A rather recognisable face if you're in Shoreditch regularly, George the dog sits with his owner John Dolan while John draws and paints. You can read John's full story in his book, or over on The Guardian.
The quick summary is that John used to be homeless and addicted to heroin. He ended up being given George the dog, and having the responsibility for someone other than himself steered him away from crime (He'd had 300 convictions, and been to prison 30 times). He started begging instead (who would look after George if he ended up in jail again?). Begging was embarrassing, so he'd place the cup in front of George and draw and paint so as not to have to look at people passing by. He got spotted by a local art gallery, and the rest wrote itself.
George and John still spend a lot of time painting and drawing in Shoreditch, and since moving in, I've wanted to buy myself a painting to hang at home. I had lots of kisses and hugs from George, and a lot of chat from John. He told me he now proudly paid rent and his TV license.
I'm very happy with my new painting, and who knows, maybe I'll get a little collection going!