This is a blog about music, photography, history, and culture.
These are photographs from my collection that tell a story about lost time and forgotten music.

Mike Brubaker
{ Click on the image to expand the photo }

Four Dogs

03 February 2012

“Not Carnegie, Vanderbilt, and Astor together
could have raised money enough
to buy a quarter share in my little dog.”

― Ernest Thompson Seton

Every dog has its day, and every dog should have its story told, or at least be commemorated in a photograph, so here are four vintage photos of dogs.

The name of this first one is unknown, though some might recognize its breeding.
It is a West Highlands Terrier which stands attentive to the words of its master, Romer Williams, son of Charles Reynolds Williams, the subject of a long essay I wrote in December. The place is Wales and the time around 1902-3. Romer was a London solicitor like his father, and also specialized in estate law. The dog is getting a lecture on the proper way to retrieve stuffed cats.

Romer's dog is a distant ancestor to this next dog whose name I do know. Muffin and my son, Sam Brubaker scamper along a wet Savannah walkway, some twenty years ago. Muffin belonged to my father, who took this photo along with millions of others and printed it in a darkroom himself.

And of course, every boy should have a dog to share their stories. This dog, whose name is unknown, sits with my great uncle, Frank E. Shaw, who was born in 1906. The place is on a farm on the western shore of Maryland, and if Frank is about age 9, that's sometime around 1914-16.

This last photo is another uncle, Clifton Brubaker, taken sometime around 1920-21 near Breckenridge, Missouri. His mother, Ruby Mae Pratt Brubaker stands at the back. Uncle Clifton joined the navy and served in WWII on various ships including the battleship Missouri. He recently celebrated his 95th birthday, so perhaps we might still learn the dog's name.

UPDATE:    I'm informed by reliable sources that the dog's name was Brownie. After the dog died, Clifton was given mittens made out of Brownie's fur. He still has them too! Clifton's left hand is wrapped because of an injury in a farm gate caused by his older brother Lawrence. The camera was likely held by the oldest sister Cecile. My father has the camera and the negative of this photograph.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday
where the photo theme this weekend was a man and his dog.
Click the link to find more vintage photos and shaggy dog stories.


Christine H. said...

These are all great photos. I feel a certain affinity for Clifton, who looks like he really knew how to enjoy the great outdoors.

Karen S. said...

Your Uncle Clifton is just adorable as are all the dogs, and the second photo of boy and dog running happily through life...of course!

Bob Scotney said...

Great photos; Frank looks as if he is having to 'force' his dog to stay.
Clinton's dog is full of life.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Muffin & Sam look like they are off for great adventures! A boy & his dog; a timeless combination.

Jinksy said...

It looks for all the world like Muffin is Sam's skateboard! LOL

Rob From Amersfoort said...

The last photo is almost a work of art.

Little Nell said...

I agree with Rob. That picture tells a story. C’mon Mike, it calls for one of your shorts.

Alan Burnett said...

More great photographs Mike. Each one of them says so much : about social and economic history and about the people featured.

Postcardy said...

I hope the dog in the first picture didn't think he was supposed to go after real cats.

Wendy said...

In Frank's picture, is that the shadow of the photographer? I wonder who....

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

Great photos, Mike. I have a particular fondness for Westies although I never had one. I had a Scottish Terrier once and always wanted a Westie to go along with the Scottie.

I agree with Rob, the last photo is striking. Somehow there is a beauty in the starkness of the photo.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Oh, my, the last photo is my favorite ... Clifton was a doll. Two of my stepkids and their families have "Westies" and they love them.

Thanks for sharing these with us,

Kathy M.

Joy said...

Such a joyous picture of your son and scottie. How wonderful your uncle can still tell you about the last photo (ah the accidents of youth), its a gem.


I really like your family pics and Kundera's quote. I haven't read him in a long time now...

anyjazz said...

You're right, I had not seen this post. You are so fortunate to have these old photographs of family members and have factual stories you can relate about them. I liked the last one best. So much going on in it. And so dramatically posed!


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