Thursday, June 16, 2011

Foo Dogs

In Chinese culture, the Foo Lion stands as a guardian of Imperial Palaces and tombs, Buddhist Temples, Government Buildings and the homes of important officials. Always presented in pairs, the male with his paw on a ball, the female, her paw on a cub, their mythical powers prevent evil from entering and offer tranquility to those inside. Over time the Chinese Imperial household bred dogs to mimic the appearance and determination of the guardian lions, hence the Lion Dog.

Foo Lions/Dogs do an important job, and one no less needed now than once upon a time. Meg, chatelaine of Pigtown Design , provided the example below from a home in Baltimore.

Mrs. T and I are strongly in favor of keeping evil spirits at bay, and more in favor of tranquility. While our home isn't as grand as that in the photo we have our own, ever vigilant Foo's.

Evil spirits can't crack this powerful defense.

100 years ago only 12 examples of these determined lion dogs existed, all in the Imperial Household of China. Every Shih Tzu is a descendant of one of those 12 saved from the Empress's kennels in the Forbidden City.



Karena said...

Your guard dogs are the most precious I have seen, Toad!

Art by Karena

Come and join my Giveaway from the Novica Artisans!

James said...

I did not know about the 12, interesting.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the shout! i drove by that house the other day and still admired it.



David said...

I love a foo dog lamp or bookend, but not as much as I love a pair greeting me at the front door!

This is David by the way, Blogger refuses to recognize me when I try to comment.

LPC said...

Yours are way cuter:).

Barbara said...

Formidable indeed!

Flo said...

"Every Shih Tzu is a descendant of one of those 12 saved from the Empress's kennels in the Forbidden City."

Well, I'll be darned.

No wonder you're my first stop every morning, and my last stop each night. Keep on...