I decided to leave the "paw" alone for a while. It was determined upon further examination of my various references that the wolf's leg is all we would see with the painting cropped the way it is...so no more worries about that paw!
From my last update, you can see that I continued the pine needles to the left of the painting. I also added an evergreen seedling on the vertical edge of the painting for added interest. I still have a bit of detail to add to the white area of body fur near the seedling, and of course, I have to finish that foreleg!