In response to Ben's post
Here's some of my early works (I call them Sophisticated Sticks).  I put some form of these pups on each and every piece of art I do.  Generally, they lay about my feet while I'm creating and it's quite comforting and inspirational.

The big poodle is my Yenna.  The little one with her eyes open is Lady Bug.  The little one with her eyes closed is my late Molly.  And the lab sniffing at the snowman is Sophie.

I love my dogs!