Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The King of Terriers or the King of Bull?

Click pic to make bigger.

I love this ad for Spratt's Dog Cakes (the beginning of modern dog food and the product sold by Charles Cruft), not for the picture but for the dog-dealer text:

"I enclose for you a photo of 'STIPENDIARY," the King of Terriers, whom I feed entirely on your biscuits. When I tell you he has sired upwards of £20,000 worth of Terriers, you may understand that he is quite the father of his people."

For the record, S.J. Stephens was one of those people who figured he could buy his way to a good kennel.

Work a dog? Know what he was buying or why? There was none of that with Stephens. He simply bought what was winning at the shows, and at one point sent a blank check (by messenger) with the instruction: "Fill in any amount, and it will be fine."

And what did Stephens get out of it?

The same thing people get today for doing exactly the same thing: quick and ready fame, on the cheap, and without any real work or expertise.

For the cost of a decent sailboat, a complete ignorant and fool can buy a kennel of top dogs, and for a few score thousand dollars more he can have a paid handler trot those dogs around the ring while he takes a bow in the press.

Is this done? All the time!


Gina said...

I've always though campaigning show dogs attracted a lot of people who are rich, but not enough so to own racehorses.

How much IS a good sailboat, these days. I was a Sea Scout, but sold my little Cyclone 13 catboat to help pay for college.

PBurns said...

Depends on what you want. A 27- foot to 36-foot boat is ideal, I think, and fully loaded they can cost from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on age, engine, navigation, rig, etc. A 36-foot 40-year old Cheoy Lee (no new boats for me!) can be had for $56,000 http://www.cheoyleeassociation.com/Sale/Jamcill/Jamcill.htm I have always liked the old Alden-designed boats and Cheoy Lee made some solid over-built boats. Did I mention I used to build sail boats for a brief period in my youth? True!


Heather Houlahan said...

A kennel of ornamental show dogs prolly doesn't cost as much to maintain as a boat.

When my Mom started dating a boat owner, lo these many years ago, I asked her why she was interested in a guy who used to have money.

It was sadly more true than I wish it had been.

Donald McCaig said...

Dear Patrick,
When I attended the AKC "Show Dogs of the Year" fancy dinner at the 1990 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one of the top dogs was owned by a consortium of three Japanese gentlemen, none of whom lived in the US nor spoke English.

Donald McCaig