Britain is a nation of dog lovers with owners frequently lavishing hundreds - and often thousands - of pounds on their pooches.
The latest canine craze is for owners to commission portraits of their beloved pets to hang in their houses.
Here EIMEAR O'HAGAN speaks to six devoted dog owners who did just that.
JANET WATSON, 49, is a part-time book-keeper and lives in Rugby, Warwickshire, with her partner Ian, 49, an electrical contractor, and their seven border collies. Scroll down for more...
Priceless: Janet Watson with two of her seven border collies
She says: "Commissioning dog portraits has become something of a tradition in my house.
"I don't have any children so my dogs have a very special position in my family.
"People might say I'm mad to have spent around £1,500 on dog portraits over the years, but they're worth every penny to me."
BARBARA GOTT, 62, is a medical secretary and lives in Keighley, West Yorkshire, with her lhasa apso, Benji, 14. She says: Scroll down for more...
Hopelessly devoted: Barbara Gott with Benji
"We spent a few hours at the portrait artist's house so she could get to know Benji and take photos of him in different poses.
"It cost £100. Benji is my best friend. I'm so happy that I will have such a wonderful reminder of him when he passes away.'"
KAREN SAUNDERS, 45, is a chartered surveyor and lives in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, with her fiance Richard, 45, the MD of an insurance software company, her daughters Charlotte, 19, Emily, 16, and their great dane, Arthur. She says:
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Softie: Karen Saunders with her great dane Arthur
"Arthur measures seven feet from nose to tail. People can be intimidated by his size but he's a softie.
"The portrait cost £500 and is the best present I've ever had. People have family portraits done, and, to us, this is no different."
JACKIE GARRATT, 34, a foster carer, lives in Dishforth, North Yorkshire, with her husband Dave, 53, a driving instructor, their border collies Dexter and Millie, and lurcher Jed. She says: Scroll down for more...
Marvellous: Jackie Garrat with border collie Dexter
"My husband struggles when it comes to buying Christmas presents. But last year he surprised me with a marvellous colour portrait of Dexter.
"The portrait cost £250 including the frame. Dexter came to us two years ago as a rescue puppy.
"He's an integral member of our family, and his portrait is a recognition of the joy he brings us."
DEBBIE THOMAS, 36, is a customer services adviser and lives in Aldbourne, Wiltshire, with her partner Ian, 50, and their two border collies, Molly and Chaz. She says: Scroll down for more...
Special: Debbie Thomas with Molly and Chaz
"As I don't have children I lavish all my love on Molly and Chaz. I had always been keen to have a painting of the dogs, and last year Ian and I saw a stand advertising dog portraits at Crufts.
"A framed portrait cost £500. I know people might think we're bonkers for spending so much on a dog portrait, but it's so much more special than a photo because you know a lot of time has gone into it and it captures my dogs' personalities perfectly."
LIZ KRETSCHMER, 28, is a psychiatric nursing assistant and lives in Cwmbran, Wales, with her three boxers, Ellie, Tara and Tammy. She says: Scroll down for more...
Spoiled rotten: Liz Kretschmer with boxer Tara
"I spoil my dogs rotten - they have beds in the living room and in my bedroom but they all prefer to sleep on my bed, with me squeezed in at the edge. "The portraits remind me of how much I love my dogs."
Pawtraits of love: The dedicated owners who paid hundreds to immortalise their pets for ever | the Daily Mail