stand up at all and the day came for putting her down, people came to say goodbye. When the little girl, now a teen, who’d taught Bonita how to shake hands years ago came up the stairs, old Bonita struggled and struggled to greet her friend and almost made it to her feet. I’ll always cherish this moment.

I welcome the opportunity to help you record the story of your animal companion, past or present. In a two-hour conversation, I will gently prompt you with questions and audiotape your recollections. After transcribing the tapes I’ll give you the document for changes you might make. Finally, I’ll write up your memoir of your pet and present it to you as a sharp, printed story.

You can reach Kay Reid at:


Maggie’s Portraits

I have worked for many years as a fashion illustrator and animation artist and am now returning to my first love, portrait painting. I am a graduate of Chouinard Art Institute and California Institute of the Arts, where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts. copyright Maggie WisdomWhat I love most about the process of painting a portrait is seeing the individuality of the subject emerge as I work. In a portrait of a person and pet together, it's fun to see the relationship become visible in the painting.

copyright Maggie WisdomMy portraits can be of one or more pets or of a person with a pet. I can work from old or new photographs (prints or digital). I have sometimes worked from several photos to make one composite painting. For instance, one client requested a large painting that would include the five cats which had been part of her family over the years. If you do not have a good photo of a present pet and if you live in the Portland area, I will be happy to come to your home to photograph you or your pet.

I work in acrylic paints on archival quality canvas board and my portraits are available in several sizes, all of which will fit standard frames that can be purchased in art or craft stores.

You can reach Maggie Wisdom at: