I have always admired animal artists - especially those who create in miniature. And as an animal lover I have collected many, many 1:12 scale animals over many years from many artists. Seems like everyone loves animals in their settings. Especially cats and dogs. But other than carving tiny animals out of wood for my Noah's ark sets - of which I did hundreds, I never thought to try realistic, "living" animals. Not until an animal artist going under the name of Paizley Pawz created an easy to follow tutorial on making a realistic looking sheep covered with wool with the base a Schleich plastic sheep. I tried it, liked the process and was very pleased with the results.
This is a great project to try your hand at furring an animal and I suggest you hop right over to PaizleyPawz and get the tut.
Recently, on an auction site, there was a sculpted Great Dane that was suspiciously like one done by the late Ann Maselli. Ann was a wonderful artist who worked in miniature and inspired many - including me - with her how to articles in the old Nutshell News where she did a vast assortment of all manner of miniature scenes. She was for sure a mentor for many. And her work is, thankfully, still out on the web for all to see.