Gone to the Dogs

Who doesn't love a handsome coffee table book? Especially this time of year, when there seems to be a little more time to page through the extravagant tomes devoted to art and decor and life. 

One of my all-time favorite coffee table books is the now out-of-print Living with Dogs. Although it was published in 1999, LWD didn't make it into my personal library until 2006. Ever since, it is either in the place of honor on our family room coffee table (an old blanket chest) or easily accessible on the bookshelves. I love looking at the elegant homes, the charming collectibles and accessories, and, of course, the gorgeous dogs.                                                                                                                                                                            

The houses featured throughout this book by Larry Sheehan and photographed by William Stites are highlighted by a warm, welcoming style that is only enhanced by wonderful paintings of dogs and other inviting reminders of the household pet. Some dog owners refine their collections by breed like, for example, collies or, of course, corgis.

Paintings and prints, books, and collectible figures are lovely additions to a dog-friendly home. As are trophies and medals, but, not surprisingly if you've known our dogs, we have none of those.

These little Collie figures remind me of our dear pal Marian,
but the Mister thinks they're "old ladyish," so my collection remains at three.

This was a fun Christmas gift from the Mister, via Anthropologie. Excuse the iPhone reflection!

The title of this little print is Time for the Master's ReturnI gave it to the Mister
 for a birthday years ago. Again I apologize for the phone shadow on the frame.

But, whenever I peruse Living with Dogs, I am always drawn to the earthenware dog bowls. Of course, there's nothing wrong with stainless steel dishes, or even plastic, but I just find the old pottery so appealing.

So, when I would hit the antiques shops and fairs and markets, I'd always look for the vintage dog bowls and occasionally find one. They were always a bit expensive, and since they definitely fell in the category of "want" and not "need," I'd pass them by.

A couple of weekends ago, the Mister and I were in Tennessee visiting my folks. Some old friends who lived a couple of hours away suggested we meet for breakfast, and so we settled on that Southern staple that's always convenient to an interstate exit, Cracker Barrel. After a hearty breakfast and a good visit with our friends, we headed back to my parents' house, and it was easy as pie convincing the Mister to stop in the little town of Sweetwater to look around. Sweetwater is pretty charming with lots of old buildings. It was a rainy, cold day, so I didn't take many pictures, but we did browse through several antique malls and shops. Most were definitely dealing in "vintage" wares, but my favorite mall of those we visited was Cooney's Corner Antiques

As I wandered the creaky floors and narrow stairs of the centuries old building I spied a yellow ware dog dish, marked only $9! Meanwhile the Mister explored another floor of the former department store and discovered another gem, marked $20. 

Same bowl, two different dealers and different prices. After a little negotiating, they were ours. Turns out, the bowls are Robinson Ransbottom Pottery made in Roseville, Ohio in the 1940s. If you're looking for some pottery for your own pooch, you can probably find them on eBay. The prices are affordable, but because each dish weighs about nine pounds, the shipping is kind of pricey!

I did a little shopping in our own house and found this perfect little bench
that makes a proper supper table for Charlie. The scrap of rug hides the dribbles.
Now, I'm sure you must be wondering how Charlie likes her new, or old, dishes. I can only say that she is eating them up!

What about you? Have you made an antiques purchase yet this year? Details, please!


  1. It's so nice to see you. Having three "pups" keeping me company, I loved todays post. Your home is a bit more civilized as my labs seem to feel they are lap dogs... and vie for my lap. Although there is more space than I would like, there is not THAT much space! Enjoy your winter, I am inside today with a snowy, slushy mess. Wishing for just snow!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. I spent last weekend with a friend who has two labs, and I have to say, they were so energetic but loads of fun! I'm hoping for at least one snow here this winter, but so far just rain and fog.

  2. Oh, I adore your bowls and must get one for my dog too. I do have two similar examples for the feral cats I feed outside my house. One was made in the United States and the word "kitty" is printed across the front, and the other, a gift from a friend, was made in England with the word "pussy" across it. I can't tell you how much laughter this produced in our household.

    1. That is a hoot! I suspect that cat bowls are a bit more rare, and how fun to have a US and a UK version!


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