Tooey is gone to the Spa for Hot Girls. Trice is gone to a conference in Atlanta. What are the two left-behind boys to do?
Why, get their portrait done, of course!
Tooey is gone to the Spa for Hot Girls. Trice is gone to a conference in Atlanta. What are the two left-behind boys to do?
Why, get their portrait done, of course!
Posted in dog art and photos, life with dog, Realta Rosario Cooper, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged Canine Chronicle, Gun Dog Magazine, hunting with Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniel, IWS, That's No Blarney, The Forgotten Retriever on May 3, 2013 | 2 Comments »
A while back, Colleen, Tooey’s co-owner, contacted me about replying to a request for photos and information about training and hunting with Irish Water Spaniels. Gun Dog Magazine was going to run an article about the IWS breed, and so it was time for me to dip into my photo archive and share some images and insights, otherwise known as opinions.
To my delight, my written responses where quoted verbatim and in context. And of the photos I shared, the magazine chose for it’s June/July issue, one of Tooey from our December hunting trip in central Oregon.
Tooey graces the introductory 2-page spread for the article, but unfortunately she is misidentified as Cooper. This is unfortunate, but if you’re going to misidentify a hunting dog, Cooper is a good substitute.
If you get a chance to read and see the article, there are several IWS pictured, all appropriately with birds securely being held while retrieving. (Photos and content were also supplied by IWS experts Susan Sarracino-Deihl, Colleen McDaniel, and Elissa Kirkegard.)
We also contributed to another article for the April issue of The Canine Chronicle. That magazine shared similar comments and quotes, but included a favorite image of mine showing Cooper and our hunting partner, Matt, under a winter rainbow while duck hunting on Sauvie Island, Oregon. You can read a mostly text version of this article on their website, or look at a PDF of the article.
Posted in dog art and photos, dog behavior, life with dog, Realta Rosario Cooper, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged dog photos, dog portraits, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, sporting dog portraits on December 4, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Side note from Patrice: Russ does people and dog portraits, and many other genres of photography, photo illustration, and image manipulation. Take a look on his website, Working Theory Studios.
Posted in dog art and photos, hunting / hunt training, life with dog, tagged best museums in Paris, dog art, hunting with dogs, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, museums to see in Paris on November 27, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
While roaming the streets of Paris last month, Patrice discovered an obscure but delightful museum: Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature
Loosely translated, a museum of hunting and hunting art.
So here is my brief history of hunting:
Get a sharp stick and chase something down and hope it doesn’t kill you before you kill it. Better yet, get a dog to do the chasing, and if it is a big dog, maybe it can dispatch the prey at the same time, saving the hunter the aggravation of being mauled and ending up on the wrong end of the food chain. So somewhere between the time of the caveman and the invention of agriculture, hunting with dogs became the best way to stay fed and stay alive.
Documenting this symbiotic relationship with dogs in art is a mark of civilization. This museum is a testament about this relationship as much as is about hunting. The galleries are filled with hundreds of world-class paintings and sculptures depicting our appreciation for canine hunting partners.
This first painting is an example of hunting boar with a sharp stick, at the expense of the dogs and one hunter. Big dogs, bigger boar.
For those of you who are classical scholars, you may recognize this as the Calydonian Boar of Greek mythology. Here is another woodcut from the 16th century, also depicting the Calydonian Boar being hunted with dogs and sharp sticks.
If you had the financial resources to outfit your pack, you could have special dog armour woven out of horse hair, a precursor to bullet-proof vests. Light enough to wear, flexible enough to run and hunt in. This detail from a vintage tapestry shows a hound with both head and neck protection, plus a bit of body armour. Notice the section of the hunter running behind the dog with a sharp stick.
In 1620, Isabelle of Habsburg, regent of the Netherlands, commissioned a couple of local painters to glorify her pack of hunting dogs. Peter Paul Reubens and Jan Brueghel worked up this nice painting of Isabelle’s pups with the goddess Diana thrown in for some art history credibility. Check out the little naked dog handler with wings. He has a couple of hounds on leashes with the latest in horse-hair technology, hopefully keeping them boar-proof.
Hunting wolves was not without its challenges, too. Usually, if you had more dogs than wolves, then you could win with numbers.
But wolves bite back.
Wolves, like dogs, prefer to go for the throat. Rather than encumber your pack with body armour as in hunting boar or stags, one only needed to protect the neck of your favorite wolf-hunting dog. In this display case, we found a great skull of a wolf and the corresponding collar for the hunting dog. No other explanation is required.
But not all hunting was for dangerous game. It was discovered that the wily pheasant or partridge could be brought to the table with the aid of a flushing dog. Once people had reasonable firearms loaded with gravel or shot, a whole new sport evolved. (The existence of such sport is the excuse to post this to the blog.) Of course, having such resources usually was the province of upper class. Adding in a nice pack of dedicated spaniels, game keepers, and shooters led to the sport of kings.
Louis XIV had some nice flushing spaniels that he deemed worthy of a large painting. (Wouldn’t this look good over your fireplace in Versailles?)
While the artist Christophe Huet thought that the picture below might just have made a nice composition with a dramatic action sequence, what he was actually recording was a dog that was not steady to the flush. This image set dog training back by a couple of hundred years.
And speaking of documenting poor dog training, check out this bad girl.
The Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature is loaded with remarkable art, taxidermy, weapons (pointed sticks to shotguns), hunting horns, duck calls, and artifacts that all relate to hunting, albeit from a wealthy European’s perspective. But that’s not all.
Sitting quietly in an upholstered chair off in the corner on one of galleries was this snoozing fox. Everyone could use a dead fox on their furniture. Notice that there is no cat hair on this chair and the upholstery is still in great shape.
And not all exhibits were dog oriented. Here is Patrice, checking out another hunting artifact, free-standing in a gallery of bird art.
Paris is mostly about good food, wine, and art. Even so, we did manage to find this one dog-oriented activity to make our vacation well-rounded and balanced.
Posted in dog art and photos, hunting / hunt training, life with dog, Realta Rosario Cooper, tagged AKC hunt tests, hunt test, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, spaniel, spaniel hunting tests, Western Washington English Springer Spaniel Association on May 28, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
I was going to start out this post by saying that Cooper is now a Spaniel. But the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous that sounded. He’s always been a Spaniel, hunting up birds, even when the only available bird was a rubber toy I’d hidden in the living room.
So, I guess what Cooper really is, as of yesterday, is a titled Spaniel — Junior Hunter Upland (JHU). To celebrate, Russ did a portrait of the boy:
Somewhat less formally, a couple of shapshots also got taken this weekend after his 3rd and 4th pass in two junior-level Spaniel Hunting Tests, both held by the Western Washington English Springer Spaniel Association.
Cooper had the same successes and the same weaknesses as last weekend:
Spaniel hunt tests are way more appropriate to Cooper’s talents and how we actually like to live. So, there is a possibility that we’ll keep working on the boy to get that enthusiasm under better control. Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.
* out of 10. In Spaniel Hunt Tests, a dog can earn 10 points for each area being scored: hunting ability, bird finding ability, flushing ability, trained abilities, retrieving abilities. These past two weekends, Cooper’s scores were strong on everything except trained abilities. This would not be a surprise to anyone who has been reading this blog. Sigh.
Posted in dog art and photos, friendship, life with dog, Realta Rosario Cooper, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged dog art, felted dog sculpture, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, Lower Columbia HRC on February 18, 2012 | 10 Comments »
Getting into the Irish Water Spaniels as a breed has brought many changes and additions into our lives (as chronicled in this blog), but one of the best things is the amazing people we have met who have become fast friends. One I would like to highlight is Carol.
We have posted numerous times in this blog about one of her dogs, Scarlett, a Boykin Spaniel she co-owns with her husband Norm. While Carol does not actively run Spaniels in hunt tests, she has been an active member, officer, and board director of the Lower Columbia Hunting Retriever Club. A number of the photos I have posted of upland hunting with Norm and Scarlett have been taken by Carol. She does run a Tibetan Terrier in AKC Agility trials and drives horses in competition, so running dogs in hunt tests would just be an unnecessary burden on her time. But in what limited spare time she has, Carol is an Oregon Master Gardener and artist in many mediums.
Last summer at a fund raising event, I was high bidder at a silent auction for a custom-made felted dog sculpture made by Carol. I got to choose my breed, and of course I went with an Irish Water Spaniel. Most of the other bidders were Labrador Retriever owners, so Carol was probably expecting a simple project with a smooth coat and maybe a color choice between Black, Chocolate, or Yellow (you know all those Labs look alike). Undaunted by my request, she asked for reference photos, even though she is familiar with the IWS breed and is friends with Cooper and Tooey. We even supplied a bag of clipped Cooper coat for the basis of the felted creature. What Carol produced was the ultimate Mini Cooper.
Not only is this a three-inch version of an Irish Water Spaniel, but for those who know Cooper, you will recognize the specific inspiration for this rendition. Compare the felt sculpture to the photo below that I supplied Carol as a reference.
In her drive for detailed perfection, Carol needed to find some hair that would curl correctly at that size and look appropriate for a miniature Irish Water Spaniel with tight curls. Her research found some wool from a breed of sheep named Coopworth (really, we did not make up this name). She twisted several strands at time and then inserted them into the body, . . . hundreds of times. Carol even included Cooper’s extra facial hair curls because she knows we like them, even though they are generally kept trimmed for the confirmation ring.
To put this small creation in scale with the real thing, I asked Tooey to take a look at this masterpiece while I made this photo.
Weekend before last, Russ did a bunch of portrait photography. Our living room transformed into a studio — furniture pushed out of the way, and the space crowded with lights, diffusers, reflectors, backdrops, computers, cables, lenses, and cameras.
Cooper, Tooey, and I had been out. We were home earlier than expected, but that turned out great. Russ’s last subject of the day was just about ready to drive away (in his Mini Cooper!), and all the equipment was set up, so why not take a picture of the dogs?
Here’s one Russ did of Tooey, the beauty queen in charge. If she had her way, she’d be the cover girl on a magazine entitled Royalty.
The last time I wrote about Cooper’s grooming, I was very much enjoying his new short field cut. It was March, and I was looking forward to months of less debris and less grooming time. Not to mention improving Coop’s ability to see.
Well, now we’re getting ready for Cooper’s (probably) last conformation show in about 3 weeks. So we’ve been growing his coat out, with the idea of sculpting it back into dog-show condition.
It’s not sculpted yet though. Take a look:
For the show, we’ll probably clip his muzzle to get rid of the muttonchops. And we’ll shape the topknot. The ears, though, are the interesting issue. The ear fur seems to have grown a lot slower than the topknot fur, so it’s unlikely that they’ll be grown out to their full length to the show.
Which is OK. Part of me is sorely tempted to give him a modified field cut. He’s a hunting dog, after all, and I’d like people to see him in all his hunting-dog style. But I don’t know just yet.
And fortunately, I don’t have to decide right now.
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve received two very nice notes explaining the history of the card that Cooper received last January.
Here’s a close-up of the front of the card:
It turns out that there is a whole series of these cards, produced by Jean Evans and Penny Diamond, as part of their cottage industry that they call Chocolate Dogs. The cartoon on the front is of Jean’s Irish Water Spaniel, Moss (Fynder Tip of the Whistle).
As Jean tells the story, she and her sister had been walking their dogs — the sister’s Dalmatian and Doberman, and Jean’s Moss — in a pine forest in Wales. The Dalmatian and the Dobie came out from their walk all neat and tidy, but Moss came out as an IWS will, covered with debris. Jean’s nephew Matthew did the drawing shortly thereafter.
Jean obtained the copyright for the cartoon, and the Chocolate Dogs ladies made and sold cards of the image. Jean mentioned that they had sold the cards at Crufts and elsewhere, giving some of the proceeds to Irish Water Spaniel rescue. And since I got the card, I’ve heard from some who said they purchased cards at Crufts.
I really love this image. It describes perfectly how Cooper comes out from the field — covered with all possible combinations of debris.
Plus, being a Fynder dog, Moss must be related somehow to Tooey, whose sire is Fynder Freethinker.
Thank you again Jean, Penny, and Matthew. The card is a real pleasure — we have it framed and on our bookshelf so that we can enjoy it every day. Perhaps someday I’ll get a chance to see the whole set.
Cooper is not a dog who wants to be left out of the action. Yesterday afternoon, I set up to photograph portraits of dogs that belong to some friends of ours. Always eager to participate, Cooper immediately ran to the center of the seamless studio background and struck up a pose. That allowed me to check focus, lighting, and exposure. Not only is he a great hunting dog, he is quite the photo assistant as well.
Today’s work involved editing yesterday’s photo shoot on the computer. Cooper couldn’t stand being left out of the action this time either. So he took up his normal office position of sitting on the side chair. But rather than dropping a ball in my work space as he has before (see the bottom photo of this post), he just moved right in. To put this in scale, Cooper weighs in at 65 pounds.
But heck, he knows what he likes. The photo of the cute female Irish Water Spaniel must have gotten his attention.
And Cooper’s first pick from yesterday’s photo shoot:
Posted in dog art and photos, hunting / hunt training, Realta Rosario Cooper, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged dog, dog photos, dogs, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, Parkdale Kennels, St. Louis Ponds, water retriever training on March 7, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
It has been a dry couple of months for Cooper, with only land training since duck season closed at the end of January. Finally, temperatures are getting above 50 (it was in the 20s just 10 days ago), so it is suitable for water training.
Today, Cooper was looking photogenic in the sun and pretty proud of himself with a duck. So I made yet another photo of my boy.
Water training is really important, even when the dog has a solid retrieve on land. Dogs don’t generalize well, so just because he knows how to do something in one environment, doesn’t mean he’ll know to do the same thing in another environment.
For water retrieves, the dog has to be willing to jump into the water (even when cold or slimy), retrieve the duck, and swim back to the handler with it. Cooper has had water work before, so the basic concept is not completely new to him.
Tooey’s a different story. She loves the water and loves to swim, but she hasn’t had the discipline of having to go out into the water, retrieve, and come back consistently.
So in just a couple of days she’s going off to California (where it’s sunny and warm) with Butch to do some daily water work. All this in preparation for her first hunt test in just under a month.
We will miss seeing our girl every weekend, but it’ll be good experience for her.
If you have followed this blog for a while, you probably have seen quite a few examples of Cooper’s willingness to accommodate my photographic whims by sitting and posing for the camera or canvas. Once more he has lent his visage for this illustration.
One of my day jobs is teaching at the Art Institute of Portland. When I develop my lesson plans and projects for my students, I often dip into my archives of personal and commercial images as source material to explore ideas for future assignments.
For next week’s Digital Image Illustration class, we’re going to practice photo-composing disparate elements from two or more photos, so I needed to build an example to show my class of photo students.
One of the shots from a recent photo shoot with Cooper provided one element. A photo of Mt. Rushmore provided the other.
So I am actually getting paid to make cute pictures of my pet dog. How good is that!
Posted in dog art and photos, dog grooming, dog shows / conformation, life with dog, Realta Rosario Cooper, tagged dog, dog model, dog photos, dog portrait, dog portraits, dogs, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, IWS grooming, photographing a dog photo studio, sporting dog portraits on January 21, 2011 | 8 Comments »
This week, Cooper has been getting ready for his 3rd appearance at the Rose City Classic dog show here in Portland, Oregon. He is one win away from his AKC Championship, providing that his final win is a major competition.
So several times this week, he has been going from field training in the driving rain and mud, to the dog wash and grooming station. In order to document his clean coat and show cut, I took him into the studio for a portrait session. Afterward, of course, we stopped off for another training session on the way home and one more bath before he hits the ring tomorrow.
He is such a good dog to work with as a model, I thought that I would set up a small video camera and just record a typical photo shoot with the Coop.
Here is a sample of one of the photos that Cooper and I made together (we are a team).
If he wins a major this weekend, then this coat will get trimmed way down so he can just be a hunting dog. If this actually happens, Patrice will be making a significant blog post, as it has been over 3 years of going to dog shows, gradually accumulating enough points for this final milestone.
And if he doesn’t pull it off this weekend, then the coat stays and we look for some more dog shows — majors only. Stay tuned.
Posted in dog art and photos, dog shows / conformation, hunting / hunt training, life with dog, Realta Rosario Cooper, Stanegate Second Thoughts, tagged dog, dog photos, dogs, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, IWS grooming, Russ Dodd photography, Stumptown Cluster on July 24, 2010 | 1 Comment »
It’s a rare day when both dogs are all groomed up at the same time. Tooey’s been going into the show ring pretty regularly over the past several months, but Cooper has been too busy working in the field. But today is that day, so Russ got a great picture to mark the event.
This weekend, the Stumptown Cluster of dog shows is located in my home town. No traveling, no motels, no excuse not to show both dogs at least one of the days. Though I might have found an excuse if I’d wanted to, if I were basing my decision logically on the order of events:
Later tomorrow afternoon, after the show ring, both dogs are going back to the ponds. Finally — they’ll each be doing what they love best in life: to swim (Tooey) and practice retrieves (Cooper).
Posted in dog art and photos, dog family tree, friendship, Realta Rosario Cooper, tagged dog, dog photos, dog portaits, dogs, Irish Water Spaniels, IWS, pet portrait, Russ Dodd art, Russ Dodd photography, sporting dog portraits, sporting dogs on July 5, 2010 | 3 Comments »
Russ and I spent the holiday weekend with Jack and Colleen. One of the highlights of the weekend was being able to give them a gift that can only partially repay the many kindnesses they have extended to us.
Russ does beautiful work, and I am particularly proud that I can be even slightly associated with this oil portrait he did of one of Colleen’s dogs — Mabel, Cooper’s grandmother.
Russ started this project several months ago by taking more than a hundred photographs of Mabel in Colleen and Jack’s yard. You can see one of the photographs in an earlier blog post.
The finished size of the portrait is 22″ x 30″ before being placed in a handmade mahogany frame.
Russ has created several other paintings of dogs, starting with a watercolor of our first dog, Kayak, the malamute-mix. Now he’s focusing on oil portraits of sporting dogs, including Irish Water Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, and soon, Boykin Spaniels.