Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Meet the Parched March Dogmother

Kimberly Wong goes behind the scenes with artist Tanya Dobble, creator of our Parched March PUP-UP dogs

This year, Parched March boasts a new, fun phenomenon: the PUP-UP. Around our participating bars you'll encounter four extraordinary canines. Their creator is Tanya Dobble, the dog-loving, greyhound-owning artist.

We met at Tanya's house in Sydney's west, where she was busy constructing the dog figures who later became Bodhi (designed by Jamie Durie), Neil (decorated by Mambo artist Lee McConnell), Snoop Doggy Rod (decorated by Mambo artist Julie Hong) and Modogliani, built and painted by Tanya.

Among Tanya's eclectic mix of Turkish rugs and modern pieces were the skeletons of the four faux canines - as well as two very real dogs: Tanya's rescue greyhounds, Patch and Sox. 

"Patch and Sox are inseparable brothers," said Tanya. "I remember the first time I saw them, when I picked them up from the airport. The way they looked at me was as if they were saying: 'Thanks for picking me.'" 

"That’s the best part about adopting rescue dogs. It’s almost like they know you’re giving them a second chance."

Tall, loping creatures with the grace of dancers, the two ex-racer Greyhounds immediately stole the hearts of the Dobble family.

"Animal welfare is a cause close to my heart, having adopted these two," said Tanya. "They were patiently waiting in foster care when I discovered them through the Friends of the Hound website."

The life-long dog-lover, who brings the ideal combination of artistic talent and devotion to animals to the Parched March PUP-UP, adopted the greys when they were four years old. Although very much retired, they have retained some of their racing habits.

"Patch refuses to walk up and down stairs," said Tanya. "And if they don’t want to do something, they’ll stay in the statue stance."

Speaking of statues, Patch and Sox have become rather fond of Modogliani, the greyhound PUP-UP inspired by Tanya's love of the breed. 

Modogliani in progress

Sox checks out Modogliani 
"Sox was enamoured with Modogliani," she said. "He saw me put him on the floor and bolted over to say hello, and was kissing and sniffing him. He did the same when I brought my babies home from hospital - such an earth mother! I'm going to have to make another one now to keep Sox company!"

Nearby, we discovered one of the Mambo pups, based on their famous Farting dog logo, ready to have his outer coat applied. This dog's secret was on display for the last time; beneath the wire and bamboo, Tanya has channelled the Wizard of Oz and popped a red heart in his ribcage. (If you rock the finished Snoop Doggy Rod gently, you can hear his heart beating.)

‘I can almost hear the barks!" laughed Tanya. "From drawing to 3D, I feel these dogs getting personalities as they take shape. There’s a different feeling for each one. There’s a lot of attitude in the Mambo dogs."

Snoop Doggy Rod and his beating heart Photo: Nikki To

Tanya’s passion lies in all things design, decoration and illustration. With a background in interior design and fashion and textile design, she manages her own design studio, Tanya Dobble, which focusses on sustainable Interior Design.

In between teaching Interior Design and VM Illustration at the Design Centre, Enmore, and Sydney Institute, Ultimo, running her  studio, managing three kids and two pups, Tanya is still able to devote her time to our great cause (and enjoy the occasional Mojito, too). 

"I love taking my designs on paper and translating them into 3D. It’s what I do," she said. "And I couldn't pass up the chance to create the model dogs for a good cause." 

We thank Tanya sincerely for lending her talents to Parched March 2013.

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