Posts Tagged ‘terrier’
the last known Thylacine which died in captivity in 1933 in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania
It was largely silent, its vocalisations being limited to an occasional terrier-like bark when hunting and a series of husky barks when excited in captivity.
From a book on Australian marsupials
Thylacine by Alexis Rockman from the book Carnivorous Nights by Margaret Mittelbach and David Crewdson
A few years ago we began visiting a stuffed and mounted animal skin with something akin to amorous fervor. We didn’t tell our friends about this secret relationship. We feared they would think it was unhealthy to be infatuated with a dead animal.
The object of our obsession resided at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Best known for its towering dinosaur skeletons and beautiful but creepy dioramas of gorillas and stuffed birds, the museum also housed a library where we did research. On the way there, we would walk through the perpetual twilight of the museum’s halls, passing meteorite fragments, African carvings, and a life-sized herd of motionless pachyderms.
When exactly we first saw this magnificent animal is lost in the recesses of memory, but we remember being instantly captivated by its exotic form. We marveled at its still limbs, at its head posed coyly downward, at its glorious Seussian stripes. It was a taxidermy of a Tasmanian tiger inside a rectangular glass case, and it was positioned in such a lifelike manner, its mouth curved in a friendly canine smile, that we found ourselves feeling affection for it as if it were a long-lost pet. It had 15 dark brown stripes across the back of its ginger-colored coat, which is why it was called a tiger, but the stripes were where that resemblance ended. Its body was shaped more like a wolf’s or wild dog’s.
The description of Dickens’s welcome by his dogs on his return from America – how they lifted their heads to have their ears pulled, an attention received from him alone; how Linda [a mastiff], weeping profusely, threw herself on her back that she might caress his foot with her large forepaws; and how the terrier, Mrs Bouncer, barking furiously, “tore around him like the dog in the Faust outlines” – will show at once the tender relations that existed between the great novelist and his canine friends but we must not omit little Snittle Timbery, a present from Mitchell, the comedian, during Dickens’s first visit to America. Timber Doodle was the original name of the small shaggy white terrier, but Snittle Timbery was deemed by his new owner to be more sonorous and expressive.
May 8, 1881 New York Times
Picture by Dan Burn-Forti, for the Independent on Sunday Review.
Today, in the main arena at Crufts, 21 dogs will take a musical lap of the ring to “Land of Hope and Glory”. They will be accompanied by handlers dressed as British historical characters associated with the breeds: “The Duke of Newcastle” with a clumber spaniel; “Beatrix Potter” with a Lakeland terrier; and “Bill Sikes” from Oliver Twist (“historical” is interpreted loosely here) with his miniature bull terrier, Bullseye.
Hermione Eyre. Independent. Sunday, 9 March 2008