"Our life has consisted a procession of pets. He had an especially close relationship with his dogs. Walking and grooming his dog were parts of Colville's daily routine."
Alex Colville kneels in front of the fireplace as he painstakingly grooms his dog, perhaps removing a flea from his fur. The painter and his pug appear to have known each other forever. As the dog waits patiently, he looks away from his owner with innocent eyes. Colville had "a peculiar idea of dogs. They are sentient but incapable of evil." (Andrew Hunter, Ontario Art Gallery Curator) That innocence must have been refreshing to Colville who witnessed (and sketched as a war artist) the horror of Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp. As Colville's only daughter Anne Kitz said: "He was a pragmatist and not inclined to think that people were inherently good. He believed evil existed."