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Saturday, April 25th, 2009
12:40 A.M.



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PHOTO HUNT 2009 THEMES


PROTECTION


I had a very, VERY difficult time with this prompt! I just couldn't come up with any ideas at all. Something unique. I thought of cactus needles...which protect the plant. I thought of rose thorns, cat's claws and teeth, a lock, the alarm system keyboard in our home...things like that. But they just didn't really appeal to me for the subject this week. Too common, I think. Tho, still...what do I do? Well, I came up with an idea while going through my photo album and realized it was looking me right in the face...literally. So, here is the pair [one of three pairs] that we have in our yard/inside our home. They're called:




FOO DOGS [or Fu dog] Foo dogs are really lions. Behind their aesthetic appeal is a rich history of legend and tradition. The lion is known as the proud mater of the feline race. It is not indigenous to China, although lion artwork and sculptures were imported gifts to the emperor. The lion does not occur in Chinese primitive art, but was introduced later in connection with Buddhism as the defender of law and protector of sacred buildings. Lions are often placed at temple gates and porticos of houses. Sometimes, they guard tombs. Stone lions in front of official buildings were originally put there to scare demons. The conventional Chinese lion is sometimes called the "Lion of Corea" or the "Dog of Foo," because it was found at the threshold of Buddhist temples. The lion is sacred to Buddhism and is sometimes presented as offerings to Buddha. Some Buddhist deities are occasionally depicted mounted on this beast. It is an emblem of value and energy, those indispensable complements of wisdom, and was embroidered on the court robes of military officials of the second grade. The lions are always presented in pairs, with the female on the left and the male on the right. The male lion has his right paw on a ball, which represents the "Flower of life" The female is essentially identical, but has a single cub under her left paw, representing the cycle of life. Symbolically, the female fu lion protects those dwelling inside, while the male guards the structure. Sometimes the female has her mouth closed, and the male open. This symbolizes the enunciation of the sacred word "om". However, Japanese adaptions state that the male is inhaling, representing life, while the female exhales, representing death.

This pair is quite old. They've been 'protection' for over three decades. We've had them since Colorado. Bud had them anchored to our two gate posts on our long driveway where we lived. And they were then packed and moved to Arizona where he had them on our Oriental mini-bridge in our back yard...one on each side. Then, yet again, they were moved with us to Texas. They're now set out near the back yard gate under a potted fern on each side of the gate. Trust me, they're not in very good shape any more...they've been chipped, repaired, broken, repaired and touched up with blue enamel paint. But, they're still with us.


58 comments :

  1. Enjoy your weekend dear, love you.

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  2. I would love to have some of these Oriental Foo Dogs. I have never seen them in a garden centre in the UK though.
    Bit of web searching coming up!
    Want, want, want!!!

    Love Granny

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  3. Very cool & interesting~ Have a great weekend :)

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  4. Hi Anni
    Your Foo-Dogs are very rare here in Denmark,
    Douglas tells me that in China they have them as "Temple Lions".
    They are as you say Lions and are the most common symbol of protection in chinese Feng'shui homes.
    They are placed on the outside of the main door,
    and always the female to the left, and the male to the right.
    Good thing you have kept yours,and in a good condition it seems.
    Hang on to them, they'll protect you "S"
    PS. What a lovely picture of you and the Children, you're all so good looking-
    ans as you know- Du er den bedste
    Mutti

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  5. These look as fearsome protectors. I guess, though, that to be frightened by them, you need to crawl to the house on all four. To meet them face to face ;-)

    Have a great weekend!

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  6. Very nice & interesting! Thanks for sharing their meaning. Have a great weekend ;-)

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  7. Very interesting - I didn't know about Foo dogs. I wonder how many crawling invaders :) they have chased away over the decades.

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  8. That is an excellent post; love the history behind it. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Nice choice for this week's theme. happy weekend!
    Mine is here.

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  10. foo dogs. excellent protection i see. and a very good take on the theme!

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  11. Very good find for protection.Thanks for visiting us.

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  12. Lovely! Excellent protection, ans a fascinating post. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Thanks for your sweet comment on mine!

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  13. Wow, you learn something every day! Good one! I'm up too!
    http://gigigriffis.blogspot.com

    Have a great weekend!

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  14. Excellent photos.
    Why does the male represent life and the woman death? That's hardly fair. Boo. I think it should be the other way around, since women give life.
    Hey, just sayin'.

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  15. Great choice for this week's theme. My daughter brought me a pair of foo dogs from her trip to China a few years ago. I didn't even think of them.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. I've never heard of foo dogs and I always learn something new on your blog. They are cute and it sounds like they've been battered while protecting you. Wounded in the line of duty so to speak.

    Thanks for visiting my photo hunt!

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  17. What a beautiful colour your guardians are! Maybe that's their touch-up colour.

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  18. What a faithful pair of protectors! And they look stunning in vibrant blue beneath those arching ferns!

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  19. How cool! I love the shade of blue and the name Foo Dogs!! LOL! I'll bet you wouldn't feel at home if you didn't have them in your yard somewhere.

    Here's my proctection.

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  20. Wow they look great! i would love tio have a pair :-)

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  21. Good morning, dear Anni:-)

    Foo Dogs...well now I know what they're called and what they represent!! I'd seen them in pictures but never knew anything about them. I think their history is so fascinating and I think yours have been doing a good job of protection all these years:-)

    Yesterday was such a beautiful day with temps going up in the low 60's...to us that's a heatwave for this time of year lol...that I spent most of it outside cleaning out flowerbeds and raking. Today it's supposed to go up in the 70's but it's also supposed to rain! xoxo

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  22. Funny how we keep things over the years..but they mean something to us..I hope that all is well with you. Sorry that I have been lazy again. I am at Curves..working?? ha!! Always slow on Saturday morning..take care and enjoy this weekend...

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  23. Great choice, Anni! Beautiful shot and very different. What an interesting variety of takes on this week's theme!

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  24. Great choice for the theme! Beautiful shots.
    Thanks for visiting too.

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  25. Your entry is interesting dear. happy weekend. TC

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  26. I have a bracelet with the Pi Yao on it and it's said to offer protection, too. This reminds me of my Pi Yao.

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  27. interesting . . . I learned something new today. I hope they serve you for many more years

    I’m feeling safe here’s my photo hunt

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  28. Anni,

    Wonderful photos. I love your Fo dogs. I've seen these for sale, but never knew the history behind them. Thanks for sharing.

    Take care and enjoy your weekend. It's beautiful here again today, but is quite windy. Maybe we will get out in the garden and transplant my rhubarb.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  29. Wonderful blues contrasting with the green. Foo dogs...I'll have to remember that one.

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  30. Funny, while you made your way from Colorado to Texas I made my way from Texas to Montana. We could have waved in passing.

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  31. I love the information on the Fu dogs.
    I learn something everytime I come here.

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  32. Really interesting history, Anni. Makes me chuckle to think I learned something about ancient China today, by way of TeXas! ;-)

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  33. Wow..very interesting take for this week's PH theme. Boy am I learning a lot through all these excellent history behind the pictures. Very nice.

    Enjoy your weekend,
    Cindy O

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  34. They have been looking after you for a very long time and quite successfully it seems.

    Happy weekend to you Anni.

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  35. Great picture, and I loved the story, it is always so nice to learn something new each day. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  36. What an interesting post.
    I've never seen these before.
    Have a great weekend!

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  37. Very interesting. That was a tough theme, but of course you handled it brillantly.

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  38. I didn't know that much about the fu dog. I knew they where lions and there where to protect something.
    I have fu dog ceramic mold.
    I did photo hunt also.

    Coffee is on.

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  39. I've actually seen Foo Dogs before but didn't know what exactly what they were and certainly not the story and history behind them. Thanks for info! Have a nice weekend.

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  40. It was a tough subject but I love to see how each interpreted it. Great stuff including Foo Dogs.

    From a former TEXAN retired in Arkansas.

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  41. This is the most unique shot so far... great job and I love to hear about the history and the meaning of these too. Thanks for stopping by.

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  42. Very interesting, Anni.

    Just wanted to stop by since I haven't visited in a while. I hope things are well with you and your family.

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  43. These are cute foo dogs! and they come in blue too :)

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  44. Again,I learn new things every time I come to your site! I never realized the female had a cub and the male a ball! Loved your take on the word for this week! I'm sorry I haven't been around at the other place. I'm volunteering allot since my brothers passing, trying to find that "middle ground" again. I think of you often Anni!

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  45. I love your foo dogs. I have several dragons about the place, but I didn't even think of them when I considered the theme. I don't think they like being on the internet. Anyway, I did come up with a good idea without them. Hope you have time to visit.

    http://healingmagichands.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/photohunt-protection/

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  46. I knew your brain wouldn't fail you!

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  47. Very cool & interesting take on the theme.
    I would love to have your Foo Dog in my garden!

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  48. ha ha and i thought this week's theme is easy, anni!

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  49. Great choice.

    I also wanted to find something different as I thought the most obvious - a mother with her child - would be used a lot: I haven't seen a single mother and child!

    Either it's only the most obvious to me or we have a very creative lot in photohunt!

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  50. Foo dogs...how neat. Yours are the most beautiful blue. That's a great post for Protection, Anni. Very original.

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  51. They are really neat Foo Dogs! I have a Buddha in my garden-I got it for my hubs as he has a big tummy that he has lost a bit of.

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  52. Foo dogs, LOL! Love the name. I also LOVE that brilliant blue color.

    I'm a little late with my PH this week; I'm catching up after a busy weekend. :)

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  53. Nice one! Chinese even put 2 big one, each aside at the main entrance to their houses.

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  54. Coming from the Orient, I have never seen blue Fu Dogs. :D

    I have a pair of white marble ones guarding the front gate.

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  55. I enjoyed reading your post about the fu dogs. It is very interesting. And what a unique and great take on the protection theme.

    Thanks for stopping by mine.

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  56. Definitely a unique take on the theme, Annie!

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  57. I'd like to have two of my own too. Your post is quite informational, I enjoyed reading your post. I only knew the dragon story of protection when I got to China for a visit sometime ago.

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  58. how unusual. i love the story behind them

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