I cannot imagine a life without dogs.  Having grown up with only cats, my love for dogs came much later in life than most.  My parents finally succumbed to our pleading for a dog when I was a junior in college, when my mom could not stop thinking about this poor, sweet dog she saw in a pet store. Convinced Y2K was going to end the world, she wanted this poor dog to know love before the world was obliterated due to too many zeros.  So we got Tucker, who turns out was a Schnoodle, and he taught me that dogs are THE BEST.  No seriously, is there anything better than the unconditional love of a dog?  He’s now old, half blind and deaf but he still is beside himself excited when I come to visit.  And now I have my own two rascals whom I am obsessed with, and I’d have ten more if I could. I seriously would, I think Andrew lives in fear that he’ll come home to a new dog every day.  I find myself envious of our dog walker, getting to spend her days surrounded by these loving, wonderful creatures.

Now that I have outed myself as “that crazy dog lady”, you can understand my current desire to have portraits painted of my boys. Dog portraiture goes way back in the history of interiors, and I for one would also like to add a few old paintings to my collection (and my new gallery wall which will be revealed soon too!)  I am in good company in this desire, as famed socialite Brooke Astor had quite a collection in her stairwell too! I die over this.



Another gallery wall of dogs that I love (but not the decor…)


A pilgrimage is in order for all dog portrait addicts to the NY William Secord Gallery.  


They sell a variety of works (I personally love the one to the left, as that is my exact view when I come home- two happy little pups at the top of the stairs).

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I love illustrator Happy Menocal’s loose, sketchy style of pet portraits… maybe someday!

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These portraits by Robin’s Egg Gallery have such fun backgrounds!





I’ve blogged about her before, but I am 99% sure I’ll go with Etsy seller Kate Pugsley for my portraits! Affordable and uber-talented!

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How about you? Have you or would you have portraits painted of a beloved pet?


  1. I also grew up with cats and now I am obsessed with dogs! We rescued a dog in Seattle before we moved here to NYC. Never going back to cats (first of all because my dog would terrorize the poor thing, always wanting to play, and also because my husband is allergic). I’m so obsessed with pooches that I oooo and ahhh over other people’s dogs (there are so many in Manhattan!), and my husband thinks I am crazy.

    With that being said, now I really want a portrait so I can remember my Bailey’s loyal little face! Great post!

  2. I’m in the same boat! Grew up with cats, etc. Finally convinced my husband to let us get a dog. I don’t know what we’ve been doing all this time without her.
    Your discussion on doggie gallery walls reminded me of a local steakhouse here, in Atlanta. If you’re ever in the area, make sure you drop in – they have an entire back room that is nothing but dog portraits. It’s fantastically whimsical and uber-traditional at the same time. I love it.
    Thanks for the artist suggestions – I, too, am dying to get something painted of our pup!

  3. I’m right there with you! My husband and I have 2 pups now and the chaos in our house is seemingly endless, but we are totally obsessed. We actually just moved into our first home, and there is a lot of original stained glass throughout the house… on the balcony leading up to the 3rd floor (which isn’t 100% liveable space currently) there was once stained glass windows which have since been removed and I seriously considered having stained glass pup portraits made to hang there… but that is super expensive! Maybe a lovely watercolor portrait will have to do instead.

  4. Too funny you posted this today. Last night we were at a friend’s house, and they have a whole hallway dedicated to pictures, portraits and canvases found from all over of all different dogs. Some of their own pups, but mainly a variety. There was also a vignette with dog books. It was the dog gallery, and it was awesome!

  5. This is the best post ever–mostly because it makes me feel much more normal about my dog obsession. Mine is very specific to dachshunds. We currently have two at home. But they are the 3rd and 4th in what will probably be a long line of rescue-dachshunds in my life!

    I’m very lucky to have a very talented mother-in-law, who has done color pencil drawings of two of my dogs. Now if I could only get the two new ones to sit still together long enough to get a decent photo, I would add to the collection!


  6. I grew up in a house with multiple pups at a time & our obsession continues to grow every year. I have been known to bring home a dog from a closing pet store or as a gift and in our family, no one ever seems to think that is crazy. It pains me that my husband didn’t grow up with dogs and doesn’t grasp how awesome they are and insists on us waiting to get one {literally killing me}. We also were that family who had oil paintings of our pups over our fireplace in our home growing up. Three paintings to be exact. I never ever thought it was weird. and would do it again in a heartbeat as a personal home decor item!

  7. My parents have legit oil paintings of their dogs. They actualy look pretty great in their house. I’d like something a little more modern for my dog, maybe a silohouette or a great photograph on canvas!

  8. As the proud, and blessed, owner of two Jack Russell terriers, I am loving the portraits included in your post. Thank goodness for our pets who serve as a constant reminder to stay present and enjoy the moment. They are like little buddhas.

  9. I commissioned a oil painting of my shih-zhu when she was 6 months old. I knew that baby face was going to disappear way too soon and wanted to have that moment captured forever. I love it. It’s definitely a conversation piece. You should definitely invest in having one done for your babies.

    Great post!

  10. I’ve thought about doing the same thing for our dog, Murphy. Right now she’s just in the family gallery wall upstairs, but I think a portrait might be in order!

  11. I grew up with FIVE daschunds. Mabel had puppies when I was 11 and then we kept them. Whoops!

    You and my mom would definitely get along :)

  12. oh MY!! Those happy menocal ones I die for! My soph (labradoodle) will definitely not be leaving this world without her portrait done at least once (or twice ;) thanks for the fab link!

  13. There is nothing, absolutely postively NOTHING better than a dog’s eternal love and companionship. They are special creatures. My husband lives in fear of the same thing- adding to our litter :)

  14. Love All those artists! Feel free to check my site out too! Lots of fun, punchy colors. I’ve been doing pet portraiture for years!

  15. Love All those artists! Feel free to check my site out too! Lots of fun, punchy colors. I’ve been doing pet portraiture for years! thechrisclarkartproject.com

  16. Love this idea!! I was bummed to read about your mom getting a dog from a pet store instead of a rescue though, hopefully your dogs are rescues and not puppy mill pets. :(

  17. I am obsessed with my dog Chumley, so naturally we had a portrait made and absolutely love it. Such a great idea for all animal lovers.

  18. On a recent visit to New Orleans, I made a bee-line for the George Roderigue Blue Dog art gallery. Roderigue is the ONLY artist who as been commissioned x2 to create an ad for Absolut vodka. I am obsessed but my bank account is sadly out of sync with the price tags. Check out his art at: http://www.wendyrodrigue.com/2010/01/red-dog.html

  19. Kelie- Actually, Tucker was basically a rescue as no one would buy him and he was days away from being euthanized. She has one rescue and one breeder dog, as do I.

  20. What a wonderful post!!! Thank you Erin for your review of not one but two of my favorite topics…Dogs (we have 3) and Painting. I never thought, that my Artistic endeavors, would include the painting of Custom Pet Portraits, but life is full of surprises…it all started with a friend asking me if I could paint her sister’s dog and hundreds of dogs and a few cats, couple of horse and donkeys, a goat and some chickens later…here I am. I hope you will feel free to stop by my blog and take a peek…

    LOVE your blog BTW!!!

    PS….and Thank you Allison for mentioning me.

  21. Thank you for the resources Erin, and every one else. I lost my 25 year old son suddenly the week before Christmas and since then, his 14 year old mini schnauzer is my only baby. I think I will get a portrait done too. :)

  22. I was lucky enough to grow up with dogs, and now I have my own beagle mutt who is one of the best, funniest parts of my life. I haven’t had a chance to get the painting done yet, but I’ve contracted this person to do a portrait of Sophie: adrianawillsie.com

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