Pet Tips ‘n’ Tales: Painters’ Pup

Artists Emilie and Mike with their office manager, Victoria.

Emilie and Mike’s art ‘studio assistant’, or otherwise known as the ‘supervisor’” is their apricot, Standard Poodle, Victoria.

Their dog accompanies them to their studio “Artworks” in Vancouver, BC every day, except when they are high up on a scaffold painting a mural on the side of a large commercial building. Then their supervisor is stationed within talking range on a comfy bed.

Victoria lives to be with her people no matter where they are creating, rather than left home alone wondering when they are going to return to feed her a treat.

“Victoria is always with us no matter where we are,” said Emilie. “At our studio, Victoria is our designated greeter. She sits in her favorite location, by the door, wagging her tail at everyone who walks by. Mike and I usually paint oil on canvas, but we both enjoy the uncommon practice of painting with palette knives. Victoria made an appearance in a painting, as a reflection in the door.”

The couple put thought into what breed of dog would suit their lifestyle. They did an online quiz, and the poodle proved a paw-fect match; its activity level, size and the fact that there is no shedding creating a hypoallergenic pet.

“Victoria definitely is the perfect breed for us,” said Emilie. “Sometimes we wonder if she would like a sibling. She loves playing with other poodles, they have their own style and relate to each other on the same level. Poodles like to stand on their hind legs and kind of paw at each other. It is cute.

“We’ve observed Victoria’s intelligence and awareness. Their art paint, canvas, and supplies are everywhere in the studio and out on mural location doing murals. She is careful to walk around everything and doesn’t touch anything that isn’t ‘hers’. She patiently lays on her bed by the door, wags her tail, while watching us and people on the street. She is friendly and loves saying, ‘Hello’ to everyone she meets which garners her a lot of attention! Curious mural onlookers mention how content and happy she appears while we are stationed high above their heads. Victoria is always a safe distance away, so paint or tools can’t fall and hurt her. She is leashed between the bright orange cones that marks a safe zone for onlookers. We like talking to the friendly public as much as our dog loves greeting them.”

Victoria is smart, she taught herself to play ‘catch and fetch’ at home on the staircase. From her toy box, she selects a ball, runs to the top of the stairs and drops the ball. She waits a few seconds, and then chases after the ball, then she repeats!

“Our dog has the funniest frog-like way of sitting, with her legs splayed out,” laughed Emilie. “We tell her that she is not being lady-like or a proper poodle.”

The couple met by an odd co-incidence on Instagram. It was art that brought them together and they were both using the same hashtag #paletteknifepainting. They chose the name Victoria for their first-born fur-baby because they were married in Victoria British Columbia, Canada.

“Prior to our wedding, we picked her out, but had to wait until she was old enough to bring home,” said Emilie. “In hindsight, a four-syllable name might have been better, but she remains Victoria (never Vicky or Tori). Also, she rarely barks. We thought something was wrong with her vocal cords until the first time she saw herself in the mirror and barked. She is a French poodle, so she’s trained to wait to start eating until she hears the command ‘bon appétit.’”

We love our dog. She makes us laugh watching as she slowly picks toys out of her basket, one by one, until she finds what she is looking for.”


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