The Pekingese 1900-1940
Excerpt from page 19 -
SHAKESPEARE has impressed upon us that to gild refined gold and to paint the lily is ridiculous; and I suppose that if any one, fifty years ago, had propounded the possibility of a breed of toy spaniels, superior to our English variety, to be found in, what were then, the terroe incognito of Pekin and Tokio, that person would have been pooh-poohed. And if he had further suggested that in the centre of the deserts of rainless Thibet, wandered and wagged their tails a third specimen of little toy dogs, with beauties and characteristics of their own, such as would be reckoned enviable from an English dog-fancier's point of view, that individual would have been laughed to scorn as a visionary dreamer with a touch of Baron Munchausen in him.
Well, fifty years carries us back to 1853, and I refer my readers to the remarkable group of illustrations I am able to give of a Pekingese spaniel, a Japanese spaniel, a Thibet spaniel, and a Lhassa terrier, and ask them, candidly and impartially, to say which group is more pleasing from a general observer's point of view - the English or the Asiatic toy spaniels? The latter existed, undreamt of in Europe, fifty years ago, and probably five hundred years ago, and possibly five thousand years ago; for things do not change in the Unchanging East, and the plough with the same plough and draw their water from the same wells and carry it in the same vessels as they did when we English were nasty, naked, woad-strained savages. And we have evidence that these types of dogs were the same in a that vague past as they are now. But whether developed or not, I do think this group I have referred you to bears marvelous testimony to the dog-fancying of Cathay, and the canine perfection illustrated should chasten our pride, who conceive we are the first and foremost doggy nation in the world. so far as the toy spaniel is concerned, accepting our product at our own valuation (which assuredly would be "refined gold" in the matter of lapdogs), the Golden East has gilded their prototypes in farthest Asia, and painted them in coats of many colours, superior in hues, shadings, variety, and cut to the dainty costumes of their English cousins.
Excerpt from page 22 -
The history of the Pekingese in America is rather more indefinite as to the earliest importations, but so far we have not been able to antedate anything prior to Mrs. Eva B. Guyer's obtaining one in 1898. This lady resides in Philadelphia and has always kept them since that time, getting more from the same relative who got her first one. We are aware that Pekingese can be bought in Philadelphia with pedigrees extending to 1875 and with them a history that takes them still farther back to a race of wild dogs with strange characteristics, but long muzzled and weak faces small dogs are not necessarily Pekingese dogs because the seller says they are. Of late years they have increased in encouraging numbers and there is every evidence that they will shortly become one of the favourite toy breeds. They possess a quaintness all their own and if only the English fanciers will not undertake to Anglicise them with idea of their own, which we are bound to copy, these oddities will be preserved. Our judges must also learn what is required and not follow the methods of one who has better acquaintance with terriers than with Pekingese and put back all that to the judicial mind were bad fronted, in other words penalize those that were best from a Pekingese point of view.
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