I am such a dog person, therefore, when I saw this adorable dog photo taken by Renderosity member durleybeachbum, I couldn't help but fall in love. And.. watch it - you might feel the same!
I've had 18 dogs so far in my life, most of them rescues. Ralphie, is number 16, followed by Fritz and then Rosie 4 years ago. Ralph had two previous owners, the first of which was a brute who made him fight in the woods and kicked one of his canine teeth out. This man was probably very fat and wore black, because the dog is still terrified of people of that description, including one of my lodgers!
I got him and Fritz more than 7 years ago from a local rescue, so he is about 13. The vet thinks that he suffers from PTSD which would account for why he will suddenly start shaking and salivating in certain situations, for example if we walk up a wooded hill. This probably reminds him of where he was taken to fight. He is allowed to eat as much as he wants, but never puts weight on and feels the cold easily, which is why he likes being in the sun, and being wrapped up in lower temperatures.
His second owner went to prison, and this man's wife asked the rescue to take both of his dogs, which lived in a shed, as she had two of her own in the house!
Ralph was pleased to escape from his shed mate, who mounted him all the time. When I went to see him at the kennels, he shook for the whole of our walk around the field, but got into my car of his own accord whilst I was doing the paperwork! I suppose he chose me in a way.
All my dogs are registered 'Caring Canines', therapy dogs, and we visit a Rest Home and a nursing home each week. Since we were there once when the fire alarm was tested, Ralph is reluctant to go into one of the venues, but once inside he is OK.
Ralph tells me that he wants the cushion on his steamer chair by taking a large toy and standing with it by the chair till I get the message. That is what you can see in the photo, a huge dog-skin which he uses as a pillow. I don't arrange it myself! Although it was sunny there was a cool breeze so I put the tiger throw over him.
His expression of bliss just had to be photographed.
Your questions about symbolism and meaning are more tricky! This is just a 'record shot'! Symbolism in this case is up to the viewer, I suppose, and there is no overt meaning in this case. I suppose one could infer that however damaged one's past is, be it animal or human, one's future can be improved with understanding, love and care.
As I explained last time we tried this, I have a camera in my jeans back pocket all the time and take pictures by habit every day. That's why a point and shoot is so good, no heavy kit and always available. I even took photos of the bronchoscopy team from my hospital slab before the procedure, they were happy to pose!