|Greetings from the Critique Club!
The first thing that grabs me about the image are the beautiful lines of the frame. The sweeping curves of the frame are echoed in the many curved lines of the dogs face and ears...this helps return the eye to the subject whenever it wanders away on the "fence" lines.
I like the composition of the image. The fencing emerges from the upper right corner and ends satisfyingly in the lower left corner where the inward curve returns the toward the center. The one distraction in the composition are the planters in the upper left corner--because they are contrasy and have angular shapes they tend to pull the eye toward them. Unfortunately, they do not add much to the story of the image except to reinforce the garden setting. Were this not a basic challenge you might have been able to dodge that corner to lower the contrast and pull the eye back in to the more important subject of the dog.
The dog's expression is lovely. The eyes have those desirable highlights and the pricked up ears add a great deal of character. There is, because of this wonderful expression, a strong sense of story in the image which is reinforced by the title.
Technically the choice of limited depth of field sending the fence and background out of focus, further centers attention on the dog's expression. The tonal range is pleasing as well. It appears to be an overcast day which helps avoid harsh shadows.
What does it lack? Hmmm...it seems with so much going for it that this image should have scored higher than just above average. I think the planters are one issue--strongly competing with the dog for attention. Perhaps a slightly greater distance between camera and frame would have allowed for cropping that would place the dog's face closer to one of the traditional power points (rule of thirds). I almost always, personally, have trouble with images that contain so much grass--it is an individual taste issue but something about lawn just doesn't speak to me no matter how "truthful" it is to the environment. The lightness of the frame competes a bit with the features of the dog, as well--take a look at the image with the color removed and you'll see that association much more strongly. Finally, pets are a hard-sell on DPC (just ask Shutterpug)...there needs to be a very strong, emotive connection between voter and subject that personal pets just don't seem to evoke.
Overall, a well done image cleverly conceived and executed...a little more "pop" and it would have place a little higher.
Keep shooting and, above all, have fun!