Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Bobbie the Wonder Dog

Meet “Bobbie the Wonder Dog”.  In 1923 Bobbie was traveling with his family from Silverton, Oregon to Indiana.  At a fueling stop while in Indiana, this two year old Scotch Collie mix was separated from his family and disappeared.  After an exhaustive search the family had no choice but to leave instructions in case Bobbie showed up, and return home.  Nearly six months later in February of 1924, Bobbie showed up at the door of his owners, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Brazier.   Bobbie, thin, weathered, and weary, had somehow managed to find his way back to his Oregon home, a distance of approximately 2,800 miles, in the dead of winter.

While news of his amazing return quickly spread, many people simply could not believe that this amazing dog was able to make this trek back to where his journey began.  Officials from the Oregon Humane Society launched an investigation into the claim and were able to determine to their satisfaction that Bobbie did indeed travel this incredible distance.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog with his owner Frank Brazier

Instantly famous, Bobbie was celebrated, receiving medals, keys to the city, and a jewel-studded harness and collar.  Over 40,000 people came to see him at the Portland Home Show, where he was the guest of honor, and was presented with his own dog-sized bungalow.

Bobbie’s story was also featured on ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’, and inspired a book by Charles Alexander titled, “Bobbie, A Great Collie.”  He also played himself in the silent film, “The Call of the West.”

Upon his death in 1927, Bobbie was buried with honors at the Oregon Humane Society. Portland’s mayor gave the eulogy and later Rin Tin Tin laid a wreath at his grave.


The Bored Dog

How to stop your dog being bored. Boredom in dogs leads to undesired behaviours

The exasperated caller complained that his dog was escaping his yard, digging and fence running. The dog was becoming a neighborhood nuisance and driving him crazy. I pressed a bit and asked about the environment the dog lived in. All I got was the dog had a yard to play in. I asked about toys, attention, opportunity to get out with other dogs, etc. The owner grew silent. He thought all a dog needed was a yard to run in.

Dogs need stimulation

boreddogSadly, this is a common misconception. Dogs are not lawn ornaments. Dogs without stimulation and left alone in yards grow bored. Dogs are thinking creatures with natural instincts such as digging, chasing, and socializing. Dogs are social creatures and do best when part of a pack. We humans have to be this pack as we make the decision to bring dogs into our lives. To deprive a dog use of his basic instincts and social needs creates problems.
This dog was escaping the yard because he was bored. He had no toys, little interaction and was developing undesired and even dangerous behaviors. (What if a car came by the day he ran into the street or he attacked someone’s pet.) I explained in detail how the man could enrich his dog’s life and alleviate the boredom as well as stopping the developing “bad” behaviors. Again, silence and then, “Well, the dog is too much work, maybe I should get rid of him.”

Recognize boredom in your dog

Obviously even simple steps to helping his dog were too much for this owner. However, recognizing boredom and working to prevent it are part of responsible dog owning. In zoos, creating a stimulating environment is called “Enrichment.” Moreover, at home, we must enrich.

Part of enriching our dogs’ lives is proper socialization. Living in the suburbs is great as we (and I am a suburban person) have the best of both worlds. Yards and open space but the luxury of having shopping and other amenities nearby! This should be a boon to our dogs! We can get them out and in a variety of places so they learn about life and how to handle many situations. I can go from wooded trails with wildlife to downtown Washington, D.C. within twenty minutes! We also have yards and homes we can enrich to help our dogs not be bored. However, living in the suburbs tends to make some dog owners lazy!

Should I walk my dog?

Many suburban, and to a greater extent country, dogs lack adequate socializing as owners have the luxury of a yard for the dogs to go out in. Owners feel there is no need to walk the dogs. Personally, my dogs have about 5,000 square feet fenced for their use. However, walks are vital for socializing opportunities. How else can the dog learn that the world does not have to be feared? It is amazing what dogs will view as a threat and either shy from or snap at trying to escape that threat.
Often, I get calls from people who will not walk their dogs as the dogs lunge at bikes, other dogs, etc. By denying the walks, the owner is denying a great training and socializing opportunity. The owner develops a cycle – dog lunges, owner stops walks, and dog does not learn to ignore bikes, owner tried again in a few months hoping dog grew out if it, dog lunges, owner stops walks… Getting the dog out and building confidence in the world, the dog becomes less likely to respond adversely.

Dogs in the city

Dogs in the city, those that are well cared for, get several walks a day. This means they are out and about various people, hear and see traffic, learn to ignore bikes, walk over different surfaces and get to go to dog parks! Though many think keeping dogs in the city is cruel, the opportunity for the dog to be better socialized than a suburban or country dog is far greater! From a socializing standpoint, city life can be wonderful! It is amazing how many dogs I see in class who are bothered by simple things such as a person in a hood or a flapping coat! Why? These dogs may never get to experience them regularly. Some of the dogs that come through my classes have never even been out of their yards. Yet in the suburbs, we have access to so many opportunities and environments if we are just willing to take the time and get out!

Bad behavior due to boredom

Dogs who are bored tend to develop destructive and annoying behaviors such as barking, chewing, and digging. The dogs are not getting back at humans; they are just trying to entertain themselves. Dogs who spend all day alone and isolated from the pack may develop barking problems as well as become escape artists. The owner views the dog as hard to handle, trying to “get back at me” and refuse to take him out even more as a for of punishment for not behaving. This does nothing but exacerbate the situation. The dog is not being given the opportunity to learn and he is being even more socially deprived.

The dog has no idea why he is being deprived or punished. All he knows is frustration. Is this fair? When it comes to socializing, people in the suburbs and country have to work harder and not allow themselves to fall into the rut of abusing the yard!

Socialize your dog

116One way to get dogs out and around other dogs in a social environment is through training classes. Ideally, training in classes should begin as soon as pup has completed his 12-week or ten-week shots depending on the schedule your vet uses. (Some vets go 6, 9, 12 and others 6, 8, 10, but pup should have three sets of shots before starting classes for his own health). A good puppy-k program will emphasize socializing and give you ideas how to better socialize pup. Even a good adult program will teach socializing and what should be done. Another great way to socialize is through sports. Agility, Flyball and such gets dogs active with other dogs and working around them. Another way to socialize is going to dog parks. Many communities have them. And if not, have friends with social dogs get together once a week for a play date at a house with a fenced yard. Isolation from his own kind is misery for a dog.

Ideas to beat the dog boredom

Now, what about enriching our own homes for our dogs? Dogs view the world as a chew toy until we teach them what they can and cannot chew. A dog that is totally deprived of stimulus will find his own entertainment. That antique chair may fall victim to boredom and lack of training. The dog is not bad or trying to get even, he is just trying to fill a void. There are a variety of things we can do to fill this void and let our dogs act out the natural behaviors of chasing, chewing, tearing and digging.

Toys and entertainers

Toys and bones you can fill with a tasty treat are one way to alleviate boredom and let a dog be a dog. Kong toys, hollow bones and such can be stuffed with a bit of spread cheese, spread meats, cheese cubes, hot dog chunks, semi-soft dog treats, canned dog food, etc. The dog gets to work and chew to get the treat out. If you hide these toys, the dog gets to enjoy the hunt and seek for a reward. Sturdy chew toys (hard-pressed rawhide, ropes, etc.) also allow for chewing. However, chewing is not enough to alleviate boredom. A toilet paper or paper towel tube with some kibble put in it and the ends crumpled allow the dog to tear into a toy. A clean milk jug with the top off and kibble dropped in lets the dog throw, tear, and tackle. Buster Cubes and similar toys have various compartments inside that kibbles rolls about in. Sometimes the kibble comes out. Feed your dog one of his daily meals or even both in this fashion (works well if you have a single dog, for multiple dogs I use stuffed bones).

Games are great

Games of hide and seek are wonderful! One person hides and another gets the dog to go find. Once the hiding person is found, a toy is tossed for the dog. Alternatively, hide a toy for the dog to find. Start simple (behind a chair in the same room) and build
up the complexity (up the stairs and down the hall and under a box in your room). Take a bunch of plastic or paper cups and lay them out mouth down. Put a treat under just one cup and encourage the dog to find the treat.

How about enriching our yards for our dogs? A strong rope tied to a tree with heavy bungee cords lets the dog pull and tug. Big boxes make great tunnels and many dogs will fit through the play tunnels sold at many human toy stores. Small logs and lengths of PVC pipe (4″ and 5″ diameter) can be laid down for the dog to walk and jump over while playing. (For safety, dogs under 12 – 18 months of age should have all jumps very low). Make a digging area for your dog! Lay down a 4’x4′ box and fill it with a soft sand and dirt mix. Encourage your dog to dig here and not in your garden. Use landscaping timbers to mark off the dog’s digging box. A toy buried or some kibble sprinkled over the area can help redirect his digging from your Azaleas to his personal digging spot! Build a couple platforms for your dog to jump on and crawl under (just keep away from fences, as some dogs will learn to use these as means to escape).

Get out and play fetch with various toys to allow your dog to engage in chasing behaviors. Take a box, hide treats in it and drag it through the yard on a rope (you stay still, just drag the box). This allows the dog to chase and tackle! These are all things that we can do to help enrich our dogs’ lives. In addition, if you have a higher- to high-energy breed, these games are wonderful for burning off that energy! Get creative. However, monitor toy use and if you suspect a toy is not suited for your dog, do not use it. There is no toy ideal for all dogs and safety with toys is essential!

Boredom in dogs leads to undesired behaviors. However, enriching their environment, getting them socialized and understanding that we make our dogs what they are goes a long way in making our lives together happy and healthy.


Dogs Playing Poker

Dogs Playing Poker refers collectively to a series of sixteen oil paintings by C. M. Coolidge, commissioned in 1903 by Brown & Bigelow to advertise cigars. All the paintings in the series feature anthropomorphized dogs, but the nine in which dogs are seated around a card table are the most reproduced.


The titles in the “Dogs Playing Poker” series proper are:

  • A Bold Bluff (originally titled Judge St. Bernard Stands Pat on Nothing)
  • A Friend in Need
  • His Station and Four Aces
  • Pinched with Four Aces
  • Poker Sympathy
  • Post Mortem
  • Sitting up with a Sick Friend
  • Stranger in Camp
  • Waterloo (originally titled Judge St. Bernard Wins on a Bluff)
  • Ten Miles to a Garage
  • Riding the Goat
  • New Year’s Eve in Dogville
  • One to Tie Two to Win
  • Breach of Promise Suit
  • The Reunion
  • A Bachelor’s Dog

These were followed in 1910 by a similar painting, Looks Like Four of a Kind. Some of the compositions in the series are modeled on paintings of human card-players by such artists as Caravaggio, Georges de La Tour, and Paul Cézanne.

The St. Bernard in the paintings Waterloo and A Bold Bluff was owned by the Fifth Avenue florist Theodore Lang, who counted Coolidge among his friends. The dog’s name was Captain. On February 15, 2005, the originals of A Bold Bluff and Waterloo were auctioned as a pair to an undisclosed buyer for US $590,400. The previous top price for a Coolidge was $74,000.

A website dedicated to the paintings of dogs playing poker, and their artist, Cassius Coolidge.




Dog Fart Prevention

Farting – Flatulence – Gas – in dogs

Some tips on preventing smelly dog farts

Flatulence, commonly referred to as ‘farting’, is caused by gas in the bowel. Basically, dogs pass gas for the same reasons people do.

Gas is caused by fibre, starch and some complex sugars that aren’t easily digested. They’re fermented by bacteria in the colon, producing hydrogen, methane and hydrogen sulphide gases. These gases are expelled as flatus.

Passing gas is a normal bodily function but you may wish to address the fact when the farts seem to be excessive or very stinky. A foul smelling fart is an indication that some food has not been properly digested and is fermenting inside the body. The smell of fermenting food is what causes smelly farts.

Reasons for farting in dogs are:

* The dog is fed a poor quality diet.

* The dog eats too fast – Gulping food down and taking in air.

* If you feed your dog table scraps be aware that certain foods which contain starches and carbohydrates are known to cause flatulence. (see below)

* Lack of exercise.

* Lactose intolerance can also cause smelly gas.

Things you can do to reduce farting (the negative effects of dog flatulence)

Firstly it should be mentioned that infections, diseases and disorders of the GI tract can cause excess gas production so if your dog has any other symptoms apart from flatulence get him checked by your veterinarian.

* If a dog has excessive farting (flatulence) with a foul odor the culprit is likely to be dietary. Change your dog’s diet choosing a premium brand of dog food that is highly digestible.

* Many cheaper brands of dog food contain a lot of corn and soy products for fillers. This gives your dog the feeling of being full, but also can contribute to a smelly gas problem.

* When choosing kibble select only high quality kibble. It will also reduce the amount of waste product, meaning less gas, and less smell too.

* Feed your dog the best quality of food that you can afford. If you put rubbish in then rubbish will come out.

* Exercise the dog more frequently to stimulate his intestines. A good walk can work wonders.

* Eliminate Soy Products. Many processed dog foods contain Soy. Read pet food labels.

* If feeding table scraps avoid giving vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, beans, peas, cabbage and other foods such as bread and fried foods. Spicy food should also be avoided.

* Avoid Dairy Products. (except for yogurt, see below)

* Try feeding your dog yogurt. Although yogurt is a dairy food it has different properties to milk and cheese. Yogurt has good bacteria and can be very beneficial in treating excess gas. Feed two to three tablespoons of plain, organic non-fat yogurt a day. Look for labels that indicate that the yogurt contains live and active cultures; these are the cultures which help digestion. Reduction in pet flatulence won’t happen overnight. Note your dogs progress after about a week.

* Try probiotics. Probiotics for dogs and digestive enzymes help to reduce the amount of bad bacteria and toxins in the dog’s body and are used to restore the normal balance of microflora (bacteria) in the gastrointestinal tract. In other words, probiotics are the “good, friendly bacteria” that are used to combat the “bad, harmful bacteria” that have grown out of proportion The result is a cleaner and more efficient digestive system.

* Feed your dog more frequently with smaller portions. Feed three small meals instead of one large meal to keep the dog from gulping food and swallowing air.

tutu solo

Carrie the Dancing Merengue Dog

This dog does a better Merengue than I do, for sure, and she appears to be content with performing, her tail wagging all the while. Too many people upload cruel videos to YouTube, in which they force their dogs to dance or pass off a sick or hurt dog as a “dancing dog”, so we decided to put together a collection of 10 dancing dogs with real talent. These ten dogs know how to move and love to perform. Check ‘em all out after the jump.

Possibly the smartest dog in the world?


House Training Your New Puppy

Puppy Housebreaking / Housetraining Procedures and Methods

Puppy housebreaking should start just as soon as you bring your new puppy home – and it is the best way to teach your purebred puppy to go outside when it has to relieve itself. How long does it take to do puppy housetraining?

The easiest answer is: as long as puppy housebreaking takes. I had one German Shepherd puppy that housetrained herself pretty much in just over 3 days, and I have had others that took closer to 2 weeks.

All puppies and breeds of puppies are different and not all can be housetrained in the same amount of time. Housebreaking can easily vary from puppy to puppy.

Additionally, keep in mind that eventhough this article deals primarily with purebred puppies (due to the focus of this web site) that many of these housetraining techniques can also be used with most any other puppy breeds- pure or mixed breed.

When you get your new puppy home the first day, start puppy housebreaking him /her immediately. After he has been briefly introduced to his home and new surroundings, give him a drink of water and immediately take him outside to relieve himself. Take the puppy to the housebreaking area that you chose before bringing him home.

Remember, choice of this housebreaking spot is crucial as it enhances the housetraining – so take careful consideration of where “the housebreaking spot” is before bringing your purebred puppy home. This is the spot where you want the puppy “to go”.

There is a direct correlation between the time you actually put into the puppy housebreaking process and the speed in which the housebreaking of the puppy successfully occurs.

This is a very crucial puppy housebreaking step so be patient and wait until the puppy relieves himself. It may take a while especially with all the new things happening to your new puppy, all the new smells, unfamiliar objects, etc. Do not play with the puppy however until after it has “done it’s business”. If you do it may make the puppy forget about going at all. Since housebreaking is all new to the pure bred puppy it doesn’t know what it’s purpose of being in “the housebreaking spot” is in the first place.

As soon as your puppy finishes, praise it excitedly and immediately take him inside. From that point on, take the puppy to the same housebreaking spot each time and encourage him with a command such as “go potty”, “hurry up” or whatever you choose.

Be consistent using this single command only with the process of puppy housebreaking so that the puppy will learn to associate this act with the command. This will be a huge help in the future, especially when in a new environment or location when traveling, visiting relatives/friends, etc. Being completely housebroken and completely reliable is the final outcome you are looking for.

You must watch them like a hawk at all times – in the beginning of housebreaking especially. If you can not keep an eye on your purebred puppy for some reason please put them in a safe and secure puppy proofed spot (such as a crate or some other small room with easy to clean floors, such as linoleum, closed off with a baby gate so you can peek in as needed). If you are consistent in your puppy housebreaking in the very beginning, ESPECIALLY when it is inconvenient to you (late at night, while you are watching your favorite TV show, etc.), you will actually help the new puppy housebreak itself to alert you when it “has to go”.

A puppy should be taken out immediately (to a prearranged housebreaking area outside): when it wakes up first thing in the morning (before if you manage to get up before the puppy),

*After each and every meal,

*After each and every nap,

*And again before he goes to bed for the night.

Another good housebreaking tip is to take up the puppies water early in the evening and to not feed or water it after say, 6:00 at night, otherwise you may have to make more housebreaking potty trips than usual outside to let the puppy relieve itself. Keep the puppy on a strict housebreaking schedule, both feeding and elimination, and you will have puppy housebreaking success much sooner.

More Puppy Housebreaking and Housetraining Secrets: From Housebreaking to Housebroken

Know in advance that a very young puppy will probably not be able to go through the night without relieving itself so get used to taking it out during the middle of the night until it grows enough to sleep through the night.

You wouldn’t expect a young human baby to be toilet trained in a week, would you? Give the same consideration to your new purebred puppy. He will not be able to be considered reliable as far as housebreaking goes either after only a few days.

The puppy is a baby with a small bladder and weak sphincter muscles. Like human babies, your new puppy will be able to go longer between housebreaking breaks as it grows older and will soon become completely housebroken if your are vigilant in the housebreaking process.

Oops… found a mistake, now what?

If you find your puppy has made a mistake in the house and you did not catch it in the act, simply clean the spot without comment. Clean up all residue and clean the area with a bacteria/enzyme digester. These housetraining aids are available at your pet supply or grocery store. This will get rid of both the stain and the smell. And the smell is the most important part to get rid of. Even if you can’t smell the urine, believe me, your puppy can and he will be encouraged to go back to the same spot again unless you remove ALL urine odors. This is absolutely critical in housebreaking your puppy.

If you find the puppy “in the act”, scoop him up as quickly as possible with his tail between his legs (to help prevent spillage) and take him out asap. Say “out” or “quick” as you take him out but never NO. Since No is used for negative things you do not want your puppy to think that eliminating is wrong, no matter where he does it.

If the new puppy thinks that eliminating is bad he will probably start hiding it from you and you do not want that to happen. That is a whole other behavioral issue to contend with and believe me it’s much better and easier to prevent behavioral problems before they happen than having to deal with them later.

Generally speaking, most puppies are naturally clean dogs – assuming they had the right start clear from the beginning. Puppies raised in small runs or cages develop dirty habits right from the beginning making housebreaking harder. Since they are used to playing and sleeping in their own excrement they will not have any problem with continuing to do so. This is not the puppy’s fault, it’s just what they were accustomed to from an early age.

Keep in mind, housebreaking puppies raised in these type of situations can be much harder and more time consuming than usual but housetraining can still can be done.

Overall, puppy housebreaking problems are often more of a human problem than a puppy problem. If the new owner is steadfast in keeping a watch on the purebred puppy in the beginning of ownership, especially during the first 2 weeks of housetraining, then puppy housebreaking can accomplished and the new puppy will become a reliable member of the family as far as bathroom visits are concerned, and will soon be completely housebroken.

Remember, as the new owner you must be patient with the entire housebreaking process. Each puppy will housetrain at his own speed and with your help. Take him out religiously as outlined above, and keep him on a strict feeding/bathroom housebreaking schedule (as well as anytime the GSD puppy acts as though he has to “go out”). It is very important that you learn to read your puppies potty signals during the housebreaking process: sniffing out “a spot”, circling, whining, going to the door, etc.

Finally, think about how you would like to be housetrained if you were in the puppies place? The puppy won’t enjoy being yelled at, jerked around or frightened any better than you would. A kinder, gentler and more patient puppy housebreaking approach will yield much better results, help your bond with your new puppy and develop a more confident housebroken dog. And isn’t that what we all want dog owners in the first place?


Lather Up! Puppy Bathtime…

Your pet loves attention from you. One of the best ways to give her that attention is through regular grooming — and that includes bath time. Some pets just like rolling around in the dirt; others are great about grooming themselves. Either way, there are times when you’ll want to give your pet a bath. Here are some quick tips to make bath time easier and more fun for both of you.

Brushing. Before the bath, make sure your pet is brushed well and all knots and tangles are worked out. Use a comb or brush appropriate for your pet’s coat to make the job easier. Also, the more often you brush, the less often you need to bathe your pet.

Bath1Getting ready. Fill the sink or tub with about three or four inches of lukewarm water. Keep your shampoo, conditioner and towels within reach. Block off all escape routes; you don’t want to chase a wet dog through the house.

Shampoo. Before you lather up, make sure you have the right shampoo for your pet’s needs. For example, “people” shampoo contains fragrances and other ingredients that can dry out or irritate your pet’s skin so be sure to use only a pet shampoo. Puppies and kittens require gentle or “tear-free” shampoos. If your pet is experiencing dry skin, allergies or hot spots, look for shampoos specially formulated for those conditions. And if you use topical flea and tick treatments on your pet, it’s really important to use a non-detergent (soap-free) shampoo. Other shampoos may reduce the effectiveness of your pet’s monthly treatment.

Bath2The Bath. Once you’ve chosen the right shampoo, lather your pet thoroughly, being careful to avoid his eyes and ears. Rinse him well, but avoid getting too much water on his head. It’s important to rinse completely, because leftover shampoo can dry out his skin. Towel him off. Once he is completely dry, give him another good brushing.


Genius Machine Feeds Stray Dogs In Exchange For Recycled Bottles

One innovative company has created a vending machine that’s dispensing help for both the environment and our furry friends.

The Turkish company Pugedon recently introduced a vending machine in Istanbul that releases food and water for the city’s stray dogs in exchange for recycled plastic bottles, Big Think reported. Once someone deposits their bottle at the top, food is released at the bottom. The Pugedon Smart Recycling Boxes operate at no charge to the city, and the recycled bottles cover the cost of the food.

The simple machine will provide a steady source of sustenance to the animals, who often rely on the area’s residents to feed them. It’s also bringing some positive change to a place where the fate of stray animals has not always been a happy one.

Turkey is known for its large numbers of stray animals roaming its urban areas. The city of Istanbul alone is home to more than 150,000 stray dogs and cats, according to Deutsche Welle. While some welcome their company, others complain that the animals are sources of disease and danger.

These complaints have led the Turkish government to draft a law which would require thousands of stray dogs to be transported to a “wildlife park,” removing the animals from the urban environment which they have adapted to, Deutsche Welle reports. Dogs have also allegedly been the targets of poisoning campaigns, according to the Associated Press.

The Pugedon vending machines aim to give these stray animals a brighter future, while also encouraging its users to get in a healthy recycling habit.


PUPPY ~ Jeff Koons Flower Puppy


Puppy, 1992. Stainless steel, soil and flowering plants, 40 feet 8 3/16 inches × 27 feet 2 3/4 inches × 29 feet 10 1/4 inches (12 meters 40 cm × 830 cm × 910 cm). Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa

Jeff Koons rose to prominence in the mid-1980s as part of a generation of artists who explored the meaning of art in a media-saturated era and the attendant crisis of representation. With his stated artistic intention to “communicate with the masses,” Koons draws from the visual language of advertising, marketing, and the entertainment industry. Testing the limits between popular and elite culture, his sculptural menagerie includes Plexiglas-encased Hoover vacuum cleaners, basketballs suspended in glass aquariums, photographs of himself coupled with his then-wife Ilona Staller, also known as La Cicciolina (former adult-film star and member of Italian parliament), and porcelain homages to Michael Jackson and the Pink Panther. In extending the lineage of Dada and Marcel Duchamp, and integrating references to Minimalism and Pop, Koons stages art as a commodity that cannot be placed within the hierarchy of conventional aesthetics. Koons’s series Easyfun-Ethereal foregrounds happy-face deli sandwiches, spiraling roller-coaster rides, and windswept hair all set against sublime landscapes. The artist combines familiar yet unrelated images to create collagelike paintings rendered with photorealist perfection. These works recall the advertising iconography and billboard-style painting technique present in James Rosenquist’s canvases. Koons’s new brand of Pop painting cleverly engages other art-historical references, in particular Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. Sandwiches, for example, is a disjunctive, free-floating fantasy. The collage of animated deli-meats, the turkey made of ice cream, and the cartoon eye and moustache recall the free-associative visual games of Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, and René Magritte, while the background streams and splashes of milk echo the abstractions of Jackson Pollock. Koons’s fusion of Pop representations with Surrealist and abstract overtones creates a hybrid of fun and fantasy, yielding a body of work that depicts gravity-defying forms of dreamlike pleasure.
Puppy by Jeff Koons
In Puppy, Koons engages both past and present, employing sophisticated computer modeling while referencing the 18th-century formal garden. A behemoth West Highland terrier carpeted in bedding plants, Puppy combines the most saccharine of iconography—flowers and puppies—in a monument to the sentimental. Its size—seemingly out-of-control (it is both literally and figuratively still growing) but carefully constructed and tightly contained—can be read as an analogue of contemporary culture. Dignified and stalwart, this work fills us with awe, and even joy, while standing guard at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. In keeping with themes in his past work, Koons has, by combining elite references (topiary and dog breeding) with those of the masses (Chia Pets and Hallmark greeting cards), designed this public sculpture to relentlessly entice, to create optimism, and to instill, in his own words, “confidence and security.

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