Dogs, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Origins of Word, Books and Shows, Records, Expressions

The subthemes of Dogs discussed above came to mind from a poem about a dear dog, a painting with a solo dog walking on a bridge, a song of a beloved dog and his emotional effect years after death, and a movie with a dramatic scene of bloodhounds. Here are a few more subthemes that don’t link so directly to any of the four works of art.

Dogs, from "Cool Hand Luke," a movie with Paul Newman

Subthemes: Smelling, Working, Sports and Racing,

In the movie Cool Hand Luke, Paul Newman (playing Luke Jackson) makes a run for it from his prison work detail. The guards track him with a trio of barking bloodhounds. As the pursuers draw near, Luke pours out a can each of red pepper, chili, and another pungent spice that devastates the sensitive noses of the dogs. Take a look at this longish scene, where at about four minutes, the trick takes place. Newman’s ploy throws off the bloodhourds, and allows other subthemes of Dogs.

Dogs, from "Epitaph to a Dog," a poem by George Gordon, Lord Byron

Subthemes: Pets, Expense, Shows and Competitions

Epitaph to a Dog, by George Gordon Byron, praises Boatswain, his five-year old Newfoundland dog, who had just died of rabies. Byron compares the admirable traits of his dog – and dogs generally – to the sad and sordid mess of humans.. Unlike preening, boastful humans, the virtues of the dog were genuine and revered. Other subthemes of Dogs appear from this poetic headstone.

Dogs, from "La Pont de l'Europe," a painting by Gustave Caillebotte

Subthemes: Strays and Ferals, Diseases and Maladies, Evolution and Domestication, Breeds

In La Pont de l’Europe by Gustave Caillebotte (1876), a dog approaches two elegant strollers on a bridge in Paris. The dog wears a collar and the man in the top hat appears to be watching it, warily. The man leaning on the bridge couldn’t care less. Other subthemes of Dogs can be trotted out.

Dogs, from "Mr. Bojangles," a song by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Subthemes: Service or Support, Food, Bites and Guards

Mr. Bojangles, a ballad by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, makes clear the continuing grief of an aging, alcoholic busker for his companion dog of 15 years. Mr. Bojangles keeps on dancing, to scratch out a living, but his heart was still broken 20 years after that dog up and died. I hope you apprreciate the song. Subthemes of the canine variety are associated with the song.