Sketch of the Day (September 27th 2014) - sketch for what will be a colour concept of Dragon Knight's token important dog (yes, Canis lupus familiarus, a domestic, ordinary Earth pooch) Ringo, who is an Escavian police officer in his own right. (When he isn’t peeing on things or trying to play with a freaked out Blacky.) Ringo is extremely sweet tempered but when his handler Sheila tells him to take down a bad guy, he’s all teeth and torque.
The rest of the time he’s more likely to slobber all over your face.
Ringo is what I have been calling a Rimarian Shepherd or Falla Hound; the more correct name would be Escavian Shepherd. Basically; he’s an adapted-to-Rimer German Shepherd with some other stuff bred in according to the needs of his people. Because only the best (that is, purpose, field bred with absolutely NO show line) German Shepherd dogs were imported to Rimer, (this goes for other working dog breeds too, such as border collies,) when drawing Ringo and the other police dogs I aim to depict them as the conformationally sound animals that they would be. Finding references for this in this particular breed is not an easy task; most of our modern GSDs have been very carelessly bred, leading to the rampant amount of violently sloping backs that you see in the breed, especially in organizations such as the AKC, backs which are not healthy and do not facilitate the working animal’s needs. (If anything they facilitate hip displaciaand an early, tragic death.)
My favourite reference for good GSDs, as you probably know from my past fanatically passionate post(s), are those beautiful dogs bred by the Canadian RCMP; however, it is quite difficult to find a picture of one of these dogs that is properly stacked to display the conformation (helpful to my referencing of their anatomy.) A few days ago, I hit pay dirt in my vague search for good GSD references when I discovered the beautiful Swiss White Shepherd breed, a spectacular offshoot of the GSD which commonly displays healthy conformation which Max von Stephanitz would have swooned over. Straight, gorgeously level backs, beautiful proportions, lovely white coats - these dogs are something spectacular. (However, they cost more than some used cars, so a living, breathing specimen for reference probably isn’t in my immediate future.) I haven’t even seen any footage of these dogs in motion but just from the photos I can tell that they are poetry in motion - the perfect references for my falla hounds like Ringo. I mean, just look at how epically pretty they are!
I am so happy to have found them! Now I have a base from which to draw my dogs which flies with my beliefs for how GSDs (and thus falla hounds) are supposed to look - strong, straight-backed and healthy. Ringo here is stacked, yet he displays nothing of the hind-weakness shown in show-line GSDs and for that I am extremely happy.
I knew it was possible to draw a GSD whose back didn’t look like crap! :D
I apologize if anyone finds my take on this breed insulting, but again, I am very passionate about them and I don’t like seeing dogs that can hardly walk winning in the show ring, being genetically tortured by people who breed them only for a specific, very unhealthy and extreme look, rather than for their intended purpose as outlined by Stephanitz, who detailed a superior working dog, not a living sculpture. The dog breeders on Rimer would abide by his rules; purpose and health must always go first. If a dog can’t do its intended job well then it shouldn’t have puppies, plain and simple. (This goes for any working animal actually.)
I’m ranting. I absolutely love these dogs like a crazy idiot and Ringo is one of my favourite animal characters in Dragon Knight. He’s going to be like the dog that I wish that I had; the German Shepherd that I dream of every time I close my eyes and think of myself with a dog. While I can’t imagine myself with a significant other, I can imagine myself walking along with a big, gorgeous GSD pacing at my heel; I can even imagine walking down the aisle with it at my side. (However, I can’t imagine a groom waiting for me at the end of that aisle. My brain rejects this possibility somehow even as it thinks some heirs to my creativity would be nice to carry on the talent. This isn’t weird either, lots of authors have kids who finish their books for them postmortem and stuff. I want that kind of security for my stories. I hope that isn’t creepy. Todd McAffrey is carrying on the Pern torch for his deceased mom Anne McAffrey and I yearn a little for that kind of security even though small children quite literally scare the living tar out of me.)
I can imagine sitting at a desk with a GSD at my feet or coming home to a booming greeting bark; I can imagine going for bike rides and hikes, my large four-legged shadow giving ample reason for anything nasty at heart to stay away from my lone self. Sometimes when I’m alone and nobody else is home, I think about how much safer I would feel if only I had my dream dog at my side, protecting me and my cats. If, when the day comes that I can bring that dog home, the first thing that I will tell it is that its job is to protect me and the cats and any other people that I deem okay and I know that it will understand; these dogs are damned smart after all.
For now I yearn painfully for that dog. If I can hack it, if I can somehow make it possible, that friend will be my first dog. (Instead of a shiba inu or some smaller dog. Ew. Okay, I love shibas, but not really other small dogs. No thanks!)
How I hope so. There isn’t much that I have ever wanted more than a German Shepherd Dog. (Besides perhaps becoming an author…)
I think a GSD would make a fit author’s companion, don’t you?!