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Celebrities and their dogs star in portrait auction

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Famed names from the world of TV, fashion and music have posed with their beloved pets for a series of candid portraits that are being sold in an online auction to raise money for Dogs Trust.

In a touching testimony to the power of relationships between Man's Best Friend and their owners, the four-legged friends of celebrities including Blur's Alex James, Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Elle MacPherson and Daisy Lowe, were captured in photographs taken by famed animal portrait artist Gerrard Gethings. He worked with PetsPyjamas.com, an online style emporium for dogs, to create the limited edition prints.

Bidding in the auction began yesterday here, with opening prices starting from £200. The portraits will also go on show from 21 - 29 March at the PetsPyjamas gallery at 81 Leonard Street, London. Funds raised will go to the Dogs Trust, the UK's largest dog welfare charity.

We've grabbed a sneak preview of some of the celebrities featured, along with their heartfelt tributes to their pets. These photos show the stars photographed with their pets - but in the online auction photos, the pets appear alone...

Fashion expert Caryn Franklin with Major Wendy Tigson, the Mini Schnauzer

"Our Tiggs is such a huge personality," says Caryn. "She looks permanently cross but she is a great big love sponge. We have great fun making voices for her as Major Wendy. And of course, the fact that she looks like one of her owners - stripey grey hair and stern - allows for even more send ups from the rest of the family."

Mr Selfridge actress Amanda Abbington and Arthur, the Standard Long-Haired Dachshund

"Arthur has a tendency to walk into things. He is a very clumsy dog," says Amanda. "And quite miserable. But that's part of his charm. I like to think of him as the canine equivalent of Oliver Hardy. I have three dogs and wouldn't be without any of them. I adore them."

Dan Gillespie-Sells, lead singer of The Feeling, with Ted, the Kerry Blue Terrier

"He makes me laugh as much as any of my friends," says Dan. "For a terrier he is pretty cuddly. He likes being close to us and if you are sick he will sit with you on your bed until you are well again."

Presenter Jenni Falconer with Alfie, the Puggle (a pug-beagle crossbreed)

"Alfie will do anything for chicken! Anything," says Jenni. "He is like a ninja and in a way similar to Tom Cruise in a Mission Impossible movie, he can get himself on to high tables where a plate of chicken awaits. It is a mystery how he does it but if he entered the krypton factor, he'd win the assault course challenge."

Actor and producer Leo Gregory with Che, the Alaskan Klee Kai

"Che is my first dog and quite honestly a whole bloody lot more. He's so special I just love the little man to bits!" says Leo. "We going running most mornings, long walks, watch a bit of boxing or football and he's even allowed to sneak into my favourite Italian restaurant with me.

"When he came home at eight weeks old he was like this funny little living teddy bear who didn't like crate training. Now, quite simply he's my best friend, my partner in crime (not literally), my BOY!"

The Saturdays' Vanessa White with Maggie, the Puggle

"Maggie is special as she’s not just a dog, she's part of the family," says Vanessa. "She loves a cuddle and a sleep. Some days we have to wake her up three times before she'll rise! Whenever there are other animals on the TV (even cartoon ones) she will make noises like she is talking to the TV. She is a very clever girl. We can't imagine life without her now."

Alex James of Blur with Sox, the Whippet

"The only thing we ever disagree on is whether or not he should drink my coffee when I'm not looking," says Alex.

Presenter Brix Smith Start with Pixie and Gladys, the Pugs

"They are my soul mates and I couldn’t live without them," says Brix. "Dogs live in the here and now. They are present in the moment. They teach us unconditional love and they lead by example. Because of this, I feel Gladys and Pixie have taught me about humanity and have actually helped me to be a better human being."

... and McNulty, the Cavalier King Charles belonging to Shortlist Media's very own publishing manager Jamie Klingler

"McNulty is how I met my boyfriend," says Jamie. "If we are walking her together, she’ll wrap the lead around us and stand in the middle to be as close as possible to both of us. She’s my little shadow and my heart."

Photos: Gerrard Gethings/ Pets Pyjamas

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