L'atelier Robert Coane - From The DOGHOUSE

~ for the love of dog ~


n San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the Atlantic Ocean enters the Condado Lagoon, close to the San Gerónimo fortress, there is a natural reef that protects the placid beaches from the roaring waves. Prominent among the varied formations sits a great rock in the shape of a seated Dog impassively looking out to sea.

According to local folklore, the Dog was constant companion to a local fisherman and often accompanied him on his fishing expeditions. One dark, stormy day, wary of the menacing tides, the fisherman leaves his friend behind on shore and sets out for his daily catch alone. His small, rickety craft is no match for the howling winds and swelling surf. The boat capsizes and the unfortunate fisherman drowns.

Loyal to the end, the Dog still waits, day and night, through the centuries, no matter the winds, the inclement weather or the endless assault of the battering sea, it sits, patiently waiting for its master to return. So still it is that the centuries turn it to stone. Permanent reminder of unflinching loyalty and friendship that never wavers, that never dies, the Dog Rock stares forever out to sea.

n San Juan, Puerto Rico, a la entrada del océano Atlántico en la laguna del Condado muy cerca de la fortaleza colonial de San Jerónimo, existe un arrecife natural que detiene los feroces azotes de las altas marejadas que invaden una tranquila playa. Se distingue ahí, entre las formaciones rocosas, un gran peñasco en forma de perro sentado que incansablemente mira hacia el mar.

Cuenta una leyenda que dicho perro perteneció a un pescador a quien usualmente acompañaba en la barca.

Un borrascoso dia salió el amo a pescar dejándolo esperando en la orilla. Tal fue la marejada que naufragó y se ahogó el desafortunado pescador. Perro fiel al fin, sigue allí a la espera del amo que no regresará, tan inmóvil en su lealtad que el tiempo le convierte en piedra. Recordatorio permanente de lealtad total y amistad perpetua, atenta al mar permanece eternamente La Roca del Perro aún cuando el tiempo y los elementos lentamente la desgastan.


Hope and Love on Two Legs

This is a story about a dog named Faith, born on Christmas Eve in 2002. She was born with 3 legs - 2 healthy hind legs and 1 abnormal front leg which needed to be amputated. She, of course, could not walk when she was born. With  her mother dead, the  owner was helping to retrieve the dogs that had died and found the little pup under the deceased siblings.

The  first owner also did not think that she could survive. Therefore, he was thinking of putting her to sleep. At this time, the present owner Jude Stringfellow came into her life and wanted to take care of the little girl. She was determined to teach and train this dog to walk by herself. She thought, all we need is a little faith.  She named her ‘Faith.’

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let her feel the movements of the water. Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and to reward her for standing up and jumping around. Even the other dogs at home helped to encourage her to walk. Amazingly, after only 6 months, Faith learned to balance on her 2 hind legs and jumped to move forward.

After further training in the snow, she can now walk like a human being. Faith loves to walk around now.

No matter where she goes, she just attracts all the people around her. She is now becoming famous on the international scene. She has appeared in various newspapers and TV shows. There is even one book entitled ‘With a little faith’ being published about her.

She was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies!

The present owner, Jude Stringfellow, has given up her teaching job and plans to take her around the world to preach,  ‘that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul.”

Faith plays the crowd

Submitted by Sarah Ko & Jeanette Bronee
For FAITH's website, clickon logo TOP / Left

A Pit Bull Who Provided Lessons in Loyalty and Unfailing Love
Published: March 28, 2007








Photo: Diana Pappas

In the pecking order of man and beast, there was no lower rung than the one shared by Randy Vargas and Foxy on the streets of Hoboken.

He was 46 and homeless, regular work like that fondly remembered machine-shop job long in the past. She was a member of dogdom’s least-fashionable demographic, a 10-year-old brindled pit bull, compact as a pickup truck, ears askew, two-tone face, white neck, the rest an arbitrary mix of light and dark.
And yet in this city increasingly defined by creatures who drew the long straw — winners in real estate and on Wall Street, sleek goldens, pampered Yorkies, fashionable puggles and doodles — there was something transcendent in their bond.

Maybe in a world of opaque relationships, theirs was a lesson in clarity like a parable from the Bible. He had rescued her back when she was homeless and abused, a scared runty thing living with homeless men who had no use for her. She in turn gave him purpose and companionship and love.

Maybe it was how the relationship brought out the best in both. It brought him to life and into the world, as much a part of Hoboken street life as any young comer with his black Lab. And it made her a creature of eternal sweetness, unfailingly friendly to people and animals, tail wagging at the merest glance, a pit bull in name but not metaphor.

So if you spent any time in Hoboken the odds are pretty good you would have seen the two of them, sleeping in front of SS. Peter and Paul Parish Center, visiting the Hoboken Animal Hospital, walking down the street — the dog keeping perfect pace with him, dressed in winter in raffish layers of sweatshirts and T-shirts plucked from the St. Mary’s Hospital Thrift Store, she keeping perfect pace with him.

Cheryl Lamoreaux remembered seeing Mr. Vargas resting on a condo’s shaded concrete steps on a sweltering August weekend day, flat on his back with Foxy in the same position one step below. It was the perfect image of man and dog, she said, and added, “This really was a dog with a deep soul.”
Everyone who knew them said the same thing: Mr. Vargas cared for the dog better than for himself.
“If it was the dead of winter, the dog would get all the blankets, he’d get the sidewalk with nothing on it,” said Robin Murphy, a groomer at the Hoboken Animal Hospital. “If it was raining, he’d put the umbrella up for the dog before he’d put it up for himself.”

But there’s not much margin for error at the bottom rung. Once this winter, he was arrested, accused of making threatening remarks to women. The case was dismissed, and friends say it should never have gone that far. But Ms. Murphy had to rescue Foxy from the pound in Newark, where she could have been euthanized.

It all ended so fast, people still can’t explain it. Aside from a dog run, she had seldom been seen off the leash, but on the morning of March 19 in the park, she was. She saw a dog she knew across Hudson Street, dashed across to say hello and was hit by a white pickup that stopped briefly and then sped off.

He held the dog, blood spurting from her mouth, and waved at passing cars, but none stopped. So he carried her 60 pounds, feeling the broken bones in his hand, as far as he could, then put her down and ran to the animal hospital for help. But it was too late.

People come by every day, some fighting back tears, to leave donations, more than $900 so far. Some come from people who knew them, most from people who felt like they did. Alone they might have been invisible. Together, they were impossible to miss.

In different ways, they’re still around. Her picture is in some store windows, wearing a gray sweatshirt with a red T-shirt under it, gazing to the right like a sentry, a wondrous study in essence of dog with a touch of human thrown in. Since the accident Mr. Vargas has had good days and bad ones, sometimes being up and around, sometimes, like the other day, looking groggy and defeated under his red comforter on the street. “I feel,” he told a friend, “like I have a hole in my soul.”

At the animal hospital they’re buying a pendant to hold some of her ashes that he can wear around his neck. Friends check on him regularly, bring him food, talk of finally getting him a place to live. There’s talk of getting him a new dog when he’s ready, which surely isn’t now.

“It’s like most relationships,” he said from under the red blanket. “You have to wait for the right time.”

War medal given to hero Dog
It is thought Sam saved many human lives
Published: Friday, 20 December 2002

An heroic Army dog won the animal's equivalent of the Victoria Cross for disarming a gunman while on duty in the Balkans.

Sam, a German shepherd, was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, after also holding back a baying mob, bent on attacking ethnic Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The dog performed the feats of bravery while on duty with handler Sergeant Iain Carnegie in Drvar with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Dog Unit.

Sam, who died of natural causes two years ago, is the first Army dog to win the medal since 1944.

In 1998 Sam gave chase to a gunman who opened fire in the town which had been the scene of ethnic tensions.

Sargeant Carnegie said in the medal citation: "After a chase Sam brought down the suspect and I disarmed him, retrieving a loaded pistol. Sam performed brilliantly - just like a training exercise."

Six days later a mob armed with crowbars, clubs and stones surrounded a group of about 50 Serbs, but Sam held them off until back-up arrived.

True Valour
"Sam displayed outstanding courage in the face of the rioters, never did he shy away. I could never have attempted to carry out my duties without Sam," said Sergeant Carnegie, from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. "His true valour undoubtedly saved the lives of many servicemen and civilians."

Sam retired in 2000 at the age of 10, and died soon afterwards.

War Heroes
He becomes the 59th animal to be honoured since the award, which is decided on by the PDSA animal charity, was established in 1943.

The Dickin Medal was introduced to honour animals which made an outstanding contribution in World War II. In the past, the medal has been awarded to 32 carrier pigeons, 19 dogs, three horses and even a ship's cat.

Sergeant Carnegie collected the medal during a ceremony at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps headquarters in Surrey.

32 carrier pigeons
19 dogs
three horses
a ship's cat




Senator George Graham Vest of Warrensburg, Missouri, won a court battle and the ears of dog lovers everywhere when he paid his famous tribute to the dog during the 1870 Burden vs. Hornsby court case in Warrensburg.

The "Eulogy to the Dog" won the case for Charles Burden whose favorite Hound, Old Drum, was shot by a neighbor, Leonidas Hornsby, who had sworn to kill the first Dog that came onto his land. Although Hornsby Dogs he had ever seen, he carried out his threat when one night a Dog was found prowling in his yard. That Dog was Old Drum.

Burden immediately sued Hornsby for damages and the trial quickly became one of the strangest in the history of the country. Each man was determined to win the case. After several appeals, the case finally reached the Supreme Court of Missouri. Burden was awarded $50 in damages for the loss of his favorite hunting Dog. Vest’s eulogy to the dog, which he made in his final appeal to the jury, won the case and became a classic speech.

The Story of Old Drum*

"Gentlemen of the Jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his Dog.

"Gentleman of the Jury, a man’s Dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that encounters the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

"If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful Dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. When the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble Dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."

* The Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center - www.warrensburg.org


A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers she's lost. Wandering about, she notices a leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch. The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep shit now!"

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.

"Whew!", says the leopard, "That was close!
That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard!"

Don't mess with old farts. Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience!

Lebanese artist,
poet and writer
1883 - 1931


One day nine dogs went out to hunt.

They met a lion. He said:
"I am hunting too. I am very, very hungry. Let us hunt together."

So the dogs and the lion hunted together all day. They caught ten antelopes.

The the lion said: "Now we must divide this meat."

One of the dogs said:
"Why, that is easy. We are ten, and we have ten antelopes; so each of us will have one antelope."

The lion became very angry. He hit the poor dog and blinded him. The other dogs did not say a word.

But then one of the dogs said:
"Our brother was wrong. We must give nine antelopes to King Lion. Then they will be ten together. And we dogs shall take one antelope, and we shall also be ten together."

The lion liked his answer and asked the dog:
"Who taught you to divide like this? You are a wise dog."

The dog answered:
"Oh, King Lion, you hit our brother and blinded him. That blind brother taught me, King Lion!


One day there passed by a company of cats a wise Dog.
And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded him not, he stopped.

Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat and looked upon them and said,

"Brethren, pray ye; and when ye have prayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shall rain mice."

And when the Dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned from them saying, "O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written and have I not known and my fathers before me, that that which raineth for prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones."

he one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his Dog."






ROBERT COANE 2010 © All rights reserved