Tag Archives: cocker spaniel

Doggy quote of the month for November

“An immaculate house is a wonderful and elegant thing, but it can also be an empty and a cold thing.  I’ll take mine with flying paws and whisking tails and eager loving looks from dark earnest eyes.  When the children go away to school, and get married and move away, there are so many little quiet corners in a house.  A bevy of Cockers and an Irish or two livens things up considerably.  It is hard to be melancholy with somebody playing leapfrog around the room.”

Gladys Taber

Glady Taber, author (1899 – 1980)

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The art of Lucy Dawson

Lucy Dawson (1870-1854) was a British illustrator who was best known for her pen, ink and pastel drawings of dogs.  Sporting breeds were a favorite subject, but she also painted other breeds and her work can be found on collectible items such as postcards and cake tins.

Through used booksellers, you can still pick up copies of her illustrated books including Dogs As I See Them, Dogs Rough and Smooth and Lucy Dawson’s Dog Book.

Dogs Rough and Smooth

Dogs Rough and Smooth published in 1944

You can also purchase reproduction prints such as these:

Sleepy cocker spaniel

Sleepy Cocker Spaniel, 1937

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier, 1946

Flaxman the Greyhound

Flaxman the Greyhound, 1946

Original works periodically turn up at auctions, for those who are die-hard collectors.

I particularly like how Ms Dawson was able to render the beautiful fur coats on the dogs she drew, a rare talent.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

Shaggy Muses – book review

Shaggy muses

Shaggy Muses by Maureen Adams offers a new twist in understanding the writing and lives of five famous women authors.

This book is about the dogs who inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton and Emily Brontë.

In this book, you will understand the role that Flush a golden Cocker Spaniel, who kept Elizabeth Barrett Browning company, had on her life and writing.  Her life was isolated and frequented by ill health.  That is, of course, until Robert Browning enters the scene. When Elizabeth marries Robert in a secret ceremony and leaves her family home without her father’s permission, she makes sure Flush goes too.

Virginia Woolf also had a Cocker Spaniel, named Pinka.

Emily Dickinson found solace with Carlo, a Newfoundland.  Edith Wharton’s comparatively long life was filled with the companionship of a series of Pekingese.

I was, however, unprepared for the story of Emily Brontë and her Mastiff, Keeper.  One day, after finding Keeper resting on a bed inside the house, Emily beats the dog bloody with her bare hands.  The author relates the story in terms of ‘typical’ domestic violence behavior and the apparent struggle of wills between Keeper and Emily.  Keeper, in truly dog style, remained loyal to her until the end, accepting her ministrations to his swollen face and eyes.  (I’m afraid, however, that this story has put me off reading any more of Brontë‘s work, most likely for life).

If you like literature and dogs, this book is for you.  I liked the historical context as the author relates the stories of each woman in chronological order.  It puts into perspective the influences on each woman’s life and also how society was changing (Virginia Woolf, for example, had a notable lesbian love affair with fellow author Vita Sackville-West).

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

Love is the Best Medicine – book review

This is the third book by Dr Nick Trout that I’ve read.  In it, Dr Trout weaves a tale based on two actual clients and their dogs who inspired him to consider his role in healing.

The book carries the appropriate subtitle ‘What two dogs taught one veterinarian about hope, humility and everyday miracles’

Love is the best medicine

In this book we watch the stories of Cleo, a Miniature Pinscher and Helen, a Cocker Spaniel, unfold.  The dogs and their owners don’t know each other, but their stories intertwine because of Dr Trout’s involvement with both dogs.

It’s never easy when we find out that our dog is seriously unwell, and we all want to believe in miracles to keep them with us for a little while longer.  This theme of love for your dog will resonate with most dog parents.

I didn’t like this book as well as Tell me where it hurts, Dr Trout’s other autobiographical story.  It was, nonetheless, a good read.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

For other book reviews:

I’ve previously reviewed The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs, a novel by Dr Trout.  Read it here.

 

Aggressive dog? How agreeable is the owner?

Research from the University of Leicester’s School of Psychology  has revealed that young people who are more disagreeable are likely to own an aggressive dog.

‘Agreeableness’ means being less concerned with the needs or well-being of others.  Such people may be suspicious, unfriendly and competitive as well.

Participants were given personality tests and  indicated their preference for different types of dogs  . The dogs were independently rated according to how aggressive people perceived them to be. Bull terriers were rated as most aggressive, followed by boxers; retrievers and cocker spaniels were seen as least aggressive.

The study’s results also show a small effect suggesting that those who liked aggressive dogs showed signs of conscientiousness – being careful, reliable and thoughtful about their actions.

Whilst this finding (about conscientiousness) contradicts a long-held perception that owners of aggressive dogs are always irresponsible, Dr Vincent Egan, the study’s lead researcher suggests caution before reading too much into the conclusion:

“These results with Conscientiousness were unexpected, but the effect is a small one, and needs to be repeated in a different group of people. Studies of this kind tend to only look at a restricted age ranges, which may exaggerate findings which do not occur across the entire lifespan, so we believe a stereotype is always true, whereas it may only be true under certain conditions. Our study employed a broader age range.”

Dr Egan’s study has been published in the journal Anthrozoos.

William, Kate and Cocker Spaniel make three

People magazine speculated several weeks ago that Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, had expanded their family to include a puppy.  “The dog beside William and Kate’s side is most likely a black cocker spaniel.”

It’s now been confirmed.  The Prince and his wife are owners of a male cocker spaniel whose name hasn’t been released.  The pup will be company for Kate, who is home alone for the next six weeks as Prince William takes up his military posting in the Falkland Islands.

For my part, it’s nice to see the Royals confirm that they are dog people.  (As we know, the Queen has always been partial to the Corgi – read my previous blog posting on this breed).

May Kate, William and their little bundle of joy enjoy a happy life together!