A Winslow Artist has raised £400 for the Medical Detection Dogs by auctioning off a portrait of Magic: the diabetes-detecting Labrador.
The work of art, created with charcoal on cartridge paper, sold two days before it was scheduled to be displayed, at Buckingham Art for All’s exhibition over the weekend of November 18 and 19.
Becky Gouverneur, a mum and former art teacher, took home ‘best in show’ at the event, held at the community centre, which Magic himself attended.
The artist’s late father lived with Diabetes, and the cause has always been close to her. She explained: “Having lost my dad, who was diabetic, in a car accident I had begun to reassess what I wanted to do with my life and to try and make a go at life as an artist.”
“It makes you think I could be gone tomorrow and if I haven't done what I want to do now, it could never happen. It made me take the leap.”
“One of my new year's resolution was to do some work for charity and it’s all just came together so perfectly.”
Becky got in touch with the Medical Detection Dogs charity, based in Great Horwood, and asked to borrow one of their hard-working medical pups.
Becky added: "That's when I got to meet Magic, and Magic is literally magic. When I was taking pictures of him, he did his alert while I was there and reminded his owner, Claire, to take her test.
"He's a particularly special dog because, when he started, Claire was a diabetic nurse working in a hospital around children who were also diabetic.
"He had to learn how to alert Claire but not alert her when the children needed alerting. He's a really talented animal, they all are - and £400 is just drop in the ocean compared to how much it costs to raise a medical detection dog, but if it goes anyway to help raise the profile of the charity then that in itself makes it worthwhile."
Commenting on the sale of the portrait Claire Pesterfield said: “Magic has completely changed my life. Without him I would be testing my blood glucose level every 20 or 30 minutes, to try and preempt what was going to happen.”
“I’ve used all the latest technology that’s out there, and it still doesn’t give me enough warning to prevent the episodes, or make them less severe. In the three and a half years we’ve been together, he has alerted and potentially saved my life 3,500 times. And he does it all for a dog biscuit.
“I know without him, I wouldn’t be alive today.
“I am so grateful to Becky for painting such a beautiful portrait of Magic and to the generous person who has bought it. They can rest assured, the money will go to an excellent cause.”
Becky is now selling prints and cards to raise more. Head to her website for more info: www.BexArts.co.uk