Friday, April 27, 2018

Found by a Friend

When my grandmother sold the family farm back in the late 1960s, there was the usual estate sale. At the time I was still in college. My parents kept a number of things in the basement of our family home but years later when Dad moved into an apartment, we had another sale.

Oh, don't you wish you could go back and pull a few things from the sale? My grandmother's enormous Hoosier cabinet on which I learned to bake; a beautiful dresser -- Eastlake style, but probably not original, nonetheless lovely; Grandpa's Mission rocker and coat rack and more.

Then there was the print "Found by a Friend," by August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck, a German painter (French and German by nationality) who lived 1828-1901.) You've seen it before -- a collie dog stands over a sheep laying in the snow and begins to howl, hopefully calling someone to rescue the sheep.  In my grandparents' home it hung in the living room near the rocker where my grandfather often sat. It was a print I had seen more recently on my friend Rita's beautiful Panoply blog when she showed items in her shop one day.

Schenck was best known for both landscapes and paintings of animals. He later became a knight of the Legion of Honour.

Source: Wikipedia

I loved this print. Probably I loved it most because during my youth, we had a collie, Major. All things "collie" were part of my life -- Albert Payson Terhune's "Lad" book series, included. "Lassie" -- Not so much. I would always cry when Lassie was in danger. Sometimes that separating reality from fiction is hard!

I was an only child. Major became my "brother," my best buddy. He was a herder and I was his sheep.

One time, during my naughty period, mom went to spank me. (And guess what, I turned out OK) Spankings were rare (and pretty tame) and I wasn't a happy camper. Major got his face right in there and made it clear to her that "harming" me was not permitted. She stopped before she'd even started. That lesson came in very handy! Don't get in trouble without Major being near!

 Major "arrived" on my fifth birthday. He was part of our family until fall of my senior year in high school. The day we said goodbye was indeed a sad one.

He loved going to the lake and when we bought our own cottage a half-mile from the one where my mother grew up and where we had gone for the first eight years of his life, he simply would walk back to Wah Wah Soo and sit in his hole outside the old bathroom window.

In fact, one time he chewed his way our of our brand new porch (my dad hadn't even seen it yet!) and while sitting on the beach at my cousin's, our sweet old dog came ambling down the beach!

Many of us remember this print, perhaps as I do, hanging in our grandparents' homes. As I looked into it, I learned there were two very similar prints -- this one, by Schenck called "Found by a Friend"...

 And a very similar one by an artist called William Hunt.

This link explains how if you look at them side by side you will see the differences. The Schenck is softer and the background is slightly different with the position of the birds. My grandparents had the Schenck version.

Well, in my post-Easter post I shared that antique dealer/blogger Rita had done a purge of some of her things, offering them to blogger friends. She would make a surprise box for us, based on things we may have mentioned when looking at her booth or passions she had seen on her blog. When my box arrived it was chocked full of goodies! Linens, a cheese board, towels, a wonderful fleur de ils cookie cutter, two tablecloths and a lovely white runner, the marmalade jar I've always wanted and more!

And one such goodie was the beloved "Found by a Friend."

This now hangs in my bedroom and I'm not letting it go! Even the frame looks similar to the one I remembered! I don't know that Grandma's print ever ended up in West Virginia but stranger things have happened! And that is exactly what I would like to believe.

But what I especially love is that "Found by a Friend" was indeed, found by a friend. And with it, came many fond memories.

I'll be sharing more of Rita's treasures in future posts (including some cookies from that gorgeous fleur de lis cutter and the recipe) but here's a big thank you to her! For more stories of people who delighted in Rita's purge visit her Panoply post here and check out her other posts, too!

Sharing with:  Pink Saturday    /   Let's Add Sprinkles  


I need orange said...

What a lovely bunch of memories about Major. :-) He was a good, good boy.

The thing about spanking is that it teaches "If you can't get someone with less power than you to do what you want, hit them."

Not really the lesson parents mean to be teaching (just ask my parents if they thought it was appropriate when I hit my younger siblings.....).

I believe the question isn't "was someone physically damaged?" but rather is "do we want to teach kids that hitting is an acceptable way to try to get someone to do what we want?"

Or to express frustration when they don't do what we want?

And -- all the psychology research shows that positive training actually *works* vastly better than punishment for moving another individual's behavior in the direction we hope they will move.

William Kendall said...

We had a collie named Mandy when I was a child. She was such a gentle dog.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This makes my heart feel good. I love your story. Hugs!!

Jean R. said...

What a heartwarming blog topic! I too had a collie from age five, what a wonderful dog she was!

Being a person who combed antique stores, flea markets and tag sales my entire life I've seen the Schenck print before and I love the story of how a blogger friend gave you a piece of your childhood back again.

I have a Hoosier cabinet that my husband's parents bought when they first got married in 1909. When he died I offered it for free to his nieces and nephews and only one wanted it but an hour before she was supposed to pick it up, her husband told she couldn't have it. I feel badly that it won't stay in the his family.

Stacey said...

Jeanie, I love how you weave your thoughts in your posts. It's just awesome that you got the print! I'm not surprised that it came from sweet Rita. :)

Mae Travels said...

Somehow I have missed that painting -- I can't say it looks at all familiar. But I love your story about your dog and how this painting is connected with your memories of him!

Sometimes I wonder what my house would be like if I had all the familiar and sometimes now-valuable (sometimes now worthless) objects that have ever been mine, my mother's, my aunts' ... I think I'm better off without all that stuff. With one or two exceptions!

best... mae at

Susie said...

Jeanie, You are a beautiful girl with her sweet dog. As a kid growing up my siblings and I wanted a "Lassie " or "Rin-Tin-Tin". LOL...Of course we wanted horses too. How wonderful you now have the picture you remember so well from your childhood. Blessings to you, xoxo, Susie

Jenny Woolf said...

How nice of Rita to spread the happiness around! I loved the pictures of Major, collies are one of my favourite breeds. Holman Hunt was famous here in England in the 19th century, and some of his paintings are in the Tate. But it is always nicer to have the version you know, and yes, sometimes things do turn up in the oddest ways. (I must tell you about T's gloves someday) Imagine if it really is the very same picture given to you - isn't that just such a cool idea!

Joyful said...

What a lovely post. I love how you wove in the story of the famous print with memories of your faithful friend Major. Collies are so beautiful. Of course I do love dogs (and cats). It's funny but I'd never seen the little print of the collie before. It seems it was quite famous. Enjoy the weekend. xx

Valerie-Jael said...

Lots of wonderful memories today, Major was a good friend and guardian to you. And getting the print in your box of treasures made it a full circle. I am sure you will treasure it. Have a nice weekend, hugs, Valerie

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a sweet post. We've all had pets from our childhood that we'll never forget. I wish I had more photos of my dog, Ted. And what nice vintage items to treasure. I love them all! Hugs, Diane

Tammie Lee said...

I love that your dog protected you.
Spanking was so accepted back then. Nice that your dog inspired some thought around that punishment.

Wandering Wren said...

I can't believe you ever had a naughty period Jeanie! Major by name, Major, by impact on your life, what a gorgeous brother Major would have been. We're you ever tempted to have another Collie in your life? Well I guess now you have by having the 'Found by a Friend' print, given by a friend. That's a lovely story. We will look forward to hearing more about Rita's treasures!
Happy weekend.
Wren x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

This is a beautiful tribute to Major and also to your friend Rita who knew exactly what to put in your goodie basket. She is indeed a friend, and I think you found her so she could share Found by a Friend with you. This touches my heart and you have some truly great memories and great friends, too!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hello darling Jeanie! I remember that beautiful collie print so well. I've seen it many times in lovely antique shoppes, and like you, I was an only child whose best friends were always animals! I still have a rubber boy doll (from the SUN RUBBER CO.) who was deemed my BROTHER! I dragged that doll around with me as if he was my little brother!

I too have tons of family photos of my gorgeous maternal grandparents. My grandma was quite the socialite in Mexico before coming to the US in the 20s, and how well they dressed back in the day. If only I could talk to her, to hear her voice, to look into those dark brown Spanish eyes that never saw me....

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Loved reading your memories of Major! I had a dog which also journeyed with me from childhood (aged 5) to high school. His name was Reggie (short for Reginald IV, LOL - a very classy high bred German Shepherd - though you'd never know it. Much like me, he was much happier playing the rowdy peasant LOL).
My mother did keep a few of my grandmother's things when she passed away (actually, when my grandfather passed away - nothing left until he did LOL). She still has them, as their style was/is similar. I suppose I shall have them one day, though, frankly, I don't really care for them beyond the heirloom connection. But, I will find a way to incorporate my mother's and grandmother's love of 18th century French furniture with my predilection for streamlined modern aesthetics. Should be an interesting marriage of styles in my old age. LOL
When I was in college, the apartment I rented had an old Hoosier cabinet in the kitchen. I just loved it. It had lots of little details, but my favorite was the flour sifter. I never used it ... but I liked just knowing it was there.
Ah - I can remember that dog-and-lamb print from my childhood. I don't remember my parents or grandparents having it. But, I can recall seeing it in other friend's homes. I'm presuming it was - like yours - a hand-me-down from grandparents.
Before I close out this rambling comment, I have to say, I have never met anybody online who has changed physically so little from their high school days as you! My goodness! Whenever you post a younger photo of yourself, it looks EXACTLY like your current photos look.
You must have one nasty ol' painting going to hell in the attic!
Have a terrific weekend!

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, I love those porches/verandahs!
I sure do remember Lassie, too. We had - surprise - a German shepherd (I wanted a cat!!). Being an only child is hard. I was already 5 1/2 when my brother was born, so I have an idea.
I´m so glad to have a brother - it was so good we could be there for each other when we helped our parents in their lasts weeks and days.
Oh, yes, we got spanked, too - we survived ;-)
Hm, I wonder why one would paint a picture that already exists?
Wow, that is some goodie-box! Friends are great :-)
That was a great journey, thank you!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Jeanie, that was a beautiful post! The old pictures, the descriptions, everything. Collies were the dog of choice at my uncle's farm, where I spent about half of my time growing up. None called Major, but there was at least one called Colonel! -Jenn

La Table De Nana said...

This post is so touching Jeanie..From all the vintage photos to the treasures Rita sent you.
What a Wonderful World..some make it such a Wonderful World w/ acts of kindness.♥
You're the perfect recipient of such heartfelt're so grateful:)
Happy weekend

La Table De Nana said...

PS..I have a quick cute story..when I was 18-19..we had a neighbor who had learning disabilities..he was a bit younger than I was and he had a sheltie he loved..I loved her too..he used to tell me I looked like his dog♥

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I’m so glad that print found its way back to you! Whether or not it’s the one that was in your grandparents home or not, we can pretend it is! And I love the special relationship you had with Major and how he came to your rescue.

I also was spanked. Not very often but it did happen. It wasn’t a big deal back in and was reserved for particularly bad behavior!

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, I enjoyed every pic from this post from your childhood and the story. How sweet it was you had such a faithful friend looking after you with Major. And wow, how the package from Rita with that pic from your childhood! That is one of those unbelievable stories you hope is what true. Your major was a beauty. I relate to all of this, I had a German Shepherd as my companion since I didn’t have my sister until I was eleven, almost twelve. Then as she grew up she had a a German Shepherd, we alway knew where she was because her faithful companion was on the porch of her friends house. Great post, can’t wait to see more details from your box from Rita. Happy Saturday sweeet friend.

Sandra Cox said...

What a heartwarming post. You and Major were so lucky to have each other. You had and have the best smile, so cute.
And how kind of Rita. What wonderful gifts.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

I loved reading this! What a beautiful dog and beautiful pictures and stories! LOL - love that your 'defender' got right in between you and your mom hahah! (I too am a product of the occasional spanking . . . definitely worked for me and yes, I too turned out just fine!).

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Oh, Jeanie, this was the best post. Chock full of fond memories and special love. Major was beautiful. I, too, found Albert Payson Terhune in our local library around the 6th grade. I have read all of his stories and even found a copy of Lad, A Dog at a garage sale a few years back. I always wanted a collie after reading those stories but my Mom's special pet when she was young was a German Shepard named Laddie, so that is the dog that we had growing up which we named Lucky. What a wonderful treat your box full of treasures was and what a good friend to send them to you. I have seen that dog print before and have always loved it. My grandmother had a large print over her fireplace, in an ornate frame, of the heads of three white stallions.
I have seen it since, but wish I had the original..Happy Saturday, my friend..xxoJudy

Nikki-ann said...

What a wonderful post! I love old family photos and things which bring back memories :)

Ricki Treleaven said...

Aw, this is such a sweet post. What wonderful treasures, especially the print! How special to you! And I loved reading about your Collie. :D

Have a wonderful weekend!!! I hope it's pretty up there!

Ricki Jill

Sami said...

What beautiful dogs they are! So happy for you that you were gifted a copy of a print from your childhood that brought back great memories of your dog and your family.
Enjoy it Jeanie!
Have a lovely Sunday

Jann Olson said...

Oh, I love this post! Such sweet stories, sweet dog, and sweet friend!! I always cried in movies and still do. :)

shoreacres said...

I laughed at the thought of Major protecting you from a spanking. I think people today don't understand that our "spankings" were far from violent. My first came to me after I "ran away from home," went around the block with mom in hot pursuit, and ended up atop a dirt pile, happily throwing clods of dirt at her. I wasn't even in school, so I must have been about three -- and the swat on the bottom didn't hurt me one bit.

Until her dying day we laughed about her weapon of choice -- the lid from an old wooden cheese box. Those boxes were made from balsa wood, and made more noise than anything else!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie wahat a lovely post to read with my coffee this Sunday morning! I do love seeing the photos of you as a child and your sweet sentiments! Rita is a great blogging friend and has an eye for detail. What a wonderful surprise that she gifted you with! Happy Sunday my friend!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, wonderful post and photos. I love the story and family photos, they are great memories for you. My grandmother raised collies, your photos brings back happy memories for me too. Enjoy your day and new week!

Rita C. said...

Jeanie, I was on vacation when I read this and it warmed my heart more than the tropical sun on island! I knew you had mentioned your having a collie and your grandparents having the print, but weaving all the wonderful, memorable details is truly what antiquing is all about. Thank you so much for receiving this and adding provenance, whether it was 'the' one or not. The story is contemporary to the timing of when the print was still very popular, gracing the homes of America, and that's what makes this so very special. I found the print in Katy, TX, so who knows its true trek to getting back to you. I'm just so very glad you have it. I will certainly add this link to my purge recap. XO

Lynne said...

Loved meeting Major . . .
And knowing you had a “buddy” for many years . . .
Must have been very sad to say goodbye to him . . .
Love the dog, lamb print . . . and that your friend gifted you . .
What a treasure!

Pam said...

What a beautiful face your Major has. I have always loved collies even the little shelties. My husband saw that print in an antique store
a few years back and fell in love with it. We let it go, but a few
years later I found one again and bought it for him. We love it.
Thanks for sharing your friends' memories. Sweet stuff. Penny

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Great post, Jeanie. And by the way... you haven't changed one bit! Have a great week.

DUTA said...

I like your childhood photos with the dog, and the story of Major protecting you from being spanked. Both the photos and the memories are heart warming!

Marilyn Miller said...

Wow! What a very special, thoughtful gift. I do love seeing the picture hanging now in your bedroom. Your collie story too is so special. Major must have been a very amazing pal and dog.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Memories of childhood and lost family fill my thoughts after reading your post. I have no print to take me back - just my mind images of a dog, my mother and father, my grandmother. I'm so glad you got your print from childhood. Hold on to your memories.

Jeanne Washburn said...

I so love this post, heart swelled as I read it. Thank you.

Decor To Adore said...

I'm catching up on all your recent posts and just loved this one Jeanie! All the photos of your sweet Major just warm my heart. It truly is so lovely for children to grow up with pets. Rita sent me a package too. It was an enchanting box of antique clothing. I am slowing repairing/transforming the pieces. I hope to begin setting scenes to photograph each of them in. It's been a true delight!

My name is Erika. said...

What a great story. I want to believe the print is now yours because of your grandmother's love. Too bad we can't go back and retrieve those things from the past. I guess they are just things in the big scheme, but still, they are important items that connect us to our past. Hugs-Erika

Danielle L Zecher said...

Major sounds like a great dog. I think we all have that one dog.

Rita's purge sounds like a great idea. I love how everyone's items were so carefully selected, and how wonderful that you ended up with the painting.

Pam Jackson said...

Oh my gosh I love the old pic of the house with the relatives standing there. I love seeing those types of things. I so wished that I had some more things that belonged to my great granny when her place was sold. But....trying not to be greedy I have ended up with a lot of glass and other things that my mom had of great granny's and my two spinster great aunts. I cherish that stuff. I also have a great piece that belonged to my grandmother, a cedar chifferobe. I love having those things and knowing that a cast iron skillet that I have traveled wagon train with my great, greats. Thanks for sharing.

bj said...

Loved every photo and words in this sweet post.

Jennifer Richardson said...

This made me cry:)
Found by a friend. I remember that print, too.
Oh wow, Jeanie.
Major.....what a sweet story.
I love him for loving you so well:)
And don't you know you'll likely see him again someday.....i just
believe he's waiting for you somewhere wonderful:)

Katie Mansfield said...

I love this post. What a sweet story and post. Thanks for sharing at Keep In Touch.

Polly said...

What a gorgeous dog x

JEN Garrett said...

I think that's the reason fiction touches us so much - it has deep truth in reality!
Thanks for the return visit to my blog!

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