depicts a position every dog enjoys, stretching and massaging its back.
Modeled lifesized from life, from nature, and a bit from photographs,
it is a loving combination of Joy's dachshunds Anna and Lizzie.
"In the Spring of 1996, though her health was failing, our dear Anna
posed on her back in her bed through about two-thirds of this clay. She
appeared to be comfortable, though she had heart and bladder problems.
Anna died during the early hours of May 7. Through tears, I did the hardest
thing I have ever done. I completed a front foot and a back foot. I worked
on one side of her face and by 5 o'clock I could do no more. I buried
my friend in the grave my husband, Brian, had dug earlier in the day.
For three weeks, I could not go into my studio. May 31, 1996 was the Dachshund
Club of St. Louis Specialty Show. At the invitation of my dachshund anatomy
mentor, Weldon Long, I took "Dreaming of Tomatoes," and told
breeders I was looking for a new model. Springfield, MO breeder, Rita
Toombs, came to my rescue with a gorgeous, retired, spayed, show girl,
Braaehaus Hometown Girl, call name, Lizzie. I told Brian all about her
and the very next day we drove six hours to get her. Two days after Lizzie
came home, I started to finish "A Good Life." I was particularly
interested to see the differences between Anna and Lizzie, who is from
the top Canadian breeder. The head evolved into Lizzie's head but the
body is essentially Anna's. The necessity of using two models was a blessing.
The piece could not have been as exciting otherwise! Friends kept saying
what 'a good life' Anna had. Naming this piece was much easier than making
it." - Joy Kroeger Beckner