rt from THE HEART

How one woman and her dog are chang­ing the sou­venir scene


Peanut’s got a cushy life; he’s one of the lucky ones. His hu­man com­pan­ion, Marita, re­calls be­ing un­sure of whether tak­ing care of a dog was even a good idea, then chang­ing her mind al­most im­me­di­ately when she got her first good look at the lit­tle Shih Tzu. Her heart, ap­par­ently, was sold on the idea.

“When we got him, he could fit in­side his own bowl,” says the Fine Arts grad­u­ate, “[and he] just turned three this Jan­uary.” If you say that im­age doesn’t make your heart do funny things, we’re pretty sure you’re ly­ing!

Ma. Rita Al­cazaren de Leon -- Marita for short -- is an artist who, in no un­cer­tain terms, has di­rected her cre­ativ­ity into an ar­guably in­valu­able ser­vice. Key­chains don’t sound like much; they’re rather or­di­nary ob­jects that linger in the very ves­tiges of con­scious­ness, and nor­mally only come to the fore­front of our minds when we’re on va­ca­tion and need some­thing to bring back to our friends and co­work­ers.

But this is how Marita gave mean­ing to the mun­dane (and how Peanut helped).

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