February 19, 2015


Patty Hearst's hairball and ... a sixties cocktail waitress?





(Top) Diane Arbus: Lady bartender with a souvenir dog

(Bottom) Shih Tzu, Toy Group Champion, Westminster 2015







February 16, 2015

This is more than Westminster dogs do.




February 12, 2015

Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray

"Peach-coloured liveries laced with silver, and pea-green plush inexpressibles, render the De Mogyns' flunkeys the pride of the ring when they appear in Hyde Park, where Lady De Mogyns, as she sits upon her satin cushions, with her dwarf spaniel in her arms, only bows to the very selectest of the genteel."

—Thackeray, The Book of Snobs

Click for U.K....

February 10, 2015


Dog snobbery has little to do with practical uses of our longtime companions and lots to do with memorizing the proper terminology, like those breed connoisseurs on the sidewalk, to show a level of refinement superior to the uninitiated. The essence of the French bulldog was once compared to “the exquisite quality of Bordeaux, the glorious vigour of Burgundy, the exhilarating sparkl...

February 9, 2015

A Lab is thought to have a character as solid as its coat color, with a level of blind loyalty that more spirited dogs would find degrading, and a mechanical predictability that more daring cynophiles find a bit boring—the perfect accessory for budding corporate executives. “I’m a team player and do as I’m told,” Labs tell the world as they pass. “I’m a good guy and will bring back t...

February 9, 2015

The Leash, one of several ultra-elite clubs that still exist in Midtown Manhattan, and so private it doesn’t have a website, was founded in the 1920s “to promote interest in the thoroughbred dog and to study and apply principles of scientific breeding.” Much like an English hunting resort for trans-Atlantic wealth, the old Goodwood Estate, which still caters to its clique of “like mi...

February 6, 2015

A closer look reveals a long list of breeds, some that even professional fanciers don’t suspect, clearly lionized in one way or another. The early twentieth century saw a short-lived fad for something called a “Danish Lion Dog”—perhaps a Great Dane? ... While smaller dogs are common candidates for lionization, any breeds valued for their feline appearance or demeanor should...

February 4, 2015


Dog in Armchair by Alfred De Dreux, 1857




As with other luxury breeds linked to desirable spots, saying a dog felt no need to roam implied the owner had a well-stocked estate from which he should never wish to wander. The notion that good dogs kept better addresses, as we’ve seen on other stops across the Land of Fancy, was as old as aristocracy. Gordon Stables restaked that claim...

February 3, 2015




“And a comfortable thing it is to think that birth can be bought for money. So you learn to value it."


—Thackeray, The Book of Snobs







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