One hot August night this past summer I dreamed that I was driving along Highway 22 towards Jon Katz and Maria Wulf ‘s October, 2015 Bedlam Farm Open House. On the side of the road running loose was a frantic young Border Collie puppy. Fearing that the dog would be run over I stopped, reached into my purse for a light cotton leash, and put the leash around the dog’s neck. The puppy was dirty and tired but friendly and happily licked my fingers as I set it next to me in the pristine rental car. In my dream I bought a crate, kept the rental car instead of flying back and drove the puppy home with me to Florida, definitely not a free rescue dog.
Last Saturday morning I met antique dealer, Jack Metzger, at his store in Cambridge, New York. As he opened up the store and turned on the lights I entered a couple of steps and looked to my right. There before me was a scratched up wooden frame holding an antique picture of a large, heavy coated dog. Jack lowered the price as I impulsively said I wanted to buy it. Moments later I foolishly realized that the cost of shipping the dog home would far outstrip it’s value.
But here it is, my rescued dog, not a real live Border Collie but a dog that called out to me in the night, an antique artist’s print.
On the back of the print is stamped:
After the painting by Landseer
Published by M.T. Sheahan
I searched the Internet and discovered that the print is from a painting by artist Frank Paton (1855-1909) of a St Bernard named Bayard (nicknamed Barry) who was owned by the Bavarian sculptor, Joseph Echteler. I’m thrilled to own such a beautiful antique picture and will take it to my favorite frame shop soon. I think I’ll also print out the information on the back of the print, as well as the Internet information I found and tape both to the back of the newly framed picture, so someday others will know its history.
Welcome to my pack, Bayard, aka Barry.