Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mom Gets More Culture

Yesterday Mom went to the art gallery to get some more culture, and sure enough, she got some!  And she even took her camera with her so she could take pictures of the culture and bring it home to show me.  Except that she didn't get to take pictures of all the culture she saw, and now I will explain why she didn't.

The first thing Mom looked at was an exhibit of really old photos, like from the 1850s.  And these photos were taken in Egypt so they could be put in books to show people in Europe and America that it might be fun to visit Egypt because it was an interesting and exotic place with lots of ruins.  But since the photos were so old and fragile, they had to be shown in a very low light.  And since you're not allowed to use a flash to take pictures in the art gallery, Mom didn't think she could get any pictures that looked good, so she didn't even try.  But I borrowed one from the gallery's website, just so you could see it.

After Mom looked at the photos of Egypt, she looked at an exhibit of glass, and the glass was really pretty, so Mom started taking some pictures.  Then the guard came and told Mom she couldn't take pictures of the glass because it belongs to a different art gallery, so there is a problem with the copyright or something like that.  So Mom only has two pictures of the glass, and she said I couldn't use these pictures in my blog because if I did, we might all end up in jail.

Then Mom ate lunch in the Rozelle Court, which is where people eat when they are at the gallery.  And Mom took a picture there because it was allowed.  And what Mom had for lunch was half of a Mediterranean chicken wrap and also a really huge chocolate cookie with caramel chips in it.  I wish I could have had the chicken out of Mom's sandwich, but she ate it all herself and didn't bring any home for me, which is typical of how selfish she can be sometimes.

Oh, and guess what!  Mom saw a SERVICE DOG at the gallery!  Mom has never seen a dog at the gallery before, but there he was, just wearing an orange vest that said "Service Dog" on it.  And this dog was mostly like a yellow lab, but smaller and with a different shaped head, so he must have been mixed with something else besides lab.  

Mom could not figure out what kind of service the dog was doing.  The person who had the dog was not blind or deaf, and she didn't have any trouble walking, so there must have been some other reason that she needed a service dog.  Mom wanted to take a picture of the service dog, but she didn't get a chance to do that, so I can't show you a photo.

Okay, well, after Mom ate lunch, she looked at some European paintings that were called Rococo, which is a silly-sounding word.  And also there were some paintings called Neoclassical.  Here's a Neoclassical painting by an English painter named Guy Head.  And you can tell it's Neoclassical because it has a Greek lady named Iris in it, and Iris was a messenger of the Greek gods, besides also representing the rainbow.  The name of the painting is Iris Carrying the Water of the River Styx to Olympus for the Gods to Swear By, which is a really long name.  And it has something to do with Zeus, who was the king of all the gods, and he made the other gods swear to obey him.  Anyway, I think it would have been a better painting if it had a dog in it, but that's just my own personal opinion.

Mom tried to find some paintings with dogs in them, but she did not have much luck doing this.  But she did find this one painting by Thomas Gainsborough, and it's called Repose.  This painting shows a bunch of cattle and horses in a field.  Then down in the corner of the painting, you see the guy who is supposed to be herding the animals, but he is sleeping while the dog does all the work of watching the cows and horses.  Which doesn't seem fair to me, but basenjis are not in the Working Dog group, so what do I know? 

Anyway, the last thing I'm going to show you is an ancient Greek lion statue.  It is really, really old, like from 325 B.C.E.  It was made to be a guard in a cemetery.  Mom always liked to see this lion when she was a little girl and went to the gallery with her mom and dad.  I like the lion, too, because he looks happy and friendly, like he is smiling, and not like a guard lion at all.  Still, I wouldn't trust him not to eat a basenji if he got the chance!


  1. I think the service dog your mom saw could have been like my sister Sierra, a mix between a lab and a golden retriever. She has short fur like a lab, except for a bit on her legs and hips, but her head is a very different shape from mine and her eyes are almost almond-shaped, like a golden. She is also smaller than a normal lab, only about 48 pounds.

    Anyway, goldens and labs are often bred together to make service dogs because we labs are very even-tempered and goldens like my sister Skye are very eager to please their humans. Some breeders hope that a dog who is part of each can be as eager to please as a golden but calmer, like me! Anyway, even if that dog wasn't a golden/lab mix, I'm sure they did an excellent job helping their human! Sierra likes to help our humans, too, even when they say they don't need help, like when they are loading the dishwasher and she helps pre-clean the dishes.

    - Brechin, a black lab from IL

    P.S. If my mom fell asleep when she was supposed to be guarding cows and horses, I would probably sleep too. My sisters would probably jump all over her and make her wake up, though, so I think the cows and horses would be alright.

  2. Dear Brechin,
    Your sister Sierra sounds like a nice dog, and a pretty one, too, and probably a lot like the service dog my mom saw at the art gallery. I know that some labs are calm, but I have also met a few that were totally crazy and hyper, like that one in the book "Marley and Me." Some of the hyper ones make really good search-and-rescue dogs, though. I think it's very nice of Sierra to help the humans by pre-cleaning the dishes. My mom doesn't let us do that because she is afraid we will get "garbage gut," which is what one of her previous dogs got because she let him eat too much people food by licking the dishes.

  3. I am a Pit Bull that is a service dog and helps me with mobility. Some dogs can sense when a seizure or insulin reaction are coming on. This may have been the type of Service Dog your mom saw.