Deerhound

A passionate little blog started by a deerhound dog in Scotland called Rogue ‘Brylach’ MacAllister and Passed to Rascal ‘Logan’ Dorrator Heath

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Deerhound Passing

Today I learned of a deerhound friend passing and it saddened me.
Farewell to Lyra. And as the thought for today I’ll add . . .

Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really.
Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Lyras human companion, Sid, forwarded this little video link from the coursing NL website for all deerhound fans to enjoy. Visit the page and simply click on Dit is nu coursing. Up will pop a windows media viewer file and two deerhounds set off on a lure coursing, obstacle course. Watch out for that net!!!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Deerhounds in Sri Lanka

Worldly travelled and around the globe tales with Rogue . . .

. . . well maybe not I, but I know the humans I share home with have travelled, infact to the country of todays deerhound tale - Lakdiva or Serendib or Taprobane or as it is more comonly known Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was called, under the Pink on the Map, British Empirical days, was one of the locations where many Scots Soldiers, serving out in Asia and the Far East, were sent for a spot of leave, when they were feeling homesick. The reason being, that the mountainous region was similar in appearance to that of Scotland and it was not quite as long a journey as a return to Scotland would be. Infact, many of the areas were named after Scottish locations and can still be found amongst the Tea Plantations of today - Such as Glen Garry and Campletown etc.

Anyway - to the point.

The tale of which I speak today comes from the 1850s and is entitled

The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon.’
by Samuel White Baker.

Interestingly it is about Hunting exploits in Ceylon and features some interesting extracts, including the image above and reference to the Scottish Deerhound . . .

. . . ’Next in rotation in the chronicles of seizers appears `Lena,' who is still alive, an Australian bitch of great size, courage, and beauty, wire-haired, like a Scotch deerhound.
`Bran,' a perfect model of a greyhound.’


Interestingly named after the Huntress, and a dog from Ossian - yet again!

The far reaching Scottish Deerhound is most likely to have existed in this location, in association with the troops that were stationed here and the Celtic breed would have been so part of the Scottish culture of the period.

This takes us back almost 200 years to a period when Darwins theory of breed types in which, labeling and identifying of dogs became so important.

To read the full tale of the The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon simply click the title and follow the links.

As always, I would like to spend more time on this article - but I think you should read the tale and simply enjoy.

ps See how many times you can find mention of Rogue - spooky that eh?

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Deerhounds cross the Atlantic


Here’s I am at quite an extraordiary structure. A bridge that crosses the Atlantic Ocean. Yes that’s correct the bridge over the Atlantic, the lovely old humpbacked Clachan Bridge. Built in 1792 by John Stevenson from the Oban area, legend has it that on completion, a horse pulling a cartload of hay was sent across the bridge to test its strength. (With additional strengthening, today, forty ton trucks cross it without concern.) The rare Fairy Foxglove (Erinus alpinus) covers the bridge in a gentle purple haze in the early summer, further enhancing an already beautiful structure.

The bridge links - Seil Island with Argyll, click here for more information.

For a bit of fun, when not exercising the hounds, here is a little Jigsaw featuring the Bridge over the Atlantic to Seil Island for you to enjoy and to waste time with. If you wish to enjoy other Scottish Landscape Jigsaw puzzles - simply click the link.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Rabbie Burns on Dogs

Today, worldwide, we celebrate the day of ‘The Bard’. Yes, it’s Robert Burns day in Scotland and this evening we will be piping in the “haggis, ’neeps and tatties” for supper.

All deerhounds instinctively will know who Rabbie Burns was, but some of their companions may not. And if you wish to find out more about this great Scottish Poet click here or here but do remember to return to us.

Although I haven’t researched deep enough to discover if Rabbie came into contact or ever owned deerhounds, I can tell you that he did own dogs.

The following poem features two dogs, one, the poormans dog, which was named Luath after Cuthullin's dog in Ossian's Fingal and the gentleman's dog is called Caesar. Also Fingal's dog.

This Celtic awareness garnered from MacPhersons, Ossian and the fact that Rabbie toured the Highlands, leads me to believe he would be well aquainted with deerhounds or the large grey hunting Scottish hounds of the period.

He often used animals to make his point in the foibles of human nature. In this poem he is using them to discuss the conditions under which their respective masters must live, and how their actions affect the people that they associate with, and those that they have influence over. King Coil referred to in the poem, is Coila or Kyle, a district of Ayrshire the county where Robert Burns lived. The dogs of the tale are a Newfoundland (Caesar) and Scottish Collie (Luath).

The first notice we have of this admired poem is in one of the Bard's letters dated 17th February, addressed to his Mauchline friend John Richmond. An extract from the letter reads: "I have likewise completed my poem on The Dogs, but have not shown it to the world."

As an interesting side note, Robert's favourite dog was named Luath and had been killed by the wanton cruelty of some person, the night before his father's death, and the Poet resolved to introduce into his book some composition which would testify his regard for the memory of his quadruped friend.


The Twa Dogs

A Tale

'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle,
That bears the name o' auld King Coil,
Upon a bonie day in June,
When wearin' thro' the afternoon,
Twa dogs, that were na thrang at hame,
Forgather'd ance upon a time.

The first I'll name, they ca'd him Caesar,
Was keepit for His Honor's pleasure:
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Shew'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs;
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Whare sailors gang to fish for cod.

His locked, letter'd, braw brass collar
Shew'd him the gentleman an' scholar;
But though he was o' high degree,
The fient a pride, nae pride had he;
But wad hae spent an hour caressin,
Ev'n wi' al tinkler-gipsy's messin:
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,
Nae tawted tyke, tho' e'er sae duddie,
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,
An' stroan't on stanes an' hillocks wi' him.

The tither was a ploughman's collie-
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie,
Wha for his friend an' comrade had him,
And in freak had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland Sang,
Was made lang syne,-Lord knows how lang.

He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke.
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face
Aye gat him friends in ilka place;
His breast was white, his touzie back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gawsie tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung owre his hurdie's wi' a swirl.

Nae doubt but they were fain o' ither,
And unco pack an' thick thegither;
Wi' social nose whiles snuff'd an' snowkit;
Whiles mice an' moudieworts they howkit;
Whiles scour'd awa' in lang excursion,
An' worry'd ither in diversion;
Until wi' daffin' weary grown
Upon a knowe they set them down.
An' there began a lang digression.
About the "lords o' the creation."

Caesar

I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath,
What sort o' life poor dogs like you have;
An' when the gentry's life I saw,
What way poor bodies liv'd ava.

Our laird gets in his racked rents,
His coals, his kane, an' a' his stents:
He rises when he likes himsel';
His flunkies answer at the bell;
He ca's his coach; he ca's his horse;
He draws a bonie silken purse,
As lang's my tail, where, thro' the steeks,
The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.

Frae morn to e'en, it's nought but toiling
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling;
An' tho' the gentry first are stechin,
Yet ev'n the ha' folk fill their pechan
Wi' sauce, ragouts, an' sic like trashtrie,
That's little short o' downright wastrie.
Our whipper-in, wee, blasted wonner,
Poor, worthless elf, it eats a dinner,
Better than ony tenant-man
His Honour has in a' the lan':
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
I own it's past my comprehension.

Luath

Trowth, Caesar, whiles they're fash't eneugh:
A cottar howkin in a sheugh,
Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke,
Baring a quarry, an' sic like;
Himsel', a wife, he thus sustains,
A smytrie o' wee duddie weans,
An' nought but his han'-daurk, to keep
Them right an' tight in thack an' rape.

An' when they meet wi' sair disasters,
Like loss o' health or want o' masters,
Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer,
An' they maun starve o' cauld an' hunger:
But how it comes, I never kent yet,
They're maistly wonderfu' contented;
An' buirdly chiels, an' clever hizzies,
Are bred in sic a way as this is.

Caesar

But then to see how ye're negleckit,
How huff'd, an' cuff'd, an' disrespeckit!
Lord man, our gentry care as little
For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle;
They gang as saucy by poor folk,
As I wad by a stinkin brock.

I've notic'd, on our laird's court-day, -
An' mony a time my heart's been wae, -
Poor tenant bodies, scant o'cash,
How they maun thole a factor's snash;
He'll stamp an' threaten, curse an' swear
He'll apprehend them, poind their gear;
While they maun stan', wi' aspect humble,
An' hear it a', an' fear an' tremble!

I see how folk live that hae riches;
But surely poor-folk maun be wretches!

Luath

They're no sae wretched's ane wad think.
Tho' constantly on poortith's brink,
They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight,
The view o't gives them little fright.

Then chance and fortune are sae guided,
They're aye in less or mair provided:
An' tho' fatigued wi' close employment,
A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.

The dearest comfort o' their lives,
Their grushie weans an' faithfu' wives;
The prattling things are just their pride,
That sweetens a' their fire-side.

An' whiles twalpennie worth o' nappy
Can mak the bodies unco happy:
They lay aside their private cares,
To mind the Kirk and State affairs;
They'll talk o' patronage an' priests,
Wi' kindling fury i' their breasts,
Or tell what new taxation's comin,
An' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on.

As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns,
They get the jovial, rantin kirns,
When rural life, of ev'ry station,
Unite in common recreation;
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth
Forgets there's Care upo' the earth.

That merry day the year begins,
They bar the door on frosty win's;
The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream,
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam;
The luntin pipe, an' sneeshin mill,
Are handed round wi' right guid will;
The cantie auld folks crackin crouse,
The young anes rantin thro' the house-
My heart has been sae fain to see them,
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.

Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
Sic game is now owre aften play'd;
There's mony a creditable stock
O' decent, honest, fawsont folk,
Are riven out baith root an' branch,
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster
In favour wi' some gentle master,
Wha, aiblins, thrang a parliamentin,
For Britain's guid his saul indentin-

Caesar

Haith, lad, ye little ken about it:
For Britain's guid! guid faith! I doubt it.
Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him:
An' saying ay or no's they bid him:
At operas an' plays parading,
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading:
Or maybe, in a frolic daft,
To Hague or Calais takes a waft,
To mak a tour an' tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton, an' see the worl'.

There, at Vienna, or Versailles,
He rives his father's auld entails;
Or by Madrid he takes the rout,
To thrum guitars an' fecht wi' nowt;
Or down Italian vista startles,

Whore-hunting amang groves o' myrtles:
Then bowses drumlie German-water,
To mak himsel look fair an' fatter,
An' clear the consequential sorrows,
Love-gifts of Carnival signoras.

For Britain's guid! for her destruction!
Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.

Luath

Hech, man! dear sirs! is that the gate
They waste sae mony a braw estate!
Are we sae foughten an' harass'd
For gear to gang that gate at last?

O would they stay aback frae courts,
An' please themsels wi' country sports,
It wad for ev'ry ane be better,
The laird, the tenant, an' the cotter!
For thae frank, rantin, ramblin billies,
Feint haet o' them's ill-hearted fellows;
Except for breakin o' their timmer,
Or speakin lightly o' their limmer,
Or shootin of a hare or moor-cock,
The ne'er-a-bit they're ill to poor folk,

But will ye tell me, Master Caesar,
Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure?
Nae cauld nor hunger e'er can steer them,
The very thought o't need na fear them.

Caesar

Lord, man, were ye but whiles whare I am,
The gentles, ye wad ne'er envy them!

It's true, they need na starve or sweat,
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's heat:
They've nae sair wark to craze their banes,
An' fill auld age wi' grips an' granes:
But human bodies are sic fools,
For a' their colleges an' schools,
That when nae real ills perplex them,
They mak enow themsel's to vex them;
An' aye the less they hae to sturt them,
In like proportion, less will hurt them.

A country fellow at the pleugh,
His acre's till'd, he's right eneugh;
A country girl at her wheel,
Her dizzen's dune, she's unco weel;
But gentlemen, an' ladies warst,
Wi' ev'n-down want o' wark are curst.
They loiter, lounging, lank an' lazy;
Tho' deil-haet ails them, yet uneasy;
Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless;
Their nights unquiet, lang, an' restless.

An'ev'n their sports, their balls an' races,
Their galloping through public places,
There's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art,
The joy can scarcely reach the heart.

The men cast out in party-matches,
Then sowther a' in deep debauches.
Ae night they're mad wi' drink an' whoring,
Niest day their life is past enduring.

The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters,
As great an' gracious a' as sisters;
But hear their absent thoughts o' ither,
They're a' run-deils an' jads thegither.
Whiles, owre the wee bit cup an' platie,
They sip the scandal-potion pretty;
Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks
Pore owre the devil's pictur'd beuks;
Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyard,
An' cheat like ony unhanged blackguard.

There's some exceptions, man an' woman;
But this is gentry's life in common.

By this, the sun was out of sight,
An' darker gloamin brought the night;
The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy drone;
The kye stood rowtin i' the loan;
When up they gat an' shook their lugs,
Rejoic'd they werena men but dogs;
An' each took aff his several way,
Resolv'd to meet some ither day.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Chasing the deerhound blues away

Apparently yesterdays date - January the 22nd - is considered the years most depressing day.

Well here we are on the better side of it, in 2007, and all I can say was that it was not a good day for me - I puked-up all over the living room carpet and did not eat my food. It wasn’t until evening when I decided to protect the household from that nasty vacuum cleaning machine that I came back to life. Although I quickly returned to lazy mode afterward.

This morning I felt better after my long walk at dawn. So when you are feeling blue . . . I suggest it’s the thing to do.

Here are a couple of ‘dyke louping highland hounds’ chasing the blues away for the new year.

Onward 2007 !

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Marilyn and Scottish Deerhounds

Deerhound lovers will know, that as well as owning we hounds - collecting ‘stuff’ such as our photographs, paintings, sculptures and various other bits n bobs is where it’s at. And as a deerhound I can boast - ‘you can never have enough deerhounds’.

That’s why today I thought I’d share these little sculptures with the clan - produced by Marilyn Terry of whom you can find out information about here on her webpage. You can also find her works of art for sale.

Unfortunately as a dog, I don’t understand how this money lark or mail order works, so I will be unable to order any of them - but I’m sure some of the hoond lovers out there may.

Visit Marilyn for information and enjoy the images below.


Here’s what she has to say about her piece ‘The Couch Potato’

It is an amazing phenomenon, the transformation between the excitement of seeing the noble Scottish Deerhound with all his muscles taut, his eyes keen and alert, head up, neck and loins arched, ready to give chase to the beautiful Highland Red Deer, a formidable stag more than twice his size and with deadly antlers, a task of courage for which the Deerhound was bred through the mists of time; and the other half of his nature, that of the couch potato who can sleep dead to the world for hours on end. Maybe that trait too, was inadvertently bred in, the result of Deerhounds over the centuries trying to find a warm sleeping spot on a fur rug in front of a roaring fire in those draughty, cold Scottish castles.

The idea for this piece came when I was staying with a Deerhound acquaintance where the focal point of the canine community in her house was an armchair of a wonderful shape, hotly vied for by a horde of little dogs and several Deerhounds. I couldn’t resist getting this idea into wax, translating the armchair I had seen into an old, lumpy, worn leather but desperately comfortable one, adding the carved roaring stag relief on the back for a touch of whimsy, despite the nagging thought that bronzes had to be of a serious subject.






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Friday, January 19, 2007

A Best friend

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Deerhounds near on 20 years ago

This evening, a friend pointed out that there has not been much in the way of blogging in 2007 from yours truly, the Rogue.

Well things have been happening, and this little deerhound has been busy over the festive period. Well hey! I’m Scottish and it takes twa weeks to recover from Hogmanay . . . and just follow the link if you’re a non Scottish Deerhound who needs to know what Hogmanay is.

So to bring in 2007, check out the pages of the article below from near on twenty years ago. I wasn’t around but my human companions were.

Sadly, some of the Deerhound people in the articles are no longer with us but their memories live on with respect, some kennels have disapeared, and some still run strong. I hope names from the magazine article read this and enjoy the trip down memory lane.

And for those who are reading it for the first time . . . welcome to a piece of recent deerhound history.

Click on the images for an enlarged view and to enable you to read the text.










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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

But who can Judge the Deerhound?



Deerhounds are away above judgement of any human kind.

Klick on image for a special treat but stay with us for more coming soon.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Freedom

In every country they have there great dogs, and in all the world, dogs don’t come any greater than the hound of the highlands of Scotland. Where the right to roam is still law, where the devil is held capture in uncountable bottles, where mist and rain can break for glorious sunshine, where spirits and magic still still hang on the air, where freedom is freedom, that so many cannot understand.

To Scottish Deerhounds.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Deerhounds Happy New Year 2007


You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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