Making Home Homier: The Hunting Dog...
Throughout history, people have always kept useful animals in and around their homes. People would feed the animals that were beneficial or pleasing to them, and ignore the ones that weren’t. Have you ever fed a stray cat? Maybe. Have you ever fed a stray opossum? Probably not. It’s human nature to nurture animals that are helpful and safe to have around.
The dog is the quintessential domesticated animal. Over time, dogs have developed into different groups – guardian dogs, hunting dogs, and sight hounds. Within the groups are hundreds of different breeds, which developed as man purposely mated dogs with certain traits in order to produce the desired traits in their puppies.
The piece we’re featuring today is this wonderful corner console from France, circa 1870, featuring antlers and a hunting dog at the base. Our friends at Animal Art Antiques specialize in eclectic animal-themed antiques. Click quick – right here – to find out more about how to make this part of your home.
Man and dog have teamed up to hunt game for thousands of years. There are many breeds of hunting dogs, but they all have certain qualities in common - they are made for detecting, tracking, catching, and retrieving prey. Different breeds hunt in different ways. For example, Labrador retrievers would catch fish in the waters of Newfoundland. Rhodesian ridgebacks were bred to hunt lions in Africa.
Today, most hunting dogs are family pets that do not live a life that fulfills the role that their doggie ancestors filled. But, you can tell a lot about what a dog’s doggie ancestors hunted by the way the dog is built. Scent hounds usually have bodies that are low to the ground and long ears that would act as funnels to direct the scent of the game into the dog’s very sensitive nose. Sight hounds are tall and big-eyed.
In the same way that a real dog can make a house feel more like a home, there is no antique that adds warmth to a room like one that is animal themed. Picture a ski lodge with deer head lining the walls and a big ol’ antler coat rack. The piece we’re featuring today is special. The warmth of the wood, combined with the antlers and hunting dog motif will surely have your guests digging through your fridge and plopping their feet up on the coffee table after your next dinner party.
But, wait. What if your home has a more elegant feel? What if you don’t want people’s feet all over your coffee table? What if the woodsy, laid-back theme isn’t really your thing? If that’s not your style, this piece would be perfect in a game room, den, or man cave – somewhere that you are perhaps trying to make into a more relaxed environment than the rest of the home. After all, everyone needs a place they can let loose.