The Dog Blog.

25 March 2012

The word dog goes back so far in English that there is really no other word that it came from, and it is a peculiarly English word.

Other languages have borrowed the word “dog,” but English hasn’t borrowed the word from any other languages.

I love dogs and love to paint them.

In Anglo Saxon the word was “dogca.” The last syllable was a diminutive, so the effect was something like “doggie.”

People on the continent used some version of “hound,” for dogs in general.

The earliest known mention in print of the animal is a Dutch/French sentence: “een dogghe, vn gros matin d’Engleterre, canis anglicus.”

Canis lupus familiarus is the formal designation for the domestic dog.

       Janis and George.

All dogs came from the wolf, canis lupus, a member of the Canidae, Carnivora.

The dog I have my hand on here is Sancho. Many people thought of him as THE Family Dog. Sancho was preternaturally clever and stories of his exploits often strained credulity. Mouse and Kelly made this poster for the Avalon and they put Sancho’s footprint on it.

The dog might be the first domesticated animal.

Domesticated dog skeletons have been found in Siberia and Belgium from about 33,000 years before present.

These early skeletons show shortening of the snout, widening of the muzzle and crowding of the teeth, all of which differ them from the wolf.

DNA evidences a split between dogs and wolves about a hundred thousand years ago, but no examples from before 33,000 years ago have been found.

Canis lupus familiaris can refer to the dog we know, but also to the wolf, coyote and jackals.

It can refer to members of the tribe Canini, the African wild dog, foxes, bush dog, racoon dog.

The word “hound” was used for all domestic canines up to the 14th century.

But in the next two hundred years, “dog” became the usual word and “hound” referred to hunting canines.

“Hound” came from Indo-European “kwon,” dog, and this is the word that survived in Latin canis and, for example, Welsh ci (plural cwn).

If you go to the Westminster dog show, you will hear a male canine called a “dog,” and a female a “bitch.” Standard terminology.

This is a rhyton in the shape of a dog’s head made by Brygos in the early fifth century before the common era.

It is difficult sometimes to believe how much a dog or a cat can love us and put up with our silliness.

I am eternally and necessarily grateful for the nonjudgmental aspects of our cat and dog here at home.

This is a handsome dingo. Chet Helms’ brother John had a dingo once and we all lived together. Very educational.

Dingoes are the aboriginal dogs of Australia.

Dogs can see better at night than we can.

And they smell with more acuity than any other creature on the planet.

You probably have noticed things like this.

Egyptians loved dogs too.

Many are the saints who claim to be patrons of dogs.

Saint Roche, or San Rocco as he was called in Italy, is a dog patron saint candidate.

Saint Francis, or, more properly, San Francesco d’Asissi, was another.

Last Spring a couple of foxes tried to make a den under my painting studio. I store my work there, so it is a quiet place, but I must have spooked them when I finally emerged from winter hibernation, because they left and haven’t returned. The male was quite aggressive and he would run up the driveway and growl at me in a surprisingly loud, low voice for a creature of that size and delicacy.

Standard Poodles have a loyal devotee coterie, you see.

A dog from Gilgamesh.

Another Standard Poodle lover.

Heitor Villa-Lobos wrote beautiful music for the guitar and other instruments. His surname means “Wolfville.”

A wolf has recently made an appearance in California, the first one in a hundred years.

The Inu, which merely means “dog” in Japanese has a somewhat wolflike demeanor, but is very smooth and, oh, you know, Japanese.

“Inu” is written like this. You can see that the shell and bone form was a drawing of a dog. Later the character becomes more stylized on bronzeware. The seal inscription style has evolved to a more abstract form and the contemporary kanji is on the bottom left.

Inugami, the dog god. You can see the word “inu” there. The second character is “kami, gami,” god. Similar to “kamikaze” which meant “divine wind” or “god wind.”

Isabella Rossellini, fairly divine herself, looking quite a bit like her mother here.

Christopher Guest’s mother in law.

This was a fine dog. Smart and alert like most Border Collies.

I always like Jean Arthur’s voice. it had an interesting edge. Her dog has spots on his ears.

Two very likable creatures. Or should that be lickable ?

Joel Hoekstra’s puppy, probably huge by now. Joel and Antonia live on the upper West side, Manhattan, and they are beautiful people. So is their dog.

Josie is a pussycat and she loves her best friend.

Kathryn Adams and her, is it?, Boston Terrier.

Dog spelled backwards is God. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

What may make you think even more, is that “wolf” spelled backwards is “flow.”

           Or that pup spelled backwards is pup.

Now the hungry lion roars, And the wolf behowls the moon.      Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Sacco’s name  will live in the hearts of the people and in their gratitude when Katzmann’s and your bones will be dispersed by time, when your name, your laws, institutions, and your false god are but a dim remembering of a cursed past in which man was wolf to man.                            Bartolomeo Vanzetti 1888-1927.

I like the way their eyes tilt upward.

Louise Brooks was from the Midwest, but she had a career in European cinema, much like that Ohio woman Jean Seberg who starred in À Bout de Souffle with Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Mad-dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun; the Jappanese don’t care to, the Chinese wouldn’t dare to; Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one, But Englishmen detest a Siesta.

Noël Coward.

In 1987 a German Shepherd won Best in Show at the Westminster.

Dogs turn around before they lie down in order to flatten the grass and drive away any small vermin that are there.

Though, as we know, she was not fond of pets that must be held in the hands or trodden on, she was always attentive to the feelings of dogs, and very polite if she had to decline their advances. George Eliot.

A pug is more closely related to a wolf than a German Shepherd is.

When a dog chases a car, the car generally speeds away. The dog thinks he has been successful in chasing it off, so he will repeat that behavior over and over.

The Basenji is a unique dog that originates in Central Africa. They  don’t bark, instead emitting a high-pitched “yodel.” Their behavior has been described as cat-like; they groom like cats and they are known to climb trees. My wife Elise is obsessed with rescuing basenjis. She looks at their animal care sites as avidly as some people look at e bay.

En quoi un homard est-il plus ridicule qu’un chien…ou toute autre bête dont on se fait suivre?  J’ai le goût des homards, qui sont tranquilles, sérieux, savent les secrets de la mer, n’aboient pas et n’avalent pas la monade des gens comme les chiens, si antipathiques à Goethe, lequel pourtant n’était pas fou.         Gérard de Nerval   1808-1855.

How is a lobster more ridiculous than a dog…or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk?  I like lobsters. They are peaceful, serious, they know the secrets of the sea, they don’t bark, and they don’t try to eat your balls the way dogs do. Goethe had an antipathy to dogs and he wasn’t crazy.        Gérard de Nerval explaining why he walked a lobster on a leash in gardens of the Palais Royal.

The most intelligent dogs are said to be the Border Collie and the Poodle.

Re vera, cultor denuo renatus deorum Romanorum antiquorum sum.    Actually, I’m a born again pagan.

Intense grief over the death of a dog is normal and natural.

The more I see of men, the better I like dogs.      Madame Roland  1754-1793.

A dog we met on Okinawa.

Turbane magna vehiculorum obviam erat tibi venienti huc ?     Run into much traffic on the way over ?

Thirty-three percent of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on the answering machine while they are away.

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.    Revelation.

All dogs can be traced back 40 million years ago to a weasel-like animal called the Miacis which dwelt in trees and dens. The Miacis later evolved into the Tomarctus, a direct forbear of the genus Canis, which includes the wolf and jackal as well as the dog.

Ad venatum vadamus.     Let’s cut to the chase.

A bear grabbed her dog. She ran after the bear, punched it in the face and snatched her dog back. Don’t make a mother mad.

Aka inu.    Red dog.

Small quantities of grapes and raisins can cause renal failure in dogs. Chocolate, macadamia nuts, cooked onions or anything with caffeine can also be harmful.

Avocado, mushrooms and seeds of any type aren’t good either.

Shi dog made by a commercial art studio on Okinawa. People put these dogs at corners of their house on the roof to keep away evil spirits, or maybe just because they like them.

Tuesday Weld was married to Rip Torn. I once sang country songs all night with Bobby Nieuwirth and Kris Kristofferson at Rip Torn’s house. Mr. Torn narrated our video 900 Nights.

Guarding a house across the street from our hotel on Okinawa.

Players, Sir ! I look upon them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs.   Samuel Johnson 1709-1784.

Shiba no inu. Is EVERYTHING the Japanese do cute, or does it just seem that way ?

Imagine if there were this much variation in humans. What if dogs bred US ?

Shiba inu.

And daun Russell the fox stirte up atones.           Chaucer.

Ozzy Osborne saved his wife Sharon’s Pomeranian from a coyote by tackling and wrestling the coyote until it released the dog. Talk about a hero.

Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad.     W.C. Fields.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.      Matthew, probably talking about TV evangelists.

Nunc, vero inter saxum et locum durum sum.    Now I am really between a rock and a hard place.

The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.        King Lear.

A dog’s life. He lives in Athens, visits the Acropolis daily and is constantly photographed. Well, okay, the being photographed may be a little disturbing, but…

Yvonne de Carlo.

Sometimes, most of the time?, the worst thing about parting from someone is that you have to leave her dog too.

Woof. Arf. Wag.

Sam Andrew

Big Brother and the Holding Company

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