Memorial Portrait of Sophie, our Maltese.

For several months now, I have wanted to paint a memorial portrait of my Maltese, Sophie. But you know how one thing leads to another, and we forget about our best intentions...

Sophie was so sweet and very much MY dog. By that I mean that she had me in her sight at all times and if I sat for just a minute, she expected to be allowed to rest on my lap.

I was heartbroken when I had to put her to sleep in February 2021. She had been sick for two years and although she received the best veterinary care, her little body just had had enough. She had trouble moving, and wasn't interested in her food. And Sophie was a little gourmand in better times... Then she stopped drinking. We knew we couldn't let her suffer anymore.

Afterwards, the house was empty and quiet. No other dog would ever be as devoted as Sophie.

Once I was able to look through her photos without tearing up, I found a few that could serve as references for my portraits. Among some of my favourites are those below:


Famous people express their thoughts on their dogs.

"I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source." Doris Day.

"A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won't be too bad."  Robert Wagner.

"Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation, and almost as good for the soul as prayer…Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished." Dean Koontz.

“It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” John Grogan

First of two portraits of Sophie.

This first portrait was a gift for a dear friend who loved Sophie and took care of her whenever we were on holidays. (The second portrait will be published at a later date).

Sophie's portrait is in acrylic on a 6 x 6 canvas. The 1.5 “ side are painted and this smaller canvas can sit on a desk or on a bookcase.

Sophie, the Maltese portrait by Ottawa artist, Louise Primeau.
Sophie on a good day when she was healthy. She often looked like she was smiling.


View other pet portraits on my website.

Here are only a few of the memorial portraits I have painted of much loved fur companions in the past few years...


14 Responses

  • This one of Sophie, and indeed all of your pet portraits are wonderful – painted with so much skill, and with a love for dogs shining through them. I greatly miss our two Jack Russels, both lived till approx.18yrs… Bob has been gone about 3 years and Seth about 1 year. Hope to get another dog eventually.

    • Thank you Janette. When I paint for clients, I follow their wishes. But Sophie was painted as a gift for a friend so I could paint her as I pleased. We never forget our previous puppies. Even last night, when Rosie insisted on seeing out the car window, she was reminding me of one of Chico’s favourite things to do: sniff the air outside the car as we drove around town. Rosie will be one year old tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

  • I know how much you loved both of your previous dogs, our granddaughter keeps insisting that we should get one, and I know I would love it, it would certainly make me walk more than I do. One day! Sophie was such a darling and you will finish her portrait 🥰

    • We love our little Rosie. Each dog we have had has different personality traits and we are having fun just seeing her playfulness. We do walk much more now that we have her so that is definitely an advantage. But training a puppy is work! I imagine that there could be some challenges even with a more mature dog. Thanks for leaving a comment Sally.

I’d love to hear what you have to say...