Brenda points out that it is a very poor photo and as the dog has died there is no chance of better photos. As you know I do not recommend that you try to paint from a bad photo as you can never do the portrait justice.
Brenda has done the best that she can but is unsure if she should continue and perhaps add a background.
My suggestion is that she spends no more time on the image as I can’t see how this could be improved but I would add a background using greys with a little colour in it perhaps adding 169. This would greatly improve the presentation and I am sure Brenda’s friend will love it.