Sheltie named after the Star Trek character, paints pictures with his
paws on Thursday, January 23, 2003. The paintings are being auctioned
on eBay to benefit Sheltie rescue efforts by his owner, Kathy Cochran. (DENNIS WALL, ORLANDO
SENTINEL / January 23, 2003)
When it came to painting, Q accomplished more in
15 years than many artists do in decades.
His paintings raised more than $20,000 for animal charities and earned
him a spot on the Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Q, whose formal name was Q-Boy, died today with his family at his side.
Q was a Shetland sheepdog.
He was diagnosed recently with liver failure and went
downhill over the weekend, said his owner, Kathy Cochran of Longwood.
She and her husband, Mark, made the difficult decision to have Q put to
To let him die naturally
would be too painful for Q, she said. "That would be cruel."
Q was just a puppy when
the Cochrans bought him from a breeder. "He's just been the best dog,"
It was through owning Q
that Kathy Cochran learned about sheltie rescue groups and began
bringing shelties into her home. She estimates 200 shelties have come
to her home, some to stay, but many for foster care until a good home
could be found for them.
Recalling a television
show about a painting gorilla, she decided to see if Q could do the
same thing to raise money for sheltie rescue organizations.
So she put some blobs of paint on a canvas, gave Q the
command "High 5," and he started smacking the paint and canvas with his
paws. "It just came naturally to him," she said.
In early 2003, Cochran
sold one of the paintings on eBay.
Hoping to raise $50, she was stunned when bids soared to more than
$250. It ended up selling for almost $300.
Later that year she
learned that Smithfield
the Painting Pig was diagnosed with nasal cancer and surgery left his
owner in Virginia with a $5,000 bill. So a painting started by
Smithfield was finished by Q and sold to raise money. That painting
brought almost $700.
"He's done so much good,"
said a tearful Kathy Cochran. "He's helped save the lives of many
Gary Taylor can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org