I met with the client and we talked about her husband and the things he enjoys doing (skiing, bicycling, etc.), then she added that if I could include her second most favorite being (Beabie, the family dog) she would be most happy. I asked if Beabie enjoyed skijoring (the dog wears a harness and pulls a skier), and she replied, “Beabie doesn’t like to do much of anything!”
That gave me an idea and I knew just what to do. I inverted the relationship to create a much more comical scene and had the skier (who is represented by a caricature of the client’s husband) pull the canine who hangs onto a bar as if waterskiing. It was a hit with the whole family and even Beabie was impressed when it came out of the box. Alas, it was her last Christmas, but at least she was able to see her image immortalized in wood.