OK, I've got this to say: dogs are box office. I base this on Rin-Tin-Tin, Toto, the Eukanuba Dog Show and my Red Room blog. Especially my Red Room blog.
Four or five weeks ago I changed my blog picture, dropping the image of two charming puppies in a painting staring over my shoulder. Instead, there was just me.
From that point on, my Dashboard, which is supposed to tell me how many people are reading my stuff, took a dive.
So, I deduced, people were only reading my stuff because they liked the two puppies. Well, no reason to get moody about it. Robert Louis Stevenson probably also liked those two puppies, or close relatives.
After all, he was a friend of the artist of the painting, Elizabeth Strong, and was probably charmed by her dog paintings just like everyone else.
That would have been in 1879, in Monterey, California. Stevenson arrived from Scotland to court Fanny Osbourne, Elizabeth Strong, and her brother Joseph, coming from San Francico at the same time to sketch and paint.
They met, became friends, and Joseph eventually accompanied Stevenson and Fanny to the South Seas. Elizabeth traveled in the opposite direction, to New York and France, before returning to Monterey.
She became famous for her dog paintings. It wasn't easy. A London newspaper wrote way before the turn of the 20th Century, while Strong was in Paris, ``She loves dog painting and she is determined to make it pay. Soon she will be going to Algeria to study there.''
Maybe Red Room's Abdelwahab Hammoudi knows if Elizabeth made it to Algeria.
Anyway, since my Dashboard Dive, I have realized what a fine artist she was, helping to attract all those readers who have now deserted, and asked Huntington Sharp if he'd help me put the dog image back up on my blog, along with myself, of course.
Actually, you can only see part of the painting because, I think, my head has gotten bigger or something. With just one dog, readership probably won't necessarily soar, but I expect some kind of Dashboard lift off.
If not, I'll try cats.
Causes Steve Hauk Supports
City of Pacific Grove Public Library, Pacific Grove, California; Animal Friends Rescue Project, Pacific Grove; Animal Welfare Information and Assistance,...