Like Guinness, Saint Paddy’s Day, U2, and shamrocks, the Kerry Beagle is an Irish icon, though perhaps lesser known. While recognised as an official breed only in 1991, the Kerry Beagle is the only extant scent hound breed native to Ireland.
Rare (even in Ireland) and distinctly un-beagle-like due to its larger, more athletic frame, the Kerry Beagle is the star of a centuries-old Irish tradition known as drag hunting.
A humane alternative to fox hunting, drag hunting uses an artificial scent—aniseed, for example. The scent line is laid to take full advantage of the landscape and its best jumping opportunities.
For decades, legendary Irish documentary photographer Tony O’Shea has captured the annual event. Renowned for his “anthropologist’s eye for social realities”—as described by the Photo Museum Ireland —O’Shea grew up in South Kerry, regular witness to the rambunctious gathering of locals and their dogs:
“I would regularly see and hear the hounds and their owners on the Sundays of late spring and summer as they gathered for the drag hunts. It looked and sounded primordial and somehow to belong in this terrain on the western edges of Europe.”
Newly released Kingdom of Hounds catalogues O’Shea’s drag hunt photography through the decades. A powerful and profound glimpse into not only the steeplechase-like spectacle, but into Ireland’s spectacular landscape, the lives of its people and their deeply rooted traditions.
We are thrilled to introduce Dog-Friendly, a collection of city guides for dog-loving people, created together with our long-time contributor, photographer Winnie Au, and fellow enthusiasts, indie publisher Hoxton Mini Press. Available for purchase here.
August 25, 2021
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020