Great Dog Men & Women of the Past and Present:
Anastasia Noble Continued FROM page 57
of wildlife, rivers, a mountain, and waterfalls on the banks of the north shore of Loch Fyne. The indigenous biodiversity is amazing, with giant ferns 10 feet in diameter and 6 feet tall. The loch with its warm trade currents has a great variety of fish species and even oyster fields. When we were there, they shipped smoked Salmon around the world. This historic mansion is exquisite and is now used for special occasions and a location for feature-length filmmaking etc. Ms. Noble was expecting us and I wanted to make sure she approved of “The Deerhound Song.” I had recorded the audio of the song on my video camera and so gave her earphones to see if she approved. She liked it and her head was nodding with approval to the song as it played. I told her the song had inspired me to make a music video and hoped to use some scenes around Ardkinglas and the Baronial Castle as a part of the background scenery. Unknown to me at the time, the castle has been used as a location in feature films. She whole-heartedly agreed to help with the music video. She invited us in to her cottage down by the kennel for a gin and tonic with lemon but no ice. We talked dogs and dog people, as she was a frequent visitor to the United States, and we looked at her Deerhound pictures for hours. I remember noting that in the distant past, wheaten colored Deerhounds were from another era. She later brought out a couple of magnificent bitches in front of the castle and was having trouble getting them to trot for the camera. After all, she was almost 80 by then. I asked her if I could trot one of them for the video. That she thought was a grand idea. I gave the video camera on a tripod to Sally and pulled out my extend-a-lead for the bitch. Sally took some amazing footage of the bitch trotting at the base of the castle. I would certainly have no trouble winning the Hound Group at Westminster with this bitch. Suddenly the bitch stopped to watch a 92 Dog News
Coursing Deerhounds and Salukis at the Dava Cup on the Scottish Moors.
dog running down by the Loch Fyne. The bitch came up over her front with ears semi pricked. I let the lead sink to the ground to be invisible for the camera, as it was a perfect stance and the bitch slowly drew her attention to Sally and the video camera. Thanks heavens, Sally kept right on shooting. “I remember them standing so tall, You looked in their eyes, you gazed in their soul.” We picked up Anastasia for dinner that evening and headed for the seafood restaurant owned by her nephew. They had fresh fish and oysters out of the Lock Fyne for the evening meal, and it couldn’t get any better than that. After leaving Ardkinglas the next day, we traveled to Ardsheal House, a Scottish-type castle hotel owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Taylor of New York. The Taylors spent much of the year in Scotland running the hotel, but were always back in the States at the Westminster Kennel Club show in February. There were 15 to 20 acres of well-appointed gardens created in the 19th century for the hotel guests to marvel over. I gave 5 stars to their gourmet dinner menu and appetizers were served in the parlor to all the hotel guests before the evening seating for dinner. To top off the visit to Ardsheal House, the Taylors also owned 2 Deerhounds that were accustomed to entertaining the hotel guests in the lobby and parlor. In the center of the parlor was the largest snooker table I had ever seen. The Taylors had their dogs available for video footage as they were trained to stay close off lead in the forest. “Deep in the mist of the forest they roam, chasing the wind till it blew them back home.” I returned to Scotland in October of 1991 with Charles and Patricia Alexander to photograph and video the 36th annual coursing event known as the Dava Cup. It was 3 full days of coursing in the highlands of Northern Scotland. The Highlands are not that far from the Arctic Circle! The entry included 44 Scottish Deerhounds and 12 Salukis. The breeds would run separately in brace elimination comContinued on page 92
Dog News The Digest of American Dogs Volume 29, Issue 26 June 28, 2013