Yesterday I received the most beautiful portrait of our RIP girl, Fanny. Fanny was a Golden Retriever born and bred in Denmark. We got her when she was 8 weeks old, back in 1998 and she was the first dog my husband and I had together. She traveled with us to England and across the Atlantic to the US. She was the sweetest and easiest dog you can imagine. Well if I think about it she was probably just as naughty as any other puppy when she was little. Ha ha ha

It was very very hard when we lost her in November 2008 to Lymphoma at the age of 10, but luckily we had a very cute and active Doberman puppy to keep us busy.

We shaved her in the summer to keep her comfortable as she had a very thick and heavy coat. This is the reason she doesn't look very hairy and actually quite young in these pictures that were taken when she was 10 years old.

This spring I browsed the internet looking for artists doing pet portraits. There are a so many artists doing different styles of painting but I kept coming back to the website of Melinda Byers. I contacted her to commission a portrait originally thinking that I wanted a painting done of our current dogs, the Dobermans, but I changed my mind and decided on having one done in memory of our sweet girl, Fanny. I knew immediately what photo I wanted to send Melinda for reference. It is my absolute favorite picture of Fanny as it really captures her softness and sweet personality. Also she looks so cute and puppy like even though it was taken just 3 months before we lost her. Melinda loved the picture and was very excited to paint her. She asked me to write a little bit about the soul she was painting to give her a sense of her personality. I love everything about the experience. Melinda has been great during the whole process and communicated regularly with updates on how she was progressing. She also took pictures of the portrait as it came along so I could follow the process. When she was done she sent me a photo for approval and when it was all ready to go she wrapped it up to perfection and had it shipped to me. It was very exciting to unwrap it and see the real thing. It brought tears to my eyes how well she had captured Fanny's soul and it felt like she was right there with me when I looked into her eyes. I actually think the painting is even better than the original photograph.

Photo of Fanny August 2008                                                  Painting of Fanny by Melinda Byers

Melinda paints more than just dogs. She is truly gifted and can paint pretty much anything. I did not know Melinda before I commissioned this painting but I think of her as a friend now. Please visit her website for more information