This 16th century woodcut strikes a particular chord in our family because we have all spent a good deal of time exercising our German Shepard, Oona,  by shooting blunt tipped longbow arrows and crossbow bolts for her.

 

arrow dogs

(Many thanks to Semith Koyuncu for posting this artwork in his facebook blog.     https://www.facebook.com/messages/1606915887)

Archery of this sort is great family sport.  Dogs with a bent for retrieving, love it.  Needless to say, it is important to enforce some strict range rules, especially when using the crossbows.  Beyond the obvious utility of having a willing servant find and fetch your missiles,  it gives a working dog a sense of purpose and importance.  Just yesterday a bolt from my 14th century windlass crossbow burrowed itself into the pine duff a few feet.  It took Oona about ten seconds to find it.  Around here, a dog with a blunt in it’s mouth gives a whole new meaning to getting high.  (Thank you Anna. Very funny.)

I have tried to find more information on this woodcut.  Someone suggested it was Nordic in origin.  If anyone has an idea where it came from, I would love to hear about it.

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