The label on the wrapper for this charming book called “Dogs” read “lovely pictures – suitable for framing.” I loved the little pup on the cover. Other than the black ear, it looks so much like our beloved Westie, Reggie. He sits up just like that on his round little bottom when he thinks there might be a treat in the wind. I grabbed the book, added it to our pile on the counter at the antique shop. I had not even looked at the other pictures, but planned to do so soon.
Well, to my delight, the other pictures were equally wonderful. Ms. Thorne added a paragraph under the illustrations with the name of the dog and a bit about them. A cute idea. The first dog was a police dog, German shepherd, named Rod and the next one was a husky named Nestor, watching a grasshopper.
One of our daughters has a cairn terrier and when I saw the page with the “twin cairns” I recognized her dog, Toodles.
As I proceeded reading the book and enjoying the pictures, I wondered if it is the right thing to do, tear a book apart so you can frame the pictures. In some ways, it makes sense, especially if the book is in very poor condition, perhaps stained, ripped or otherwise damaged. On the other hand, it would be sad to be unable to get the full impact of the numerous pups and their “life story.” I am sure that my daughter, who is a true lover of all books, would frown on me for tearing these out.
The book is quite large, approximately 13″ x 10-1/2″, a great picture size. Did Diana Thorne consider this size when she made these illustrations? Would she be aghast that someone used these for other than their original intention?
Diana Thorne’s history is quite intriguing. She was born in Russia in 1895 and due to the tumultuous times, her family went from Canada to Germany to England. Her first teacher in the “art world” was William Stang. She became well respected for her etchings, illustrations and for writing children’s books. She was commissioned to do pictures of some very famous dogs including President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s beloved scottie, Fala, and Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s terrier, Igloo.
I think that for now, I’ll keep the book intact and let the grandchildren appreciate it in its complete form.