Cubby Broccoli, Tibetan Terrier

 

Cubby Broccoli is the name of our handsome little shop dog, a Tibetan Terrier and a friendly little chap.

Tibetan Terriers are a breed that originate from - you guessed it - Tibet, and they were originally bred to be companions for Buddhist monks, up at the top of those giant mountains, contemplating the infinite. Our little pupper (born November 2015) isn't quite as Zen as the Dalai Lama, but he is a pretty cool character who likes to relax.

You could argue - and I'm going to, right now - that dog breeds are an example of folk art. Dogs have been companions to humans for millennia - they were they first animal we domesticated and dogs and humans have coexisted since we were hunter-gatherers (as modern wolves still are). We started living with dogs before we started planting crops, before we started keeping cattle for milk and meat and before we started building cities. Dogs are as central to the development of modern society as are metal refinement, navigation and language. Without the assistance of our buddy-wolves to help us track and kill meat during the last Ice Age, there's a chance that society up here in Northern Europe might never have developed. Dogs were and are important.

No better technology exists than dogs to help shepherds herd sheep, and dogs work today as helpers for the differently abled, as drug and bomb detectors, as guards and as essential companions to many people. Over time, humans have bred and paired dogs together, emphasising certain attributes, both in terms of behaviour and appearance. That is why we have the crazy amount of variety that exists between different types of dog in the world: humans have, over time, made them in the image we wanted. We have dogs who are clever, dogs who are affectionate, dogs who are pretty, dogs who are intimidating and dogs who run quickly.

Dogs fulfil so many different functions, and the development of dogs happened alongside our own - we, as a species, have been creating the dogs we see today for tens of thousands of years, and dogs will continue to be our companions for tens of thousands of years to come.

Dogs are beautiful objects created with a purpose: that makes them folk art, right?