Hope Retter is allergic to dogs.

That might explain why she only has four of them and loves working at The Watering Bowl. But somehow, we think the explanation has more to do with her love for our four-legged clientele that happens to be so big that it spills over onto canvas. And paper and the walls of TWB.

Hope is our resident artist. Even if you don’t know her personally, your dog is familiar with her work.

“I have over 200 dog portraits in homes all over St. Louis, as well as all over TWB. I even painted my dog, Diesel, for an album cover for a rapper in California,” says Hope with more excitement than pride. She truly loves what she does. And she sees her painting as a natural extension of her role as a team member at The Watering Bowl.

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“I price my paintings as reasonably as possible, because I think anyone who wants their dog immortalized on canvas or paper should get that opportunity.” And if you want to check out her work, we’re thrilled to refer you to her website.

You can see her passion for dogs in her work, whether it’s on the floor or on the wall.

She and Devin Rojas collaborated on the murals at our Brentwood and Dog Grove locations. She also rendered a three-part piece, featuring Madden, one of the founding dogs of The Watering Bowl doggy daycare, that can be seen in the lobby of the Dog Grove location.

Hope’s other hobbies include: yoga, reading, cooking, playing with her dogs and, fittingly, cleaning. Fighting her allergies means one shot per week and a focus on a hair-free environment. (This just in: Hope is actively lobbying for a Roomba this Christmas.)

She says, “I wanted to work at TWB because it seemed like a good company with a good vision and an open mind.” That’s great to hear. And we’re lucky to have her enthusiasm and earnest passion for dogs on our team.

Her four dogs enjoy the perks of the job, like following her into work from time to time. Diesel, aside from appearing on album covers, is a Pit/Coonhound who loves Frisbee, digging and obedience training.

Kirra is a 7 year-old pit who has trained Hope in the art of treat dispensing. Deja is a Corgi/German Shepard who favors squirrel chasing, belly rubs and trips to TWB. And then there’s Marge. She’s a 12 year-old Staffie who enjoys relaxing and posing for portraits that may or may not be painted of her.

Hope is planning a wedding in June to her fiancé, Jesse. And Deja is the frontrunner for flower girl. According to Hope, “My favorite part of working at TWB is getting to know each and every dog, and being around coworkers who are obsessed with canines the same way I am.” She goes on, “Who could ask for better ways to make a living? Petting dogs and painting pictures is what I get paid to do, and I couldn’t be more thrilled or grateful to be living the good life!”

Well Hope, keep it up. You have a whole pack of fans at The Watering Bowl.