Pensacola, Florida
Thursday September 18th 2014

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How Deep Is Your Pet Love?

By Sarah McCartan

We’ve all known at least one person, if not more than one, who has boldly, and perhaps even brightly, decided to get a tattoo of something visibly representative of their significant other tattooed on their body.

While it’s certainly nice to assume that select individuals will remain permanent fixtures in our lives and be around forever, or at least until we are old and grey, the problem with people is that they can leave you and forsake you. And then there you are, left with a name or face plastered on your body. Cool story.

True, having someone else’s name or face tattooed on your body doesn’t automatically equate with relationship failure but, overall, it’s relatively safe to assume that tattoo artists rake in some serious wads of cash for cover up jobs done to erase the memory of ex-lovers. In fact, I would even bet that the number of these cover up jobs probably falls not too terribly far behind the number of cover ups tattoo artists regularly perform to mask so called “tramp stamps.”

If you are looking to get a tattoo of someone you love, why not dedicate your ink to someone who has been right by your side through thick and thin. Someone who couldn’t possibly cheat on you. Someone who will never abandon you.
Your pet.

Like all tattoos, pet tattoos come in endless shapes and sizes and can range from nearly microscopic one-color paw-prints, to detailed, elaborate, full color portraits.

Tattoo artist at Hula Moon, Shauncey Fury, cites having done nearly 30 detailed pet portraits—some for individuals seeking to permanently capture the characteristics of their current pets, others seeking to pay homage to pets that have passed. Fury has even tattooed pet portraits on law enforcement officials as tribute to the special bond they share with their canines.

“It’s really half and half,” said Fury. “Some are obsessive pet owners. But a lot are memorials.”

A Walking Tribute
For local resident Erika Eskildsen, her pet portraits were done to honor two very special pets.

These tattoos honor the memory of the first pets she ever owned—her dog Gigi, whose portrait is situated on the front of her right thigh, and her cat Dodger, situated on her left. The portrait of Gigi she has had for nearly five months, while the one for Dodger was a much more recent addition within the last month.

“These two animals were the first cat and dog that I ever owned, so I wanted something long lasting to remember them by,” explained Eskildsen. “I knew I wanted them to be big enough so that all of the detail could be shown, so I decided the thighs would be the best place to make that happen.”

Like with other tattoos, a certain look or style, was selected. For the portrait of Gigi, Eskildsen was going for something that captured both her visible features and personality, and provided photographs to mirror.

“There were a few pictures I gave Shauncey to go by. He was able to capture her exact stance from the pictures with the tattoo,” said Eskildsen.

“This portrait of Gigi is done in a very realistic style, with her wearing a pearl necklace and a crown. These accessories were chosen because she was a very spoiled dog for her entire 17 years of life,” she said.

For Dodger, Eskildsen wanted something a little less literal, more characterized. This portrait was done by Pete Taylor at Working Man Tattoo.

“The portrait of Dodger was done based on a combination of him being a unique looking orange cat, but also combined with him looking like the Terminator,” she said. “I chose to do the cat tattoo differently because Dodger’s life was a little more adventurous than Gigi’s, but that never slowed him down.”

Eskildsen found Dodger in the middle of the road when he was a kitten.

“The adventures and trips to the vet carried on throughout his life until his passing at age 22,” she said.

Although these particular portraits are fully-involved, here are a few other options if you are not quite ready for such a sizeable commitment.

Pawesome!
Whether or not you want to go as far as to trace your own pet’s paw prints for this tattoo is up to you. A quick stamp on a paper would allow a tattoo artist to readily immolate your pet’s paws and permanently stamp them on your skin. Of course there is always the option of a cluster of multiple, smaller paws in one area, almost as if your pet is walking on your body.

Bad to the Bone
Nothing visually signifies a pooch quite like the graphic of a bone. And it’s such a recognizable graphic it doesn’t have to be large in size, or brightly concentrated with color to carry a lot of weight and serve as an undeniable tribute to your pup.

Tag, You’re It
To permanently inscribe your pet’s initials in a more graphically-based fashion, consider a dog or cat tag with their initials in place. And maybe even yours too, depending on your level of closeness to your pet. If you are looking to fill up a larger space on your body, you can always go for the entire collar the tag is affixed to.

Feeding Frenzy
This may get a bit trickier, but if your pet just so happens to be a fellow foodie—meaning they love to eat so much that they just live for dinner time, you can always capture their favorite time of day if you so choose—food dish, pet treats, you name it.

While we certainly realize Hula Moon isn’t the only place in town to get a pet tattoo, Shauncey, Famous Gabe, and the rest of the all-star team, come highly recommended for all of your tattoo desires. Plus, many of them have pet friends of their own.

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Hula Moon will be offering a festive, and pet-friendly tattoo special on Friday Sept. 13. In celebration of their thirteenth birthday, they will be doing commemorative Friday the thirteenth tattoos for just $13. This special runs all day and all proceeds go to benefit animals in need at The Humane Society of Pensacola.

Hula Moon
473 N. Pace Blvd.
470-0454
hulamoontattoo.com