the soul of a bernese mountain dog: a portrait by phyllis tarlow

image courtesy and copyright of the artist, phyllis tarlow
There's a certain way big dogs smile a lot of the time.  It's different from the in-the-moment glee I see in terriers and chihuahuas and other smallish dogs.  Bigger dogs, like this Bernese Mountain Dog, have this slow, calm way of smiling, as though they are turning over in their minds everything that's making them happy.  When you think that these larger breeds were often watchdogs and herders, you could make the case that by their very natures they're built to evaluate.  Is that a bad guy?  What's wrong with that cow? and All my pack is here and we are warm.  And so they turn it over in their perceptive dog brains, and decide to smile.
This portrait is from the hand of New York State artist Phyllis Tarlow, and I'd like to share her bio with you:
Phyllis Tarlow is an artist with a broad focus, which ranges from creating portraits of people, animals, and homes to painting the wonder and beauty of the landscape. Her love for the domestic animals that so greatly enhance the lives of so many families has made painting and drawing them a special pleasure. As she sees it, each dog and cat has a unique personality and character that Phyllis seeks to capture and share with her audience. The animals that she portrays are not generic representations or caricatures but living, breathing individuals.
Phyllis's Etsy store with her dog and cat prints is here.  You will also enjoy her website and portrait site.