Meet Henry Blue, dog artist

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Henry Blue not only got a reprieve on life, but his next chapter finds he’s now a published author with an Instagram following.

Meet Henry Blue, dog artist. Henry is not an artist who paints dogs. Henry is a dog.

“He was at the Cowlitz County Animal Shelter on the list to be euthanized and someone saw potential in him and said, ‘This is a great dog. He deserves to be helped,'” said one of Henry’s humans, Jennifer Newton.

Henry Blue is a dog artist rescued at One Tail At A Time PDX, January 13, 2024 (KOIN)
Henry Blue is a dog artist rescued at One Tail At A Time PDX, January 13, 2024 (KOIN)

When Jennifer and Jamie Newton first met Henry, he was at OTAT — One Tail at a Time PDX — a no-kill, foster-based rescue.

“He was a dog who came in with two broken legs,” Jennifer said. “OTAT had done a lot of work, thanks to some great vet professionals in town who were able to put rods in his legs.”

OTAT fundraised for Henry Blue’s medical procedures and therapy. When he was ready, the Newtons adopted him and brought him to their farm in Forest Grove.

“He’s a happy, well-adjusted dog who ends up being a lot more acrive than we ever thought he’d be,” Jennifer said.

An example of Henry Blue's art next to the Henry Blue book, January 2024 (Courtesy to KOIN)
An example of Henry Blue’s art next to the Henry Blue book, January 2024 (Courtesy to KOIN)

And then, Jamie said, “one day we had a couple of toilet paper rolls he was nosing around in and we decided to hand that to him. And that became his favorite toy from then on.”

Jamie, who is an artist, said there is a consistency to the way Henry Blue plays with his favorite toy. He began photographing Henry Blue’s works of art. They had so many they published a book of his toilet paper sculptures called, “Henry Blue, The Incomplete Oeuvre.”

Henry can create a work of art in a matter of minutes, including during this interview.

“This is fairly typical for Henry’s work. This is a colander start, the delicate layering where he’s working the top. Some punctuations as accents,” Jamie said.

Henry Blue is a dog artist rescued at One Tail At A Time PDX, January 13, 2024 (KOIN)
Henry Blue is a dog artist rescued at One Tail At A Time PDX, January 13, 2024 (KOIN)

All profits from the book go to OTAT PDX, which recently opened its first physical location in Portland.

“I think there’s really a two-way street that happens for dogs like Henry Blue,” said Amy Dunn with OTAT PDX. “Maybe it seems like they need a little bit more, but they have just as much to give back.”

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