It’s pumpkin carving season, and for many us dog lovers that means immortalizing our four-pawed pals in flickering lanterns. A few days ago, we received this image of a pretty stupendous dog-o’-lantern from last fall. We asked the carver, Julie Life, how and why she created her canine tribute.
DIY: Pupkin carving timeBy Lisa Wogan, October 2010, Updated February 2015
Why: “My husband asked me to make it last year for a little carve contest in our town,” says Life, a high school science teacher living near Newport, Ore. “We won $50 and went out to dinner with the money.” Life is also an agility dog trainer (Agility 4 Life) and runs a poop scoop service called The Poop Thief.
How: Life made her own stencil from a pen and ink drawing, and used a pumpkin carve kit, available in any store. She says photographing the illuminated pumpkin was the hardest part.
Time: The carving took four hours from beginning to end.
Bonus tip: Storing the pumpkin in the fridge every night helped the pumpkin keep longer.
Inspiration: The pumpkin is carved in the likeness of Bob Hay and Julie Life’s English Mastiff, Brutus, who defied a diagnosis of lupus to live to 11 years old. He had a great life, despite his medical challenges, including medications that eventually caused him to become diabetic and blind. “He traveled everywhere with us,” Life says. “He also was well known in our little town and I think he was integral to causing the increase in Mastiffs that we now see in our local area.”