My dog Fitzroy continues to demonstrate his tastes in sculptural forms. These days, I have a large stock of high-quality firewood in the shelter alongside the house, and this includes a big pile of wood chips. Well, yesterday, I was surprised to see Fitzroy pounce onto the top of this pile of wood chips, and start burrowing with his muzzle. I imagined that he’d spotted a mouse. However, as he moved away from the firewood shelter, Fitzroy held no mouse in his jaws. There was merely an unusually-shaped piece of wood, which I promptly photographed.
As you can see, it’s a fragment of beech wood comprising an old knot. I would imagine that Fitzroy was attracted by the delightful combination of shapes, hues and textures. As I said, my dog has a highly-developed artistic taste. And we can use the word “taste” quite literally. We humans admire beautiful objects by merely looking at them. But Fitzroy goes one step further, and sets about finding what they taste like.
In any case, I’m convinced that my dog is talented in the world of forms and colors. If only my neighbor Tineke Bot were to decide to organize sculpture classes, I would immediately enrol Fitzroy.
I often meet up with references to Fitzroy’s birthplace, Risoul, in the French Alps. The other day, it was mentioned as one of the less expensive ski stations in France.
I like to think that Fitzroy's artistic sensitivity stems from the fact that he was born in such a magnificent place... but I realize that this is not good thinking. Here are photos I took of Fitzroy with his mother and family members at Risoul, just over four years ago:
Click to enlarge
I’ve put a circle around Fitzroy, in the background, with his head leaning against the stone step.
The two pups had been stalking that poor hen, strolling quietly just behind it, following it in every direction, and driving the hen crazy. Finally the mother of the dogs intervened, enabling the hen to escape.
Here is my very first vision of Fitzroy staring straight into my eyes.
Since then, he’s been doing that constantly, many times every day, for the last four years. For me, that penetrating gaze is the symbol of Fitzroy’s presence in my life.