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.
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.
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.
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.
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.