Please don't take this the wrong way, but there's an old saying... "you can't polish a turd." Maybe it'd best to just let it go, mark it up experience and get what you really want from a good artist on a different location.
My pup is still alive, but I have a woodcut portrait of him on my thigh. I love my doggies!
Maybe something simpler is in order? It sounds unnecessarily complicated and incongruous.
Also, reddit tattoo guy is full of shit.