Owning George Rodrigue artwork is like owning a piece of Louisiana.

Born and raised in Acadiana, Rodrigue was an established and respected artist even before his Blue Dog fame, with notable works featuring Cajun life and landscapes including his series “Evangeline” and “The Class,” which won an honorable mention from Le Salon in Paris in 1974.Then, in 1980, Rodrigue was approached to paint a series of images to accompany a book of Louisiana ghost stories.

In those paintings, Rodrigue rendered his late dog Tiffany as the loup-garou.

Rodrigue’s wife Wendy Rodrigue, says her husband was haunted by the image of the dog, and he kept painting it in the bayou. Gradually the Blue Dog lost its scary loup-garou features and became a worldwide cultural icon. Blue Dog appeared in Rodrigue’s inauguration painting of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, in a painting for Absolut Vodka, and then in a major ad campaign for Xerox.Rodrigue helped raise millions of dollars for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and created an arts foundation in his name. He died in 2013.