a two legged dog does fine, italy 1500's

thanks vintageprintable.com. believed public domain.
This illustration is from the work of Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605), sometimes named as the father of natural history studies.  I'm surprised by it for two reasons: it's strangely dignified and beautiful, for one, and then I realized that I did not expect to see a grown healthy dog on two legs in sixteenth-century art.  (This isn't the only one Aldrovandi drew, btw.)  Now - oh, I almost said I was going out on a limb, how awful of me - I can't interpret too much into a static image of this age.  But a naturalist's job is to be as faithful to his source as he can, so I can gather that this dog was indeed observed as balancing well for however long, and also well-nurtured enough to grow to this size and not look starved.  Good job, long lost dog nurturer.
The tiny writing next to him says canis bipes albo castaneous colored distinctus, which I poorly translate from Latin as "a two-legged dog with a white and chestnut difference (coloring)."