Thursday, 14 August 2014

Dog Bench Days of August

It's August and the dog days of benches are upon us.

It's hotter than a hot dog.

Everything is bone dry.

You certainly don't need a scarf in this weather, even if it looks cute.

My dog Sit is on holiday, so I asked Lord Brassica's dog Pru to help me with this post. 

Unfortunately, Pru declined. She said she didn't want to be a dogsbody. Just as well. She'd have probably made a dog's dinner of the story. 

I was going to ask these guys but I was afraid they'd be full of bull.

Everywhere you go in these dog day afternoons, people are sitting around on benches with their dogs.

And dogs are sitting on benches. 

Standing on benches in this weather makes you feel dog tired.

It's certainly too hot to be out in the sun holding up benches.

Some dogs are so hot they have melted into the benches.

A dog bench this hot will have his tongue hanging out.

In hot weather it's important that dogs get enough to drink, though this guy feels that Mountain Dew isn't ideal.

Everybody's looking for shade. Under a bench will do.

But some benches are off limits to canines.

Ignore the signs and you'll find yourself in the doghouse.

On the other hand, you don't want to leave your dog out in the barking lot where it's hot.

Dogs are resourceful. If there's no bench, a dog will seek shade under another dog.  

The dog days of August are especially tough for working dogs. Though people in summer get tense and up for a fight, police dogs just want a long cold drink.

In August everybody - people and dogs - need to paws pause.

This is no time to be racing round a dog track like a greased whippet bench. 

It's the wrong time of year to be working as a dog bench too.

You don't want to have to support a lot of weight in this heat but you do need a good stretch.

If you're a dog, what you don't want is to be on dog watch, wearing a dog collar.

If you're employed as a pet animal companion, you don't want to be left tied to a bench somewhere.

And you don't want to sit doggedly while someone tries to take your picture.

Yes, I am familiar with the dogma of dog philosophy.

But in August the last thing you want is to fetch sticks . . . 

. . . or run around on a bench chasing a frisbee.

In this kind of weather, you don't want to go wild.

PG Palmer at

Just thinking about all this activity gives you a hang-dog feeling.

You don't even feel like a trip to the library.

Sure, if you're a dog, you don't mind being treated like one . . . 

. . . but in August you don't want to sit, or stay, or heel. 

Or heal either, for that matter.

Every dog needs a little lift at times.

Don't worry about the carpet. Someone will come along and clean it up.

Although, it could be that the Dog Poo Fairy is on holiday right now.

image by Joanna Michalak

A dog might just want to curl up with a dog-earred book.

Give a dog a break! It's National Dog Day on August 26th.

Benchdogs shouldn't be working in August.

Every dog should ask for time off.

Even indoor dogs need a holiday from holding up benches. 

After all, they have been working like dogs all year.

Yes, the best thing to do in the dog days of August is to let sleeping dogs lie.


If you love animals and want to see lots of brilliant animal benches, see which ones Noah saved on the Ark. 2014 is the Year of the Horse, of course, of course. If you like dog benches, then you're looking in the right place and there are more small, large and faraway dog benches at  On the other hand, if you prefer cats, let Meredith show you some great feline benches. Maybe you like rabbits: bunnies are not just for Easter you know. Sheep? We've got some Baaaaaad ones here on Benchsite. And monkeys? We've got those too. And finally, for the Cream of Bovine Benches, let Lord Brassica show you his cows. 

The papier-mâché dog was seen in London fields in 2012 and photographed by acb, who is from Melbourne but currently lives in London. acb's albums are full of art and music events, and travel all over the world.   

The little dog in the hot dog coat was photographed by Linda Wanless.  It was the dog's Halloween costume in 2008. Linda is a self-confessed Flickr addict. Her site is called a pieceofheaven, which gives you a clue how much she loves photography. 

A dogbone bench comes in handy when you have a lot of hungry dog benches to feed, as I did when I wrote the Noah's Ark story on Benchsite last year. The Tenino Dogbone bench is from Marenakos in Preston, Washington. They make a variety of granite dogbone and other types of benches.  And who'd have thought a dog bone bench would be so useful? There are some very nice medical dogs on Benchsite at

Paul Lovine is a corporate ninja from Manila, currently living in California. He photographed his dogs Senna and Nickell when they were hanging out on a bench in the park on a Sunday afternoon in San Francisco.

Pru is Lord Brassica's faithful friend, along with his horse Tonks and his beloved 1947 Landrover. Another dog here in Fribble-under-Par is my dog Sit. Sit is a brilliant swimming companion as he guards my swimming bench. He's also well known on the footpath along the river Par. You can find out who's who in Fribble-under-Par at

Jay Melnick lives in Colorado and he photographs a lot of dogs as ArgosPaw's. This includes the brilliant Bulldog Reunion, taken in 2014. It's not easy to get dogs lined up on a bench so it's great to see this.

Jonah photographed the man and dog sculpture in Vancouver in 2001 Jonah, aka afrowolf, has an eclectic collection of albums including toys, animals, canned fruit, health rubbish and what he calls afrocrap. 

The statue of a man on a bench with a large dog beside him was photographed in 2009 by Ruby Blossom
Ruby is a wife and mother in a small town in the UK. Her passions are photography, photoshop, and her two Jack Russells.  Her albums show her love of animals, among other interesting things. 

Snoopy is a very famous dog who doesn't work for peanuts; it looks like he gets paid in chocolate chip cookies. The photo was taken by Thom Watson in 2009 at the Charles Schultz museum in Santa Rosa, California  Thom is from Virginia but now lives in California with his partner. There are lots of cats in Thom's albums.

Wonderlane from Seattle is one of my early contacts for benches. She is simply wonderful. In this story I have used a photo of her lovely dog Rosie, who is standing on a bench in Seattle. Wonderlane travels widely in places like Tibet and Nepal and her work is an inspiration 

The Dog Bench is a mixed media sculpture by Roy DeForest, an American painter (1930-2007). The dog bench was made in 2000 for the University of California Davis, where he worked.

Of course the dog bench is not melting; it's mosaic dogs, which look to be highland terriers. It was photographed by Ann Fisher in Chiciago in 2010 at the Block 37 building.

Mike Cogh lives in Adelaide and photographed the thirsty dog bench at Hove, Adelaide in the bright summer of January 2015. The bench is a public art piece by Rob Garrett.    Mike has an extensive set of over 800 Humble Bench photographs at 

Zoomar lives in Seattle and likes pugs.  His albums are full of them, including Roscoe. He took the photo of the pug with the empty drinks bottle on a bench way back in 2006. And in 2009 he took photos of an intriguing Hippo Pumpkin Event. The mind boggles.  

OxOx lives in Portsmouth in the US and photographs a lot of animals, including dogs. The dog asleep under a bench was in Thailand in 2009,  Flickr has a group for every kind of photograph: this photo is in the Let Sleeping Dogs Lie group. 

Terry Ross, aka qnr, is a retired military man now living in Corpus Christi, Texas. He describes his work as 'a little photo dump' which is not art, but just his way of inconveniencing electrons. He loves to take photos with little concern for technique and they come straight off the camera/scanner. This includes the photo of the bench with the no dogs sign

The cat in the doghouse is Billy, who should probably not be here, since it's a cat picture rather than a dog one and we already have a Cat Bench story on Benchsite.  The photo is by CelloPics in 2010 at  I know nothing about Billy or CelloPics but I have to say that I have rarely seen such a collection of beautiful cats, all beautifully photographed. And I am reliably told that the doghouse is now occupied by a rather splendid beagle puppy.

The barking lot sign, the dog philosophy sign, and the German shepherd dog having a photo taken are all from MTSO fan John, aka MTSOfan.   John is a pastor who says that photography isn't just a hobby; it's his attempt at sanity, a diversion in a life with much responsibility, and also a way of looking at the world.      

Mexican Xoloitzcuintle dogs have been around for 3,500 years. The trio of Xoloitzcuintles was photographed by Christiano Oliveira in Mexico City in 2009  And elsewhere on Benchsite there is a fabulous fiesta of Mexican benches.

The police dog drinking through a straw was something I found in a window of a shop in Sandown, Isle of Wight. You don't often find objects d'art in Sandown so it was lucky I had my camera with me. Strangely, I saw another dog like this in a window in Barcelona some months later.

The pawprint benches were photographed by Kate Robertson from Idaho Falls. Kate is the Queen of Creativity. She describes herself as a painter, mixed media artist, weaver, spinner and writer. Besides that, she photographs all kinds of stuff wherever she goes on her creative pursuits. She is a Kaizen-Muse creativity coach and she has loads of ideas on how to get your creative mojo working. She has various blogs; I first saw her at

Régine Debatty from Liege claims to make money, not art, but nevertheless her Flickr site is full of art. It's the kind of Flickr site where I get distracted and waste vast amounts of time looking at pictures and following up artists and exhibitions I've seen there. I can't blame Régine for this, can I? There are several whippet benches around, mostly with the same whippet ends as this photo by Régine  at

The long and skinny person on a dog bench is an image from page 104 of The union Bible dictionary, for the use of Schools, Bible classes, and families (1837). Its author is Frederick Adolphis Packard (1794-1867) and it was published by the American Sunday-school union. It comes from The Library of Congress at

The two elegant guard dogs wearing collars were photographed outside a house in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. It used to be a chapel, now it's a lovely house with a lovely garden and I guess these dogs keep the vandals away. We don't have vandals here on Paradise Island. Do they have vandals on the Isle of Wight? I'm not sure. 

The stone dog benches are at Kok Lok Si Buddhist temple in Georgetown, Malaysia. These and the monkey benches are very popular photographs for visitors such as David Clarke, who is a retired farmer, photographer, greeny, and bush philosopher from Clare Valley, Australia. His albums are full of travel to Vietnam and Malaysia and life in the bush, including bushfires, animals and eucalypts.

I love the photo of the patient dog and the coloured seats. Kay Gaensler from Germany took it at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in 2012.  Kay says that the dog was tied to that bench while the owner was inside the building and the dog was targeting the entrance to the building to see if the owner was coming back. Beautiful dog, beautiful photo!    

Michael McCauslin is a well travelled fourth grade teacher in San Francisco. His albums are full of travel to all sorts of places. The little dog drawing on a bench with a stick was photographed in 2007

The African Wild Dog was photographed by Kieran Palmer, a writer and nature photographer from Australia. He takes gorgeous photos of all kinds of creatures at in 2013. It's not wild though: it was photographed at Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo in New South Wales Australia

The painted dog bench with the frisbee was taken in Chicago 2005 by Mo Morgan Mo lives in London and has albums of Iceland, Palma, Chicago, Pembrokeshire and his brain. 

Joe Connolly from Wales has some beautiful basset hounds, including this one with a hang dog look. Joe took this photo in 2007. His site, so far, is still lifes, and life stills

Wombatarama from Wales is a freelance writer and unemployed zookeeper. She loves pugs. Oh yes, she certainly does. Her own pugs are Rose and Lily but she goes to Japan as a pug herself and her album is full of them. The three pugs on a bench are at

bcgrote lives in California and has way too many interests, including animal photography. Sit Stay Heal is a bench from the Gaslamp District of San Diego, where she comes from. It was photographed in 2008 in front of the Gaslamp Hilton

The lifted leg dog bench is actually a table: it's called Bad Table. It's one of many flabbergasting designs made by Judson Beaumont at Straight Line Designs Inc. in Vancouver.  None of these designs are straight lines; each one throws a wobbly in an entirely different way   This amazing work has already appeared on Benchsite when the dogs on Noah's Ark didn't behave themselves.

There's no such thing as the Dog Poo Fairy appears on stickers all over the Isle of Wight, and probably elsewhere. This one was photographed by Joanna Michalak. 

The dog reading a dog-earred paperback book is by Paul Locke, whose albums are full of sporting events and marathon   Paul claims that the book the dog is reading is poetry by ee cummings: I'll have to take his word for it.

The woodwork benchdogs are old clip art from my two husbands' workshop and there's quite a story about woodwork benches here on Benchsite.  Mungo did O Level woodwork (grade C) but His Excellency's workbench wonders are about as successful as his attempts at chemistry. You can read all about it at

The shiny black dog bench is from Mito, the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan. The photographer is Mayu Shimizu, who comes from Tokyo and San Francisco and is a graffiti explorer. Next time I have a free day I'm going to spend it looking at Mayu's albums  

The two stately Labradors were chosen for Noah's Ark. They were made by Stephen Huneck, a self-taught sculptor who carved by hand. The Stephen Huneck Gallery is at Dog Mountain, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont  Dog Mountain is set on a 150 acre private mountaintop and is always open to people and their dogs. Its unspoiled haven is covered with hiking trails and dog ponds. There is no leash law on Dog Mountaindogs are not just welcome here, they are cherished! Dogs are free to run, play, swim and best of all meet other dogs! Stephen's artworks, include paintings, sculptures, books, and a Dog Chapel, "A place where people can go and celebrate the spiritual bond they have with their dogs. It is the largest artwork of my life and my most personal." Stephen died in 2010 but his love of dogs lives on in his artwork.

The dog sleeping on a bench in the black and white photograph at the end of the story was seen in Bangkok. It was photographed by Ronn, aka Blue Aldaman in 2010.  Ronn currently lives in Thailand and has albums full of beautifully photographed portraits and slices of life in Thailand, many of them in black and white. 

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