Happy International Women's Day
We at Franks love a good celebration, so here are some inspiring women we adore who rock loving the pups.
Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong
Juliet Clutton-Brock, London, 1933-2015
Juliet studied archaeology – but not to find countless old broken pots and bits of stone (as my 12 year old daughter calls it when I try to introduce some culture on holidays). She studied how we lived with animals way back then. We understand a lot about the (wo)man’s best friend in ancient times from studies like hers and her contributions can be found in the Natural History Museum.
Maud Alice Earl, London/New York, 1864 – 1943
Maud was an artist. Specifically, she was a dog artist. Why does this matter? Well, two reasons. Dogs are changing – people are breeding and crossbreeding them to create versions they find more appealing. To have someone like Maud show us what dogs looked like in her lifetime is a great way of recording them as they were.
Secondly, I double dare you to Google Dog Artist. In a long, long list of men in her era, you’ll see Maud shifting the man-spread to make room for her Edwardian assed skirts. Also three, why not, who doesn’t want a portrait of their favourite bestie.
Temple Grandin, Boston 1947 – present
Temple taught us how to see life like our animals do, in ways that were never considered before. She uses her autism as a doorway to understanding how we relate to each other, beyond speaking. If we mixed Dr Doolittle with the ultimate animal whisperer we still couldn’t correctly describe what she sees – but she tells us what she sees with our dog’s eyes and we use it to make their time with us better!
Eniko Kubinyi, Hungary, 1976 – present
Eniko is a Hungarian researcher who studies all things dog. She is a senior researcher of the Family Dog Project, the first research group to study the behaviour and relationship between us and our dogs. She is also researching dog dementia and ageing so that we can learn better ways of growing older with our dogs and how to help them transition.
Coco Chanel, France, 1883 – 1971
Coco became Gabrielle’s nom de plume after she sang a song about a dog named Coco. The founder of the Chanel brand, Wiki tells me she was credited in the post-World War I era with liberating women from the constraints of the “corseted silhouette” and popularising a sporty, casual chic as the feminine standard of style.
Want more? Ok, she created a whole look from not just having a dog but celebrating pure breeds. More? Ok! She created a style of grooming dogs, so that both them and us would smell and feel wonderful. Earned her spot a few times over I think.
Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond, Merseyside, Uk, 1930
These two ladies heard a rumour about something fairly brilliant happening in Switzerland and contacted Dorothy Harrison Eustis there. She sends over a trainer and so begins the story of: Guide Dogs for Blind. I don’t think I need to say more on this, but being Franks, I have just given you a 3 for the price of 1 Amazing International Women Collaboration. You’re worth it and you’re welcome.
Barbara Woodhouse, England, 1910 – 1988
I’m old enough to remember this lady on TV back when we only had 3 channels! She introduced dog training to the UK like no one before her and probably since. Perfectly British, she perfectly worked to change our minds from having a dog to being kind in how we train our dogs. Walkies!
Judith Blunt-Lytton, aka 16th Baroness Wentworth, England, 1873 – 1957 Apart from being Bryon’s great-granddaughter and being disinherited, Judith stuck it to the system by calling out her peers for breeding dogs for their pleasure. Her beef with them was breeding to the extent that it damaged them, accusing them of making the dogs ‘feeble and deformed’. Behold! Judith’s field of f**ks was barren! Virginia Woolf also wrote a small novel called Flush about her so she must have had a bit of a crush on her too.
O’Neill, 1970 - Brigitte Bardot on the set of ‘The Novices’ a.k.a. ‘Les Novices’, France.
Brigit Bardo, France, 1934 – Present
We all know her name – that’s what a legacy is. But she was also a massive animal rights advocate. Not just a little bit, but in a huge, bigly big way. The way that leads to lots of controversy and someone becoming marmite and getting slated across news channels as a bit of a once loved celeb now a bit out there. Unless you just strip all that way and recognise her for protecting animals and creating a Foundation for every animal from pups to elephants. Not forgetting that time she went on the rampage against seal clubbing for fashion or took on an entire religion.. Love her or hate her, she’s a fierce one
Brooklyn, M. (2020). Frida Kahlo and her beloved xoloitzcuintli
Frida Kahlo, Mexico, 1907 – 1954
Frida loved her dogs. She painted them and wrote about them – but what she has become known for, when it comes to her dogs at least, is that she considered them her children.
Lots of women have children. More and more lots of women choose not to. For a long time this was considered a little bit ‘off’.
It was expected. These days we are calling that expectation out. We are not ashamed to say our dogs are our four legged hairy children and we love, love LOVE THEM! Before we could say that and it was acceptable, Frida said it.
Um.. Except hers weren’t hairy. She loved her Xolo/Colima’s. For extra educational points the full name of them is..? Anyone? No? Ok it’s Xoloitzcuintli. In Aztec that combines God of Death and dog. So basically Frida was edgier and cooler than anyone who ever lived.
Thanks for reading and on behalf of Franks I wish every single one of you a great IWD 2022.
Keep being your edgy, cool, rebellious, loving, quality, smarty pants, artsy and fierce selves!