Long Island Canine’s Refined “Palate” Pays Big for Animal Charity

Move over, Leonardo!

“Dog Vinci” is hurling the art world into the 21st century.

Actually, Dagger II, a three-year-old black lab from Long Island, wields a brush more like a mid-century modernist than a renaissance master. Still, these visual bon mots are fetching anywhere from $50 to $200 a pop with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Canine Companions for Independence, the animal charity that Dagger was meant to serve.

Painting was not always Dagger’s forte. He was originally in training to become an assistance animal, but his fear of stairs scrubbed that plan. Thanks to his nurturing adopter, Yvonne Dagger, the prodigious pup is now climbing the ladder of success. (Perhaps I could meet his agent!).

It all started one day when Dagger II approached Yvonne, an accomplished artist herself, while she was at work on a canvas. “ . . . he was nudging me and I asked if he wanted to paint and his tail started wagging, “ Yvonne told Pix 11 News.

Now, the two paint side-by-side. First, Dagger II follows mom’s commands to choose paint colors (interesting that he chooses colors from the full spectrum given that dogs tend to be color-sensitive only to blue-violet, yellow and combinations of the two, such as a muddy green). Armed with adaptive paint brush in mouth, Dagger then paints the world as he sees it - in broad, bold, unabashed strokes.

Among Dagger’s latest commissions is a 16x20 masterpiece for a Seattle, Washington couple. New commissions reportedly keep pouring in daily. To date, Dagger’s work has raised more than $1,000 for CCI.

Everyone needs to land a meaningful job, canine companions included.

Dagger never let his fear of stairs derail his ultimate greatness. Something to remember next time any of us steps up to life’s blank canvas.