The Russian Borzoi
This is an excerpt from a book titled "Dogs From
All Angles" by Nina Scott-Langley and K. R. G. Browne.
The publication date is sometime in the 1930s and the book features
somewhat satirical/humorous breed descriptions in addition to
illustrations utilizing only straight lines.
An elegant but elongated dog, somewhat resembling
a greyhound in a second-hand fur coat. Came to England from
Russia (as the keen observer will deduce from its name) long
before the Revolution, and is therefore considered patworthy
by those members of the British aristocracy who would hesitate
even to kick a dog suspected of Communistic sympathies.
its native country was used principally for hunting wolves -
ay, and bears to boot - across the frozen steppes, both front
and back. As the local wolves objected strenuously to this pastime,
while the local bears were not too keen on it either, the hunters
worked on the ratio of three Borzois to one wolf (or bear, as
the case might be). This was no reflection on the Borzoi's courage,
but merely on its chassis, experiments having shown that it
was liable to get broken in half if it went for a wolf alone.
Owing to the shortage of wolves in England
- and not too many bears have been seen about lately, either
- is nowadays employed mainly as an ornament. Having a sporting
nature, would willingly hunt hares and foxes in lieu of anything
larger; but is seldom allowed to do so, as its long coat tends
to get entangled in the undergrowth and evoke titters from the
Of an affectionate disposition, and an excellent
house-dog, though a little out of its element in a modern service-flat.
A very decorative companion for svelte brunettes, and is much
photographed (for the Society papers) in the act of being fearlessly
patted by such. Has no objection to cold weather, which reminds
it of the old hunting-days on the illimitable samovar,
and will eat almost anything once.
Rather plaintive in expression, like a poor
relation anxious to borrow a fiver, with a slightly Semitic
nose and hardly any chin. Not that it needs any, having gew
drastic decisions to make. Superbly stream-lined as to the body,
and exceedingly graceful when in full flight - which, unfortunately,
it is seldom permitted to be, owing to the traffic.
Is worth roughly as much as a small wireless
set or two (2) bicycles, inasmuch as one can easily pay £10
for a well-bred puppy. Well, not easily perhaps; but
you can see what I mean. Colours: white, fawn, brindle, blue,
lemon, and orange; which seems rather peculiar somehow.