The adjective “hangdog” means to have a dejected or guilty appearance; shamefaced. Most basset hound dogs come in some combination of white, tan, or black and have dark expressive eyes, a wrinkled forehead, and long floppy ears—all of which contribute to a “hangdog” expression. Perhaps in part because of the painting’s nondescript setting, one cannot but wonder why this pooch, mirrored in both corners, appears so forlorn.