When a dog tucks a front paw under his/her chest, it indicates comfort; but crossing the front paws is pure contentment. Not all dogs cross their paws when they’re happy, but I’m fortunate to have one that does.
I have a gajillion pictures of Rupert, but knew that this (taken about a year ago) would be the one I’d paint, so I was relieved of that agonizing process of choosing an image (I’m not so good with decisions, as it is!). This was taken one night after being in the studio for hours. We were about to head home and then I started taking pictures of him because I love the crossed-paws look. He hates having his picture taken and was really just ready to go home and eat; but he obliged, in that male Swissy complacency sort of way.
Rupert is 11 now. His hikes have become trail walks and, though he still enjoys them with the other dogs, he’s starting to slow down. I figured I should squeeze in his portrait now, while he’s among the living, because doing so after he’s left this world may just be too painful.