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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 !

Monday, June 30, 2008

pocket beagle controversy

My brother wanted a pocket beagle to cuddle and he got one. . .

. . . or did he? While I was cursing my cellphone for not transmitting my photo of the little guy, I was busy searching for facts on this breed. (I multitask a lot.) Imagine my surprise to step into a controversy about who really breeds this tiny beagle and whether the breed really still exists!

Once upon a time it was very easy to find a pocket beagle if you were well-born. Even a smaller kind called a mitten or glove beagle. Here's Wikipedia on that:

From medieval times, beagle was used as a generic description for the smaller
hounds, though these dogs differed considerably from the modern breed. Miniature
breeds of beagle-type dogs were known from the times of Edward II and Henry VII, who both had packs of Glove Beagles, so named since they were small enough to fit on a glove, and Queen Elizabeth I kept a breed known as a Pocket Beagle, which stood 8 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm) at the shoulder. Small enough to fit in a "pocket" or saddlebag, they rode along on the hunt. The larger hounds would run the prey to ground, then the hunters would release the small dogs to continue the chase through underbrush. Elizabeth I referred to the dogs as her singing beagles and often entertained guests at her royal table by letting her Pocket Beagles cavort amid
their plates and cups.

And here's Henry Anderson Bryden on these little guys in 1903, from his book Hare-hunting and Harriers:
Beagles of the present day vary a great deal. We have . . . the
original breed, and the little sharp rabbit beagle, used for hunting rabbits and
not for shooting purposes. This latter is the pocket beagle, standing no more
than ten inches at the shoulder. The Marquis of Linlithgow has a kennel of these
little creatures, which display extraordinary fire, spirit, and dash, and hunt
rabbits in most amusing fashion.

I'll see what I can do about getting my photo on here. But here's images of some. And here's my nephew's rendering of the yet unnamed fella:

1 comment:

parlance said...

What a cute breed. Love your nephew's drawing. Looking forward to a photo. (I hope you can include something to show us how small he is.)