Pace, The Service Dog

My painting, Faith, portrays Fr. Pat Mascarella seated at St. Joseph’s Cathedral with his service dog, Pace. I used a photo taken by a friend attending a service in the cathedral. A collector purchased the original at an exhibit at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol and contacted me to see if I would have prints available (yes!) because a family member was interested in purchasing several.

Pace served Fr. Mascarella for many years, recently retired, and lives with a family member.

After a few weeks of missed connections, I was finally able to deliver the prints and meet Pace.  He is a large dog who had completed ten years of service and was about to retire when he was adopted by a member of Fr. Pat’s family. Pace allowed me to pet him even though I am sure he could smell my three cats.

A photo my friend, Paula W., took of Fr. Mascarella with Pace at St. Joseph’s Cathedral

 

 

 

Later in the day, my friend who took the picture I used  stopped by my studio. I told her about meeting the service dog, and she told me about attending the anointing of the sick service with a friend who had been ill. Fr. Pat came in, sat in the front pew, and in the aisle was Pace,  so calm and peaceful. She thought it was a great photo opportunity.

What a coincidence these two meetings took place on the same day. Making this painting was an emotional experience; it was hard to hold back the tears when painting Pace. I was worried he did not understand where his companion was. After meeting Pace, I felt that he knew exactly where Fr. Pat was, in heaven.

Fr. Mascarella’s service dog, Pace, patiently waits.

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