Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Making Of: The Dog

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
Last week, I talked about the differences I see between the oft-added Cat card and the more traditional Lenormand Dog.  Today, then, it seemed appropriate to take a look at our Celtic Lenormand canine.

In designing this card, I wanted it to be set on a beach, as many of the cards in this deck are.  There is a beautiful balance of elements by the sea, which feels appropriate to the Celtic and pagan theme of these cards.

I also wanted the sense of humans close by, suggested by the stick and the dog's expectant air.  After all, this is a card of friendship and the known, not of isolation or uncommon situations.  Our Dog looks alert and happy, ready to take part in whatever his humans suggest, glad to be alive. 

©C. McCracken & W. Worthington
When picking out a breed of dog to show, given the deck is based in Brittany I chose a Brittany Spaniel, or Epagneul Breton.  As you can see, in the original sketch the dog had a short tail.  Will and I, being cat people, saw nothing strange in this.

Fortunately, before he made a start on the final painting I did a little more research and realised the short tail was due to cosmetic docking in modern show dogs, rather than being innate to the breed!  And while the Romans did sometimes dock their dog's tails, there is no evidence of this practice among the Celts.  So, in the final image, our Dog has a natural fan of tail held high :) 


  1. I bet the Celts would not have batted an eye at the thought of docking a tail. :) I like this dog, I'm glad there's a dog in the deck. I am one of those apparently unusual pagans who prefers dogs to cats.

    1. They might not have batted an eye at it, but there's also no evidence they did it, though the Romans did. So, au naturel seemed best :) And as for not having a Dog in the deck, that would have been unthinkable! I think he's a fine fellow, and he came up in my very first reading with the prototype deck :D

    2. Is there any evidence that Britanny Spaniels existed then?

    3. (By the way, that isn't meant to sound sarcastic. Genuine question.)

    4. Not as such, no, Carla. However, they are the kind of dog that has been domesticated and trained for a long time, and they are associated with that area now, so it seemed a good choice :)


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