Dog and . . . What?

As I was suggesting in my last post, the range of possible go-withs for any specific shaker is as large as the linguistic ingenuity and/or cultural repertoire of its manufacturer.  Consider dogs: We are already familiar with the territory-marking little fellow on the left, happily claiming ownership of the somewhat damaged fellow on the right (note how his paws have been clumsily reattached by some owner prior to myself).  We know the peeing one went with a fire hydrant–so what else might a dog go with?

Some possibilities that occur to me:

  • a cat
  • a bone
  • a home, as in Lassie Come Home
  • Flanders, as in A Dog of Flanders
  • a bowl of kibble
  • a dog trainer  (and this one is, after all, nicely sitting)
  • a blind person
  • a narcotics officer at a luggage carrel in an airport
  • a doghouse
  • fleas
  • a stick (the kind you throw)
  • a dead lion ( Ecclesiastes 9:4-5: “a living dog is better than a dead lion.”
  • a bitten man
  • a mechanical rabbit
  • some vomit to be lapped up (old saying: “a dog returns to its vomit.”)
  • The King, as in Pope’s “I am His Highness’ dog at Kew/Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”
  • another dog

But in fact, none of the above.  This dog goes with something else altogether:It is, then, a version of the RCA Victor dog, the one that appeared for many decades on the labels of phonograph records, along wit the slogan “His Master’s Voice”:

This image was originally based on an 1899 painting by Francis Barraud:

For more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His_Master’s_Voice

So in this case, then, a dog goes with an invisible master’s unheard voice, circulated as an endearingly cute image in popular culture. Seeing either the dog or the gramophone on its own is not likely for most people, I think, to evoke the idea of the other; every dog does not deserve its gramophone, or vice versa.  But together, their being together seems totally obvious.

Published by pernodel

Children’s literature critic and author of books for children

One thought on “Dog and . . . What?

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