Teeth and Terrible Terrier Tenacity.

It is the most beautiful Spring day today and I have just returned from a brisk walk with Delphi Dog round the town. I live in a tiny and very rural town which can be walked right round in an hour or so…well it can at Delphi’s speed!

Now is the time to introduce you to Delphi Dog. She is a 23 month old Wire Haired Fox Terrier born on St. George’s Day…(no we were not tempted to call her Georgina! ) She is called Delphi because she has a habit of sitting sphinx- like, with her nose and it is a very long nose, in the air – this is a very aloof and aristocratic breed.

(For aristocratic…read snobby!)

She is named for the place on the south western slope of Mt. Parnassus in Greece, where the most famous oracle – the Delphic oracle- the all knowing one…lived in Classical times – and who now lives in a small town in Northants 😉

People consulted the Delphic oracle on everything from important matters of public policy to personal affairs.

You see…? Snobby!

She is taking bookings for consultations, should you feel in the need of an answer!


NO Only joking! 🙂

Now I am very tempted to paint Delphi as a full sized dummy board – she is so cute! When I mention that I might do this, to people, they say, ” Why do you want a dummy board when you have the real thing?” Well yes… but I won’t always have her will I?

And this is what people in the past did. They had their dogs and cats painted as mementos and of course, as visual jokes.

The naive grey cat, a commission 2009

This one ( right ) is particularly realistic out in our garden- it fooled the all knowing Delphi!

There is wonderful story about a chapman ( a 18th century door to door salesman) who knocked at a cottage door and who, when invited in, approached the kitchen table with a great deal of trepidation. Underneath it sat a snarling cat!

The snarling cat- the back.....

” Oh Missus” says he… ” I wish you would put that cat out.”

I bet the woman sniggered.

All she did was turn the dummy board round….

......and the docile cat on the front

So dummy boards can be very successful. The above double sided figure is probably early 19th century and is very rare. The snarling cat was painted on after the nice one. We know this because the figure is bevelled on the back, to aid the illusion of three D and the ferocious cat is less effective – in good light anyway – because of that bevel. It might fool you though, if it was under the table in the darkness of a 19th century kitchen.

I did paint Delphi as a miniature dummy board when she was only 4 months old.

Delphi- all of two inches.

How much more effective would a life sized one – with teeth – be and could I terrify the Waitrose delivery man?

Perish the thought!

P.S. On the other hand…she gotta lotta big teeth for a small dog! Ask Hilary…. 🙂

But she is oh – so – cuddly – too.

She told me I had to write that.

Delphi…not Hilary .

Back to Belle in the next post.

2 Responses to “Teeth and Terrible Terrier Tenacity.”

  1. julie Says:

    Delphi is gorgeous :0) Theres just something about a terrier. We used to have a mad little westie and much as I love my cats( who I must add are nothing like the scary snarly dummy board !) its not quite the same without her. One day I plan to have a bedlington terrier, they are my favourites .
    julie xxx

  2. pastmastery Says:

    My friend has a Bedlington and you should see Delphi and Max play together. real terrier stuff!
    I’ll put more pix of Delphi on the blog as time goes on.
    Maybe I will do that large dummy board after all……


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