I totally get what you were trying to go with in the picture (especially now that I have read your explanation), however it is an off-putting picture. It didn’t stop me from reading the articles, but my mind went to “ew that’s gross!” and yes, the puppy appears cute, if you could see its face. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had two small dogs and I’ve had to clean up a lot of what’s pictured, but I just don’t think the picture belongs, relative or not. If the dog had been turned around maybe? The part of the picture that stands out most is the bottom end of the dog and the results from it. Sorry. All I can say is, good on the reader for communicating her stance and good on you to attract more feedback. We all learn from feedback whether good or bad.
All the best,