Wednesday, 23 April 2014

'The Holy Greyhound: Guinefort'

'All over the world, threading through a multitude of diverse cultures, and as some scholars assert, perhaps originating in prehistoric times, there has been passed down a legend of a heroic, selfless greyhound'

On Saturday, Blackbird & Indigo Dream fortuitously coincided at Apsley, and very pleasantly moved up to Berkhamstead together;

You'd never guess if from the picture, but, as you might guess, Richard & Sue had a dog or two with them...

Then, on Monday, John Finnemore (author of modern day radio classic Cabin Pressure) was on 'The Unbelievable Truth' on Radio 4, and did an almost Reithian 'talk' about dogs. Most of this was amiable tosh, but it did include the fact that St Christopher was often depicted with a dog's head. This was explained on the radio as being confusion between Canaan and Canine (John Finnemore writes it up rather entertainly here), but there seems to be far more to it than that, explained here, and also this one, which goes into the Greco/Roman cult of Asclepius. I took the quotation at the start of this entry from that, and goes on to say:

These greyhounds, which were kept at the temples, appear to be akin to an animal totem for the god Asclepius. It was believed that their lick had great healing powers. People's affection and tokens given to the greyhounds were offerings made to the god himself.

So, neatly back to Indigo Dream - here's Carrie's picture of a mere fraction of the seven greyhounds on board - including two from Greygal (owner of the rather lovely Henry H) and latterly two with Maragaret & Roger of the Wendover Arm Trust.

So, thanks to Asclepius worshipping (or possibly just greyhound obsessed) Sue & Richard for a lovely day - and coffee the following morning, and we just hope our dawdling didn't mean a long day boating in the rain on Monday... and I think we have a name for your next boat ;-)

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