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Service Dogs Can Inspire

When Casper gets too busy helping Dad it can be hard for him to sit down and dictate a story to us. He has been VERY tired this weekend. We are going on a trip soon and life has been upside down.

When we get this busy we don’t want you to be left without anything to read so I like sharing other great animal/service dog stories with you. Today I want to talk about this amazing artist and his service dog, Hiley.

Tommy Hollenstein was a 24-year-old  art student in California when he suffered a cycling accident that left him wheelchair bound.

“I thought that art was stolen from me,” Hollenstein recounts in this HuffPost video. “I thought creativity was all in my hands. I didn’t realize it was really hidden within.”

Then, 12 years after his accident, he was inspired by a new muse, his service dog.

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Photo Credit: http://www.tommyhollenstein.com/category/news/#!prettyPhoto[Gallery]/2/

One day he decided to have Hiley walk across a canvas with paint on her paws to memorialize her. Then he thought it would be nice to add tracks from his wheelchair along side it. That was it. The inspiration came back and has not left him again.

Today Hollenstein paints regularly and has had many celebrities buy his work.  (I would love it if I could afford one myself!) He has regular gallery shows and has done some ability expo demonstrations for others in wheelchairs. His work also raises awareness about the abilities of other artists who are challenged with life in a wheelchair. His upcoming show  is presented by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. “Equality for All Artists” open on August 17th at Gallery 825 in Los Angeles.

Hollenstein’s paintings are inspirational, with titles like “Accept,” “Courage,”  and “Forward.” This positive attitude has inspired me to share his work with you. And, of course, his beautiful dog, Hiley.  They are both a great inspiration to many.

For more information about Tommy Hollenstein and his art please visit http://www.tommyhollenstein.com/ .