About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, September 21, 2018

pup bib

Gift of Mrs. Charlene S. Kornblum and Dr. S. Sanford Kornblum (M.2017.41)
Though this puppy is crafted of paulownia wood and glazed with gofun (a white made of ground oyster shell), his spiffy bib is made of silk.  That bib has stayed bright since a craftsman tied it on him in mid-19th century Japan.  Speaking of bright, don't you love his little red toenails? 
For another view of him from the side, visit his page at the LA County Museum of Art and look for View 2.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

a poem: "dogs begin by being puppies"

Dogs begin by being puppies,
All of them, both great and small;
But a pup, when he grows up, is
Often not a dog at all.

Ask the crafty sausage seller,
Keeping meanwhile near the door,
Where he gets his meat, and—well-er,
Perhaps we’d better say no more.

Then again, the oily Moses,
Fat cigar and diamond pin,
Oft I wonder if he knows his
Coat is lined with canine skin.

Thus the little dog, no matter
What his walk in life may be—
Sausage-meat, pet, hound, or ratter,
Spends his time most usefully.

-- Lang, Arthur, 1892-1916. Verses. Glasgow: J. Maclehose, 1917. p. 35.  Arthur Lang (1892-1916) was a Scottish soldier killed in action in WWI.  His poetry, shared privately among friends, was collected and published in remembrance after his death.  Most of it is wryly humorous, as you can see from the selection above.

Monday, September 17, 2018

a leonberger

Jonkheer P.A. van den Velden Bequest, The Hague
Leonbergers are large dogs (males run 110-170 lbs.), known for their intelligence and gentle dispositions.  You can see that in this chalk and watercolor portrait by the Dutch artist Otto Eerelman, who was particularly known for his work with dogs.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

the muse tests a frame

image copyright and by kindest permission of the curatorial spouse
What better way for an artist to test the fancy frame he's making than. . .  by featuring the Kat Von D?  Right?  I'm right.

Friday, September 14, 2018

grab a snack with this cat

image copyright and by kindest permission of the artist

Carol Ross of St. Louis, MO creates ceramics that are formed to be useful, and decorated to be delightful. Here's a bowl from her Etsy shop,The Clay Bungalow, with a bold, jolly cat and his intended menu (and birds and flowers thrown in for good measure). Look at his little feet and hands! Ross says of this piece, "There's that sly cat in the center of a stoneware, sgraffito carved bowl and he's ready to pounce on the scrambling mouse who's trying to make his getaway. Funny little birds and flowers encircle the cat. Mexican pottery influenced the design."
Look at the powerful raven on this mug.  Or this one, with a rabbit sketched in delicate strokes.  How about these lucky elephants?  Ross has a wonderful feel for different folkways in art.  Do visit and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

mrs custer and the dogs

Elizabeth Custer (1842-1933), the wife of George Armstrong Custer, had been raised in comfort and privilege as a judge's daughter.  Even so, she readily followed her husband wherever he went on his military career despite the discomforts of travel.  After Custer's death, "Libbie" Custer devoted her energies to his image, publishing popular books on his life and the adventures she had shared with him. From her first, Boots and Saddles (1885), here's a passage about camping on the plains and how the family dogs found the comfiest digs:
While we were all getting accustomed to the new climate, it was of no use to try to keep the dogs out of my tent. They stood around, and eyed me with such reproachful looks if I attempted to tie up the entrance to the tent and leave them out. If it were very cold when I returned from the dining-tent, I found dogs under and on the camp-bed, and so thickly scattered over the floor that I had to step carefully over them to avoid hurting feet or tails. If I secured a place in the bed I was fortunate. Sometimes, when it had rained, and all of them were wet, I rebelled. The steam from their shaggy coats was stifling; but the general begged so hard for them that I taught myself to endure the air at last. I never questioned the right of the half-grown puppies to everything. Our struggles to raise them, and to avoid the distemper which goes so much harder with blooded than with cur dogs, endeared them to us. When I let the little ones in, it was really comical to hear my husband’s arguments and cunningly-devised reasons why the older dogs should follow. A plea was put up for “the hound that had fits;” there was always another that “had been hurt in hunting;” and so on until the tent would hold no more. Fortunately, in pleasant weather, I was let off with only the ill or injured ones for perpetual companions. We were so surrounded with dogs when they were resting after the march, and they slept so soundly from fatigue, that it was difficult to walk about without stepping on them.
-- Custer, Elizabeth Bacon, 1842-1933. "Boots And Saddles": Or, Life In Dakota With General Custer. New York: Harper & brothers, 1885. p. 57.

Monday, September 10, 2018


www.philamuseum.org 1957-95-1
Gift of Walter M. Jeffords, 1957
"Thomas, Phipps; Philadelphia 1786." says the engraving on this brass dog collar. It's thin metal, and I assume (and hope) it was able to flex open just enough for Thomas Phipps to pop his dog's neck within its confines.

Friday, September 07, 2018

the mimic dog

public domain
This is a "Mimick, or Gethulian-Dog," as recorded by Edward Topsell in his natural history of c. 1600.  It's described as "being apt to imitate all things it seeth, for which cause some have thought that it was conceived by an Ape; but in face sharpe and black like a Hedge-hog, having a short recurved body; very long legs, shaggie hair, and a short tail..."  Apparently in ancient Egypt this sort of dog was taught all manner of tricks.  Whatever breed could this have been?

Topsell, Edward, 1572-1625?. The History of Four-footed Beasts And Serpents... The whole rev., cor. and inl. with the addition of two useful physical tables, by J[ohn] R[owland] M.D. London: Printed by E. Cotes, for G. Sawbridge [etc.], 1658. p. 127.