Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who Let The Dogs Out?

...well, I did, Dear Ones! But just for a short amount of time!

Since I showed you my mantlefestation yesterday I thought this would be the perfect "next" post! Here in our den we have built ins on either side of the fireplace. Now this particular cabinet has glass doors and it was the perfect place to become my 'dog house'! :) You see I collect Staffordshire dogs. Now some are the real thing and some are just copy cats, we won't call them faux because they're still little darlings. As you can see, most come in pairs but I have an odd one here and there.

You know how I love to tell you little stories and today is the day I've chosen to tell you a little history of these darling Staffordshire spaniels! I have done my research so I will be telling you the gospel truth. That's the best kind, don't you think? :)

Staffordshire pottery dogs come from pottery companies located in the County of Staffordshire, England. The spaniels are the most common and come in many sizes, shapes and color schemes and were mainly displayed on fireplace mantles. They were first produced in 1720 but at the end of the 19th century the interest in these little dogs declined. :( These Staffordshire spaniels dropped out of favor with collectors until the 1920s and 1930s. Now the truly old pieces are very pricey. I don't have any antique ones, but I do have reproduction Staffordshire.

This shelf holds some of my 'real' Staffordshire spaniels. Did you know these mantle dogs were also called "pot dogs" or "china dogs". Staffordshire spaniels are the quintessential Victorian decoration! Of all the figures the potters created (they produced many different figurines - royalty, famous people, cottages, commoners, politicians and even murderers as well as other breeds of dogs) these sets of whimsical spaniels became the favorite!
You see the bigger dog on the left? Well, he's not even from England, but Portugal! He doesn't even resemble my Staffordshires, but I saw him and his twin on Ebay and had to have them and you're looking at the rest of the story! He and his twin belong to me now! On the right is one of my little lone spaniels.

Okay, on with my little story...ever wonder why these little spaniels make us think of the charm of the Victorian era? Well, Dear Ones, it's because they offer a direct connection to Queen Victoria. Yes, they do!

These little dogs are fashioned after the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who were named for King Charles II of England who was constantly surrounded by these merry little dogs and gave them free run at court.
It was Queen Victoria who brought the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to prominence. And it was her love for her own spaniels that attracted the attention of Staffordshire potters in the mid-19th century. Now this is cute, listen...her beloved companion "Dash" became famous and the subject of many artists. On the day of her coronation, she hurried back to Buckingham Palace to perform an important duty - to give Dash his bath! :) A gal after my own heart!Little Dash was buried on the grounds at Windsor Castle and his epitaph reads:
"His attachment was without selfishness; His playfulness without malice; His fidelity without deceit; Reader if you would live beloved; and die regretted, profit by the example of Dash."

I know some of you probably think, these figurines don't look like dogs at all! I think that's why I've fallen head over hells with these dogs. They're just a hoot! I love these little faces.
These little Staffy is certainly a working dog...see? She's busy picking flowers for me every day!

This is one of two of my biggest Staffy's. Mr. Precious got me this pair for Christmas one year! There's a reddish spot on top of his tiny head and the story goes when Winston Churchill was in Europe fighting the Battle of Blenheim, his wife was at home nervously waiting to hear the outcome. She found comfort by holding one of their spaniels that was soon to have puppies. As she stroked the dog, her thumb was frequently pressed on it's tiny head. Her dog had five pups, each with a spot resembling a red thumb print on the top of its head. The mark became known as the Blenheim spot. Churchill won the battle of Blenheim and was rewarded with a great house called Blenheim Palace of which Mr. Precious and I have toured before. You'll see that spot on many of the reproduction Staffys.
Isn't she a beauty? She has the spot!
This is one of two of my smallest Staffys.
Now, this is also one of two Staffys and when I received them I took a closer look...looks a little like a bunny to me, what do you think?
This, also one of two, was my first pair of Staffys! Look at the expression on his little face! Is this what we call 'bright eyed and bushy tailed'? :)
These two little Staffys look a little like Queen Victoria's little Dash, don't you think? Notice 'the spot'! :P
This figurine is not a Staffy at all, but Majolica. I was in an antique store and heard some giggling. I started looking all over the place to see who was so happy! Well, I turned around and saw this little couple just giggling and snickering! I started laughing too and just picked them up and brought them home with me. Oh, I didn't steal them, Dear Ones, I did pay for them! They've never stop giggling! I love these little happy ones! :) They both have 'the spot'! :)
Here is a dashing Staffy couple who look just a bit scared I think! But they're very happy to live in my dog house. I do enjoy my Staffys who live in my dog house and every now and then there will be a new resident! I'm closing the door now so let's just tip toe out of the room every so quietly so they can take their afternoon naps!

Hope you've enjoyed coming to my dog house and meeting my Stafforshire spaniels.

Be a bunch of sweeties,
Shelia :)

I'll leave you with a little Note Song~


Who let the dogs out

{woof, woof, woof, woof}
{woof, woof, woof, woof}
{woof, woof, woof, woof}
{woof, woof, woof, woof}

Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}

{woof, woof, woof, woof}
When the party was nice, the party was jumpin' {Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo}
And everybody havin' a ball {Hah, ho, Yippie Yi Yo}
I tell the fellas ":start the name callin':" {Yippie Yi Yo}
And the girls report to the call
The poor dog show down

Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}

I see ya' little speed boat head up our coast
She really want to skip town
Get back scruffy, back scruffy,
Get back u flea infested mungrel

{woof, woof, woof, woof}
{woof, woof, woof, woof}
{woof, woof, woof, woof}
{woof, woof, woof, woof}

I'm gonna tell {Hey, Yippie, Yi, Yo}
To any girls calling them canine {Yippie, Yi, Yo}
Tell the dummy "Hey Man, It's part of the Party!" {Yippie Yi, Yo}
You fetch a women in front and her mans behind {Yippie, Yi, Yo}
Her bone runs out now

Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}

Say, A doggy is nuttin' if he don't have a bone
All dogy hold ya' bone, all doggy hold it
A doggy is nuttin' if he don't have a bone
All dogy hold ya' bone, all doggy hold it

Wait for y'all my dogs, the party is on
I gotta get my girl I got my mind on
Do you see the rays comin' from my eye
What could you be friend
that Benji man that's breakin' them down?

Me and My white short shorts
And I can't seek a lot, any canine will do
I'm figurin' that's why they call me faithful
'Cause I'm the man of the land
When they see me they do:ah-ooooo(howl)

Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof}
~sung by Baha Men