Monday, 21 January 2013


Deerhounds have such lovely, gentle expressions that are also a bit comical. The only deerhound I have personally met is called Hamish. He has learnt which dog walkers keep treats in their jacket pockets and comes up quietly behind them and discretely helps himself, like the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist.
According to one piece of research I did, deerhounds were much prized by the heads of the Scottish clans, so much so only the nobility were allowed to own them. A man could save his head when faced with execution for the price of of 3 deerhounds. Sadly, further research would seem to suggest these 'facts' are myths.
Sir Walter Scott owned deerhounds and wrote poems about them, as did Burns. Landseer owned deerhounds and painted them. This painting is by John Frederick Herring Sr, a very popular animal painter in the 19th century, who was commissioned by Queen Victoria, no less.