Sunday, February 19, 2012


My new obsession: china Staffordshire dogs. They come in pairs and look something like these two from Etsy:

Traditionally these china dogs were placed on the ends of your mantel. But I have enough crap on the mantel and would use them to flank the hearth. I love them. While they all look similar, there are some slight variations, such as this pair I also found on Etsy:

With giant gold flowers on their chests. But the best part of any pair of Staffordshire dogs is the expression on the faces. They are all distinctive - here's a close up of one of the above:

Aloof and serious, even a touch condescending - a nice contrast to the ridiculous flower covering half its body! Here's another pair from eBay:

Probably not antiques, but they are taking themselves very seriously, nonetheless, as you can see. But they also have a hopeful cast to their eyes, as if a treat might be in the offing. Here's a more serious pair:

These two are all business. Your fireplace and mantel will be safe with these no-nonsense fellows around. Here's a pair that's probably antique:

You can tell because the gold is all worn away from their collars and chains. But their chins remain high; they are proud, these two. you can just tell. Here's another antique set:

These two look slightly less intelligent than the others. Not the smartest dogs in the pack, if you will. My favorite might be these two:

Proud and serious, yet you can tell that they have a sense of humor and would get the joke, if not go so far as to laugh at it. If the antique sets are a bit steep for your budget (they can run into the thousands of dollars) then there's always this option from the delightful online store Furbish:

These two are aware they are not originals and while they retain a proud bearing, they are also a little more accessible. These are dogs that you can chill with after a long day. And at $72 dollars, they are literally more accessible. You know, assuming you have access to credit cards, which I, of course, do not (THANKS A LOT, TED)

Anyway, that's my Sunday Suggestion for you all! Go out and buy yourself a set of china dogs! And if you don't have a fireplace, move. Just kidding! They can go anywhere! Like on either side of your front door, or at either end of a console table, or, well, really, the possibilities are endless. Go buy some. And send me pictures so I can live vicariously through you.

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February 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Having a distinct 'Anne of Green Gables' moment. (Well one of the later books anyway). So cute!

February 20, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Gog and Magog!!! I remember their names! You and I are clearly kindred spirits :)


May 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

The Wally Dug

Many Scottish homes had a "wally dug" (china dog) on the mantlepiece above the fire. In fact, there were often two - one on each side. Here is an anonymous poem about one of them.

The Wally Dug

I aye mind o' that wee hoose that stood on the brae,
Its lum was aye reekin', its roof made o' stray.
The ootside was bonny, the inside was snug,
But whit I mind best o' was the wee wally dug.

It stood in a corner, high up on the shelf,
And keepit an ee on the best o' the delf.
It was washed twice a year, frae its tail tae its lug,
And pit back on the shelf, was the wee wally dug,.

When oor John got mairrit tae sweet Jeannie Blue,
The auld folks they gied him a horse an' a coo,
But when I left the hoose, ma hert gied a tug,
For a' mither gied me was the wee wally dug.

There's an auld saying, 'Ne'er look a gift horse in the moo',
But I looked that wee dug frae its tail tae its broo'
An' a fun' a wee slit at the back o' its lug,
It was stuffed fu' o' notes, was the wee wally dug.

I tain it hame tae oor Lizzle tae pit on a shelf,
An' I telt her the worth o' that wee bit o' delf.
An' we aye feed it yet through that hole in its lug,
It's a guid bit o' stuff, is the wee wally dug.

Meaning of unusual words:

May 25, 2012 at 1:29 PM

That "stuffed full of notes" would be pound notes (aka MONEY, lolol!)

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