Just in the nick of time, I looked up from reading, "Dogs must be on a leash" in Saturdays horse show program, to avoid being taken out at the knees by two careening Australian Cattle Dogs,
and I tried to recall if I had ever actually seen a dog on a leash at a horse show.
Dogs and horses go together like grits and gravy.
I've noticed that country dogs in general have a rather been-there-done-that attitude. In barns, at horse shows, they are always loose, but in some sort of universally accepted dog-world treaty, country dogs seem to largely mind their own beeswax.
Although they may pause for a pat on the head if you must (I must), or a pick-up game with a new acquaintance (ergo the Australian Cattle Dogs),
they mostly trot along after their owners or sleep in the sun.
Young Jacqueline Kennedy loved dogs and horses from childhood.
Young Queen Elizabeth and Jane, her father's dog. I read recently that Queen Elizabeth has Corgis and Dorgis, after one of her Welsh Corgis had a brief liason with one of Princess Margaret's Dachshunds.
Mini and Cooper live near Poplar Grove, and frequently visit through the back gate.
Designer Darryl Carter at his 19th-century Virginia farmhouse with Otis and Lucy.
Ellie at the Virginia country home of designer Barry Dixon.
Stop to visit a Virginia pal for some sweet tea, and you'll often have to step over an ancient foxhound, dozing away his golden years on a sunny porch.
|French Foxhounds by Charles Olivier DePenne|
A friend has a perpetually sad-looking retired French foxhound, whose ears are so frayed at the ends they remind me of those sudsing strips at a carwash. She relates that he got beat up a lot in the pack in his younger days, but laughs, "Don't feel sorry for him though, he almost always started it."
Sometimes one sees a foot twitch or a hears soft wuf as he dreams about his glory days.
Be sure to check out the dog photo contest at Garden & Gun, here
We think that country life is more a state of mind, than a state of, well... State.
Whether your home is the city, by the sea, in the mountains or Farm town, USA, country life is about how you approach living your day, how you feel about your home, and how you care for yourself and your neighbors.
Virginia Country Life from A-Z is a series inspired by our homes in Virginia. It's about some things and people we love, and some ideas for making your life a little more country- wherever you are.
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Images: 1-5. Carterse via Flicker 6. Cash, Washington, VA by Camden Littleton for Garden & Gun 7. Jacqueline Kennedy Photographer Unknown 8. Young Queen Elizabeth Photographer Unknown 9. Jennings & Gates 10. Photographed by Simon Upton via PointClick home 11. via Traditional Home 12. Unknown 13. For Garden & Gun magazine by Andy Anderson, Photographer 14. Garden & Gun magazine