Thursday, 10 November 2011

Miscellaneous musings.....

As with most collectors, I don't stop at collecting just one thing.  Aside from my passion for all things miniature, I also collect vintage ephemera and delight in discovering illustrations and images, particularly those which relate to my interests in childhood and toys.
The interweb is a rich hunting ground for vintage images, and the other day I came across this, which has me completely intrigued....

As a child, I always liked to imagine the back story behind illustrations in my books, and would spend hours weaving a tale sometimes only tenuously connected to the one related to the original story.  So when I saw this picture, I just couldn't resist.

To the untutored eye, it's just a drawing of a dog riding a goat but on closer inspection there is SO MUCH more going on.  

For instance, why is the dog wearing a suit?  Surely he would have much more control without it, as is evidenced by the fact that he's already lost his hat, possibly in a bucking incident.  

Also, it's not just any old suit.

It's a particularly fine suit, with fitted breeches, lace trimmed shirt and cropped jacket. It's probably silk and the lace is almost certainly handmade.

So the dog is either very wealthy, or he has stolen the suit from a small child.  This latter hypothesis may explain why he is making his escape on the goat, which is possibly also stolen, compounding the felony.

I'm not entirely sure what sort of dog it is, but it's definitely a terrior.  Possibly only a terrior would be foolhardy enough to ride a goat bareback, disdaining the relative safety of saddle and stirrups. 

Certainly, the expression on the dog's face and the fact that you can just see the tip of his tongue sticking out, suggests extreme determination and concentration. 
He is obviously a confident rider, as is evidenced by the fact he's using string for reins, and keeping a very light hold on them.  If I were ever to ride a goat I'm sure I'd be gripping onto the reins for dear life.  I suspect that he's 'steering' the goat by use of his knees, which are firmly gripping the goat's sides.

In contrast to the relatively relaxed demeanour of the dog, the goat is most definitely not a willing participant.  Possibly buoyed by the fact that he's managed to dislodge the dog's fine feather hat, he's head down, desperately trying to unseat his rider.  I'd wager this goat has never been ridden before, although the presence of the halter may suggest otherwise. 

I'm slightly confused by the position of the hat on the ground.  The goat looks as if it's travelling at a fair speed which would mean that the hat would fly off backwards.  However the hat is to the side and slightly to the front which suggests that it fell off earlier and either the goat is running round in circles, or the dog has deliberately ridden back in order to retrieve the hat, possibly by leaning over and grabbing it his mouth as he passes.

I wouldn't put anything past that dog.

Also, note the position of the dog's tail.  You can tell a lot about a dog from its tail...especially if the dog in question is a terrior.

That is one relaxed tail..... moving in harmony with its owner.  However, its presence raises yet more questions.  For instance there must be an opening in the back of the breeches to allow it through.  So perhaps they were specially designed for the dog.  Also, while it may be possible for a well co-ordinated dog to wriggle into a pair of breeches, tucking its tail down one of the legs, it takes some precision to get a tail through a hole.  While I'll admit I'm in awe of the dog's multi-faceted ability, I'm not convinced he would be able to get dressed himself.

Which means he must have had an accomplice.  Presumably NOT the goat.

I feel that the answers are tantalisingly within reach but I'll have to give it much more thought.  Feel free to chip in with any thoughts you may have.

I would also like to point out that because I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time for any displacement activity whatsoever.....

No siree.



Elga said...


Robin said...


Sandra Morris said...

I'm not surprised you're both speechless.
I fear for my sanity sometimes....

Karin F. said...

Sandra... since you're a UK citizen, you can be forgiven your misconceptions :P .....the goat is obviously a rodeo goat (as it would seem to be bucking). This would also explain the hat laying near by rather than in the background.
The dog is obviously gentrified judging by his Little Lord Fauntleroy attire possibly a visitor to N America and probably on his coming-of-age grand tour.
Gosh darn! now you've got me doing displacement activities. I already spend enough time procrastinating (which is the Cdn term)
keep up the great posts!!!!
hugs Karin

Sandra Morris said...

I must admit, I hadn't entertained the notion of a transatlantic rodeo goat.
However, wouldn't someone (anyone?)west of the Atlantic have advised the dog to don more suitable attire?
Also, are the flowers native to the North American continent. They look like common or garden British buttercups to me although I could be wrong.
Botany was never my strong suit.
In addition, the bucolic rolling countryside in the background does suggest somewhere in the English shires.
Perhaps the goat was doing a Grand European Tour, showing off his rodeo skills en route to earn a crust (or whatever goats eat..)and the dog just happened to take up the challenge at an English country fair.
No matter.
Thanks for your input, it is much appreciated.

PP (Pam) said...

The goat & dog have won gold medals in dressage. Very unusual for this combination. They are very famous. You've probably heard of the duo 'Dogoatly'. They need hours of practice which is what they are doing now in the photo. At this very moment the dog throws off the hat and the goat rotates majestically around it on tipitoes. They make it look so easy!

Karin F. said...

gee Pam displacement activity must be catching. I suppose next we'll be hearing from SD telling us that the rider is his long lost descendant.
BTW buttercups and bucolic rolling shires are also to be found in Canada except we call them provinces. LOL
hugs K

Sandra Morris said...

Strangely, I have never heard of the 'famous' dog and goat duo.
But I can see where you're coming from, and now I look at the image again, there is an element of theatre in the way the dog and goat are interacting.
I'll see what I can discover about 'Dogoatly' online.

I have made enquiries of Small Dog but she is adamant that there are no goat-riding dogs in her pedigree.

The plot thickens......


rosanna said...

He he, your activities make me giggle.
BTW my friends are the most welcoming people in the world, their house is always open and they'd love to meet new friends.
Especially SD would be celebrate. Carlotta , their Cocker Spaniel, is always happy with new pals.
Only wait for summer, their swimming pool, overlooking the sea, is a sight to behold...and enjoy.
Have a lovely evening, Rsanna