Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Altar to Honor Shelter Dogs

Dias de Los Muertos 2009

Dias de Los Muertos 2009
Originally uploaded by Calsidyrose
I have been making yearly altars for Dias de los Muertos since the early 1980s. This year's offrenda honors my Shelter dogs who have crossed the rainbow bridge: Queeny, a Queensland Heeler girl who died of distemper, and JoJo, a fawn pit bull boy who had to be euthanized due to aggression.

Although this altar is dedicated to two individual Shelter dogs, it is also a memorial for all the millions of dogs euthanized or killed each year in American animal shelters.

This altar features most of the traditional elements, including marigolds, religious items, representations of the dogs, candles and a dog dish full of Milkbone biscuits. The collar contains tags recalling my various foster dogs for 2009, including the dogs which I have placed in new homes. The small clay muerto dog is from Mexico, while the cloth painted dog is my own creation.

This year, I purchased a new piece of oil cloth and a lovely cotton runner from Casa Ramirez in the Houston Heights. This family-owned hub of Mexican culture hosts a yearly Dias de Los Muertos procession.