Thursday, November 11, 2010

Terrier in a Trench

"First-Aid for a Wounded Comrade"
The War, Illustrated, December 1917

Premise for a story: What if, as promised, it had been the war to end all wars?
More on fox terriers here.

More on The War, Illustrated here (thanks, Frizzy!).


The Crow said...

What a great idea, Fresca: have you started one?

ArtSparker said...

I like alt histories. An email greeting from Mrs. O today, suggesting that I remember all the sacrifices our troops are making...maybe they shouldn't be, you know, making those sacrifices so much (assuming we could find something else for them stateside). Okay, I know you like to steer clear of politics.

Margaret said...

fic please

frizzy said...

Were there pets in the trenches? The caption to that picture is fascinating on so many levels. And it doesn't look like any fox terrier I've ever seen. The magazine itself is interesting too. You sent me off on a huge link-fest which, while trying to discover whether soldiers in the trenches had dogs as pets, led to wikipedia's entry on dogs in warfare. Did you know about anti-tank dogs? B2 did, due to some Horrible History or other but I'd never heard of them. And there I was thinking that the use of exploding animals in warfare was solely the product of Tom Sharpe's comedic genius. You live and learn!

Fresca said...

CROW: I keep meaning to try writing fiction, just to learn the form. But haven't yet.

ARTS: Do I steer clear of politics? Not really on purpose...

MARTZ: OK, here's a 25-word fic:
"Anne's fox terriers get on my nerves. But it's nice of the Franks to host the End of War party. To think, ninety-two years now!"

FRIZZY: Thanks! I added the links! Can't read about dogs at war tho--too distressing...

frizzy said...

There's a lovely SFT who lives near us - moves like a ballet dancer, gorgeous dog. I suspect that in 1913 the descriptions of various terriers were somewhat more fluid than they are today. There's a fascinating book on British dogs from 1903 with a huge section on "fox terriers. On about the third page there's reference to the Reverend John "Jack" Russell as being one of the prime breeders of the "fox terrier". Those dogs are now, here, know as Jack Russell terriers and are generally smaller than FTs, either smooth or wire. I think because they all came from a similar mainly white terrier stock which when working dogs were used to dig out foxes they were generically known as "fox terriers". The dog on the magazine above doesn't look (to me) like a "show" SFT - head too short and broad, legs and overall size smaller, tail docked shorter - it looks to me like what I'd call a "Jack Russell". See this interesting history of the breed. The Jack Russell wasn't recognised as a breed by the UK Kennel Club for decades, which was just what working terrier-men (and women) wanted. Finally they (the KC) gave in and now there's a "Parson Jack Russell" with a breed standard and everything. I meet annoying people with mutty looking curs that they tell me, with their noses in the air, are "a pedigree Parsons". Humph, I think. It's certainly not a REAL Jack Russell. But say nothing :-)

Fresca said...

FRIZZ: Oh, yes, now I see what you mean about this not looking like a fox terrier.
I wonder if the illustrator simply got it wrong: the original dog's head was turned, making its jaw look shorter, but the artist didn't catch the turn and foreshortened its head.

Joop's jaw is frighteningly long. He doesn't bite, but if he did he could take your leg off!

When I was in Ireland in '85, I was amazed--and enchanted-- by the many variations on "short white terrier" that wandered (and no doubt mated) freely around town.
Each one was unique and wonderful.
I imagined they were "real" dogs, bred to keep out rats and the like, not to look any particular way.

Thanks for all the links! I am responding before I look at them because I know I will spend hours---as I did last night, looking at pix of smooth/wire FTs.

bink said...

I too was going suggest it was a Jack Russell terrier. Looks more like that too me too.

iloveyoumauralynch said...

NOW I see the dog.
Not a fox terrier for sure.
Jack Russell.

frizzy said...

Never can there be enough terriers. Anywhere. Whatever they're called, however they look. I was delighted to discover in the sniffing around the internet's lampposts of terrier info that borders' average lifespan is 12-15 years. Unless Maizy's hybrid vigour propels her in front of a car it looks like at least half of her should be here for quite some time to come... in fact she could only be half way through her life. I think far more than I am comfortable admitting to about Maizy's not-being.

Fresca said...

Maizy not-being? That implies Joop not-being.