Here are 2 new additions to The Enlightened Hound’s series of Dog Tag prints which tell the story of a particular breed in a dog tag design. For those of you who are new to this series of prints, you can find out more about how they were developed in an earlier post.
The spaniel is widely assumed to have originated in Spain, with the word “spaniel” thought to be derived from the old French word “Espaignol” meaning “Spanish”. It may have been the Romans who were responsible for bringing these ‘Dogs of Spain’ to other parts of Europe.
However another theory suggests that the name “spaniel” may come from the French verb “espanir” meaning “to crouch or flatten” (which describes a style of hunting involving crouching and springing).
I always enjoy researching each breed for the dog tag prints. When I spoke to Springer Spaniel owners about their dogs, the most frequent word that they used to describe them was ‘mad’! The next thing they invariably talked about is how they just love to be with you, whatever you are doing and wherever you are going. The phrase ‘Velcro Dog’ (as in ‘sticks to you like Velcro’) also cropped up quite frequently.
I was delighted to discover that the nickname for the happy little Cocker Spaniel is the “Merry Cocker”
With their soulful eyes it’s easy to see where the phrase “spaniel eyes” (as in “Don’t look at me with those spaniel eyes!”) came from.
I was interested to discover how closely Cockers and Springers are related. Originally these were just different names given to pups of the same litter — the smaller ones called Cockers and the larger ones, Springers.
The prints are hand lettered and illustrated and then each one is printed by hand on my press.
I am using photopolymer plates for these prints which are often used for letterpress work. I like how the image is reverse- embossed on the back of the print after it has been through the press.
The prints can be bought online from The Enlightened Hound’s shop