|celtic hound by Robert Couse-Baker|
Love Your Pet
Do you have a pet that you cherish? I do. My husband and I have an Australian Cattle Dog named Lakota Sioux. She's more than a pet. She's our best friend and a member of our family. The domestication of dogs happened in various locations and during different time periods which means our lovely canines have more than one wild ancestor. You can read more about this at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120123152528.htm
|Vector version of a design from |
the Book of Kells, fol. 29r.
The Irish have been telling tales and using canines since the time of the Celts. Nine modern breeds of dogs originated in Ireland. These being the Glen of Imaal Terrier, Irish Red and White Setter, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound, Kerry Beagle, Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier. To the Celts, a dog wasn't just a pet but a friend who would work side by side with them. The Celts used the Irish Wolfhound to hunt wolves and deers. They also used the Irish Wolfhound in times of war. The Celtic warrior depended on his Wolfhound to attack any enemy that was on horseback and bring him to the ground so the warrior could kill him. They were better suited as battle companions than the Scottish Deerhound who was more timid in times of war.
Celtic Hounds (Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound) were legendary among the Celts and were well respected by Celtic royalty and warriors. They were given as gifts of honor to warriors and chiefs. The title of hound was an honor bestowed only upon the bravest and most honorable of all Celtic warriors because they believed the hounds symbolized courage, honor and extreme loyalty. The Irish Hounds were well taken care of by their owners because of the Celtic associations with these beloved canines.
In Celtic mythology the Celtic Hounds were believed to be the guardian animals of the crossroads and roads. They were also believed to protect and guide souls to the Otherworld. Irish seers believed they could only gain a prophetic vision by chewing the meat of this canines. The image of the Irish Hounds was often depicted in jewelry and art. The Book of Kells has several examples of this one of which is seen in the picture above. The Irish have many myths and legends about their hounds. The two most famous of is the Hound of Ulster. The movie below tells the story of Hound of Ulster.