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Word Count: 378
Like old folklore the Blue Dog has changed slightly through the years Its roots however lay in the Cajun tale of the loup-garou an eerie werewolf-like creature In 1984 Rodrigue then a modestly successful artist was asked to illustrate a book of Cajun ghost stories His inspiration came from his mother Marie She used to tell me as a boy If youre not good today the loup-garou is going to eat you tonight Looking for a model for the mythical figure Rodrigue used a photo of Tiffany his black-and-white spaniel-terrier who had died five years earlier The creation looked like a wolf and was bluish-gray and for years he painted gloomy nighttime scenes with the loup-garou on graves in cemeteries And then people started calling it the Blue Dog he says laughing in disbelief Years later Rodrigue opened a gallery in New Orleans He covered the windows with Blue Dog paintings And everything changed A German film crew heard about the new gallery and produced a documentary on Rodrigue soon after The Wall Street Journal published a story on the artist Instead of a sketch of Rodrigue on the front page the newspaper used a portrait of the Blue Dog He knew then he had hit it big Now the Blue Dog is an 8 million-a-year business His original paintings which once sold for as little as 150 now go for no less than 20000 Some draw close to 250000 Sothebyscom recently auctioned a signed lithograph of the Blue Dog Absolut Vodka ad for 2700 It had been expected to sell for 250 Rodrigue has published two Blue Dog books Blue Dog Penguin 1999 50 and Blue Dog Man Stewart Tabori Chang 2000 50 A Blue Dog Christmas Stewart Tabori Chang 1495 is just out People respond to the art in the books he
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