Thursday, 24 April 2014

A-Z Challenge - 'U'

U - Utility Group Dogs - Poodle, Schnauzer

It's thanks to Crufts 2014 that I have found some dogs to include for 'U'. The dog that won the Best of Breed title for the Utility Group this year went on to become Best in Show. It was a black Standard Poodle named Ricky but I can find no photos of him to use so let's look at some others instead.
Standard Black Poodle haircut
(21 April 2011; by Inbalsigal - CC BY 3.0)
Ricky was shorn so that his rear end looked naked, so much shorter that the dog in my photo. Apparently the Poodle is a water dog and the commentators said the haircut, more like that of my next dog, is to give it extra buoyancy.

Utility Poodle
To me it's just that someone has decided that this is the way it should look. I wonder what would happen if it became the fashionable thing for people to dress to show their naked backsides.

These dogs, also in the Utility Group, look much more natural and attractive.
Two Miniature Schnauzers (female/male)
(30 May 2013; by Hakatas = CC BY-SA 3.0)
Schnauzers originated in Germany in the 15/16th century. Their name derives from the German word for "snout." The official colour of these two is "Salt and Pepper."

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A-Z Challenge - 'T'

T - Tibetan Terrier, Border Terrier, Bedlington Terrier

Although this was meant to be a 'Terrier' post, the Tibetan isn't a Terrier at all.

Tibetan Terrier - Sasha
Originally bred by monks almost 2000 years ago, the Tibetan name for this dog is Tsang Apso - shaggy or bearded (apso) from the province of Tsang.

Sasha featured in my North Yorkshire Dogs series here. I don't see her anymore as her owners have moved away. But this is her on her favourite perch.

Sasha at home
The Border Terrier is an energetic dog  and is essentially a working terrier, bred as a fox and vermin hunter, They originated in and take their name from the Scottish borders region.

They always seem to be keen to meet people even when they are out for a run on a lead.

Border Terriers
These two always stop as they remember that I once gave them a treat.

The Bedlington Terrier is named after the Northumberland mining town of Bedlington in North East England and were bred initially to hunt vermin in the mines.

These terriers look like lambs from a distance and have a characteristic pear-shaped head.

I meet one that lives in the village.

Bedlington Terrier - Billy
And two others, usually out for a six-mile walk.

Curly (who is blind)
His real name is Henry, but everyone calls him Curly. He has been blind for three years but has no trouble getting about with his companion whose rear end you can just see above

Curly's companion

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014 - 'S'

S - Saint Bernard, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, 
     Skye Terrier, Springer Spaniel

I think just about everyone would recognise my first dog, often depicted with a barrel hanging from its neck.

Saint Bernard
Named after a medieval Hospice in the Swiss Alps, Saint Bernards are famous for their mountain search and rescue role.

This one was hoping to be rescued from having to wait outside the entrance to Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire.

The "Scottie" had a different role and was bred in Scotland as a vermin catcher; the different coloured varieties were often depicted in advertisements for Black and White Scotch Whisky.

Scottish Terrier - Champion Bapton Norman
(1914 Journal of Heredity - author unknown)
And then there was Barney and Miss Beazley two "Scotties" owned by President G W Bush.

Barney holds his first Presidential Briefing
(Photo by Alex Cooney)
If the next dog reminds you of "Lassie", it shouldn't. Lassie was a Rough Collie (see 'C')

Shetland Sheepdog
The "Sheltie" originated in the Shetlands of the North East Coast of Scotland.

The Isle of Skye sits off the West Coast of Scotland, It was there that the Skye Terrier was developed to go to ground after badgers, foxes, otters and rabbits. However it's in Edinburgh that a Skye Terrier has been immortalised.

Greyfriars Bobby in 1865
(Cropped from an albumen print - National Galleries of Scotland)
Bobby spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner (policeman John Gray) until he died himself in 1872.

Edinburgh's smallest listed building is the memorial statue for him.

Statue of Greyfriars Bobby
(Photo by Michael Rowe, September 2003 - CC BY-SA 3.0)
If you own an English Springer Spaniel then you are sure of plenty of exercise. One of the oldest British Spaniels it was used to flush out or "spring" game birds.If you see it operate in long grass it is easy to see where the 'springer' comes from.

Springer Spaniel
And of course they just love water!

I'm waiting, come on in!
But my all time favourite from over 50 years ago was the Springer that posed for me at my wife's former home.


Chaotic - Thematic Photography

It's raining hard today so I am glad that I do not have to venture out. I didn't have to look too far to meet Carmi's chaotic theme.

My desk top
and ...

The least said the better
I hope you noticed the duster on the window sill in the first shot. I'm told it's been there for three weeks.

Now I have been told to clear up the mess - or else!

I am sure there will be some photogenic chaotic shots that can be admired at Carmi's Thematic-photographic-291.

Monday, 21 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014 - 'R'

R - Rottweiler, Retriever

Crufts, The greatest dog show in the world, has been on while I have drafted some posts for this year's Challenge. The Best in Breed for the Working Group turned out to be Barney, a Rottweiler. 

I don't have any photos of him but it just so happens that a five months-old puppy has recently come to live in my village.

Max - Rottweiler puppy
Max walks quite well on a lead even at this age and he is getting used to meeting people. Now that he recognises me he wants to play and not sit still to be photographed.

Rottweilers are an ancient breed once used in wild-boar hunting and as a cattle dog. More recently they have been used for police work and as guard dogs.

I introduced you to the "Gang of Four" under 'L' for Labrador.Now it's the Retriever's turn in a second "Gang of Four," also owned by my daughter and her husband.

Black Lab Mutt (Gem), Retrievers - Cody, Scout and Lily
Cody and Scout were special mates since they came from the same breeder. Cody had been cared for there for a long time after his owner died. When Scout was a puppy and and the breeders had a licensing problem their dogs were being taken into care while the problem was sorted out. When the premises were being cleared Cody had hidden Scout in a cupboard and laid down in front of the door so that he would not be found.

They were both 'loaned' out with number of other dogs to stay with Gem and blind Sam (see 'L'). Cody and Scout proved inseparable and they stayed when the other dogs went back. After Sam passed on the new "Gang of Four" was formed when they were joined by Lily, a Golden Retriever puppy.

Cody being teased by Scout
Cody died last summer. He was a dog who had some favourite positions, usually spreadeagled on the floor.

With one eye on his tennis ball
They all like swimming in the lake, probably Scout most of all.

Scout coming back to land
Lily, looking angelic
But as befits the youngest she's the one always in trouble.

Anyone would think she had had a busy day

Saturday, 19 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014 - 'Q'

Q - Queens

Finding a dog's name beginning with 'Q' proved impossible. But knowing that Queen Elizabeth II bred Corgis opened up a different approach for me.

A Corgi from Germany
This is a dog I have not met, but it's photo appeared on a Christmas Card we received last year so at least I know where it lives.

The Corgi is a small herding dog associated with Wales.

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi
The Queen has been largely instrumental in the popularity of the breed; she has had at least four Corgis at any one time. I have been unable to find a photo of her dogs without copyright restrictions.

However the George VI and Queen Elizabeth Monument has a bronze frieze showing the Queen Mother with her Corgis (on the right).

The Queen Mother, her Corgis and a day at the races
(A bronze designed by Paul Day; photo by Charlie Dave, CC BY 2.0)

The Queen that I knew best lived in America - Maxie, the Matriarch of the Gang of Four, who appeared under 'L'. 

Maxie waiting for the Trash Cart
This photo accompanied a letter I had published in "Dogs Today" in the UK in 2007

“Dear Dogs Today

The photo of a dog tag for Max in a letter about ID law (June issue) reminded me of my daughter’s nine-year-old Labrador, Maxie, who lives in Michigan, USA. She is affectionately known as The Trash Cart Queen (the American trash cart performs the same role as our refuse collection lorries).

When Maxie was a puppy and living on a development where the houses had no gardens, she and her brother Sam would often wander off. Despite both of them being well known it always seemed to be the trash cart that brought Maxie home, riding proudly in the cab.

Though Maxie, Sam and two rescued Labs became the owners of a fenced-off 10-acre plot out in the country, despite the fences Maxie will on occasions still wander off. Now being lazy, she has been known to sit down by the wayside so that she may be picked up by the trash cart and ride home in style, in what she seems to regard as her right. The trash cart crew have never had to resort to coercion or read the details of her address and phone number on her tag.”

As the Matriarch of the Gang of Four, Maxie 'earned' special privileges none of which she liked better than this.

Friday, 18 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014 - 'P'

P - Parson Jack Russell Terrier, Pippa, Pug

We have already seen a Jack Russell Terrier under 'J'. The feisty, energetic Parson Jack Russell is its recognised show variety. It was this man 

Parson Jack Russell, 1795- 1883
who bred the dogs named after him. The only Parson Jack Russell that I've met was a Parson Jack Russell crossed with a Border Terrier.

Ozzy - a Parson Jack Russell/Border Terrier cross
He wasn't at all interested in meeting me; he wanted to be off chasing the squirrels he could see.

With Pippa it's a different story, she strains at the leash to reach me. To look at her in this photo you would think that butter would not melt in her mouth.

Pippa - a Cockerpoo
Pippa featured in my North Yorkshire Dogs series here along with her playmates, Poppy the Westie and Morse, the black Labrador with the tongue.

Poppy, Pippa and Morse
When I meet Betty I always feel she has her beady eyes on me.

Betty - a Pug, toy dog
Pugs were known in ancient China and as you can see they have a definite personality despite their small size.

Novices wishing to become members of the Mops-Orden or Order of the Pug (a one-time Roman Catholic ladies para-masonic society) had to kiss a Pug's backside under its tail as part of their initiation ceremony. As members they carried a silver Pug medallion.

Perhaps I should add that that Pug's backside was made of porcelain!