In the history of art the dog has a long tradition as a symbol. Mostly this animal symbolises faithfulness to a person or to a ruler - then understood the country. Numerous portraits of Kings, Emperors and other mighty persons displays the sitter with one or more dogs. The animals were then to symbolise the population’s faithfulness to their Sire.
When women were portrayed with dogs, it mostly symbolised the woman’s faithfulness to her husband. While in this painting, the symbol is the main attraction. It is in fact the object portrayed.
Kolby has let this dog sit as a symbol of the faithfulness to cause and leader in conflict. Personifying the rigid belief in political and religious motives, the dog calmly sits with a insecured hand grenade in its mouth, awaiting its destiny.
Or might it as well drop the grenade, abandon its mission and escape?