Like Picasso and Warhol before him, Hockney was a big fan of the sausage dog. He first adopted a pair in 1987 and found them to be delightful subjects for quick sketches. It wasn’t until the ’90s however that he began making prints of the dogs by drawing directly onto the etching plate, taking advantage of their many naps to capture them in a moment of stillness. These tender and loving portraits also have a heartbreaking element to them however, being produced at a time when many of Hockney’s friends were dying from AIDS. Speaking of his decision to start painting his dogs after the death of his close friend Henry Geldzahler, Hockney said, “I wanted desperately to paint something loving. … I felt such a loss of love I wanted to deal with it in some way. I realized I was painting my best friends, Stanley and Boodgie. They sleep with me; I’m always with them here. They don’t go anywhere without me and only occasionally do I leave them. They’re like little people to me. The subject wasn’t dogs but my love of the little creatures.” This work shows just one of the dogs, sleeping on a cushion on a chequered floor. Rendered in soft marks and cross hatching, the animal’s peace and comfort is palpable to the viewer.