Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Life's meanderings took an interesting turn while substitute teaching a few days ago.  I was filling-in for a middle school English class and found a book on the classroom shelf:  Dragon - Hound of Honor written by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton (Copyright 2004). 

Firstly, I had never realized that the famous actress and singer Julie Andrews was an author of children's books.  She co-authored the book with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.  Secondly, their fiction novel was an adaptation of the old French tale:  "The Legend of the Dog of Montargis".

As a consequence of reading about the legend, I found another book entitled:  The Beast in the Boudoir which is a nonfiction book that relates historic accounts of pets' fidelity (especially dogs) in 19th Century France.;;doc.view=print

A brief summary of the Legend of the Dog of Montargis is that a King's knight, Aubrey, was riding through the forest with his dog Dragon accompanying.  Aubrey was murdered along the forest road and Dragon remained by his owners body.  Eventually, Dragon, a devoted dog, returned alone to the King's court.  He picked-out the murderer from a roomful of knights and other court people.  Dragon attacked his owner's murderer in front of the entire court.  The King witnessed the event and ordered a battle between the suspect and Dragon to decide whether the suspect was truly guilty.  At the start of the battle, Dragon leaped on the suspect and knocked him to the ground.  Before Dragon could fully avenge his owner, Knight Aubrey, the suspect admitted his guilt and confessed to the murder of Aubrey.  Hence, Dragon became the Hound of Honor. 

Historically, it was alluded that Dragon was a "greyhound".  This was derived from 1 or 2 original letters from the knight's period which related the events that had occurred in Montargis sometime between 1360 and 1400.  In the 1840's era, a French play depicting the legend apparently used a Briard to play the part of Dragon.  What breed of dog was Dragon?  I have not seen the original letters from French Knight history.  Perhaps Dragon was a Berger Picard?  Here is one of my own photos of a wonderful Berger Picard from the Greenwich Kennel Club Dog Show, June 2013: