Saturday, 4 April 2009

Fox Terriers in Funeral Tableau

It has to be said, but sometimes the Victorian and Edwardian attitude to Death was pretty distasteful - by today's standards I guess. Johnny Watson toured the country at the turn of the last century with his troupe of Fox terriers. What strikes me as distinctly odd is that the deceased terrier is lying on the ground next to the funeral bier and that next to him is the grieving widow - another terrier dressing in black mourning clothes! Some may find this funny, but it makes me uneasy. What do others think?

The reverse of the postcard records the following publicity statement:
"Watson's Fox Terriers
(Everybody's Favourites)
Who Through 'Dogged' Determination and Perseverence
Have Become A 'Howling' Success Everywhere.

Presented by
Johnny Watson
(Born Newcastle-on-Tyne, February 7th, 1844.)


  1. Maybe the dog is just "playing dead"

    But if he is in fact deceased, I would find it more tasteful for him to be in the casket instead of next to it...

  2. Thank you for posting this picture! I snagged it for my blog, with acknowledgment of course. (Let me know if that's not OK!) I had surgery this week and have been pondering the impermanence of life, and this somehow felt just right, both bizarre and frothy at the same time.

    I see how this tableau could seem disturbing to humans (I am one myself); but knowing a fox terrier well, when I look at the photo, I think about how much he would love to do tricks with a troupe and how "death" means nothing to him.

    Oh--I found your blog through a comment you left on "Scribbling in San Antonio", a blog I found because the blogger and I had both listed "A Room with a View" as a favorite movie.
    Such is the blogosphere...