A Group Portrait

What with the sad news posts I’ve been writing, I thought that we could all use a charming vintage photo to puzzle over. What’s going on here?

204A - Version 2

UPDATE: the caption on the back reads: All of my family except for the chickens. Taken in our back yard about a week ago. Weston, Texas, Feb. 1930

Have you tried to photograph all of your animals, at one time? Can you imagine the rumpus if I tried to do that here? Just the thought of it makes me smile.

(By the way, take a look at that terrier. Her legs are in proportion to her body. Her snout is long enough so that she can breathe. Her eyes are large but not protruding. I wish breeders would go back to such a healthy and sensible type!)


  1. Ha! A penny for what that dear cat is thinking!
    You’d need a bagful of treats for those two goat-boys to play the game at the same time, I imagine.
    BTW thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel at the passing of our feathered and furry friends, Terry.
    Somehow the older ones (especially those living on “borrowed time”) have a way of communicating their needs.
    We had to say a sad farewell to our dear rescued Greyhound last Summer. She would’ve been a perfect multi-pet photo subject, whereas our present boy… Don’t even go there!!!

  2. Looks like they are posing on top of the rabbit hutch made all a snug with a piece of linoleum nailed on the top. Remember well getting up on cold mornings in Kentucky in the 1940s and putting my bare feet on our linoleum! My older brother raised rabbits and I always had a cat and a terrier. Mom and Dad managed the chickens. Our backyard, like yours, was a busy place. Today I just have Waldo, our rat terrier. The postcard brought back many pleasant memories for me. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Rabbit looks calm, willing and ready! Ears say it all! :) Terrier is very pretty. Cat will dart in three seconds…bye bye not for me!

  4. Might this be a veterinarian making a house call? Might have come for the large animals and while he was there gave the small ones a once over? The way he is holding the cat looks like the way vets palpate for internal anomalies. Then again, why bother collecting all the animals at once for exams when it would probably be easier to do them one by one. Clearly, I dunno…..

  5. The guy looks confident that he has everyone under control. Perhaps the photographer clicked the shutter a little too soon. In addition to the bow tie he has cuff links on the non-fussy collared white shirt. His suit is neat and his shoes are well-fitting and beautifully USA crafted (and shined). I notice that because all my people worked in the shoe factories around Brockton, Mass – The Shoe City – before it became the City of Champions (boxing). While the animals’ coats are beautiful, the guy’s haircut is a disaster! I place this vintage postcard in the early 30s.

  6. I disagree about the cat! The whiskers are nice and relaxed and spaced out. The ears are relaxed as well. The eyes aren’t dilated, but that could be the light. And there are no claws digging into the linoleum. I’d say he/she is doing fine. Of course, being a cat, that doesn’t mean he/she will stick around for long!

    And can we throw nearly all dog breeds into your wish? I remember wonderful well built/balanced German Shepherds and Collies that actually had eyes and nostrils. Sigh….

    • We have a great Boston Terrier. She is a brindle like the original. Her back is somewhat “roached” & her eyes are still a little “woogly” but she is much better than when I first adopted her. They are a first-class companion dog. How lucky for me she came free.

  7. well . . . . i decided that the man is a school teacher in a rural school – like the one just down the road from me. that’s pretty good quality white clapboard on the wall behind him. he’s dressed very well, not like a preacher, so a tad casual, but still official.
    and the animals know each other – one of the kids brought them to school in the back of dad’s farm wagon, which they were used to riding on so they didn’t freak out – and besides, the family’s farm field by the road is what the school was built on.
    and i’d guess the teacher was using them for a lecture on biology. how domestic animals were alike, and how they were different.
    now was 4H in operation in the early 30’s? which is when i would date it.

  8. Thoughts from the animals:
    Terrier: “Guys, when she clicks that box thing, I’m going after that dog sniffing around our fence!”
    Rabbit: “I just want to get back to my nap.”
    Cat: “Did you see that! It’s a mouse! Get this picture taking done!”

    And the man says, “Hurry up, Mother! These shoes are killing me!”

  9. I agree with your comments about the dog. No one will convince me breeders always have the best interest of the animals in mind.

  10. I’ve been away for a while. So sorry some of our favorite girls are gone, but they had a long and wonderful life. Makes me wonder why Buffy had no tumors or signs of disease. Maybe she ate more grit, or selected her food in a different way taking care of herself. She did love her dust bath’s so maybe it was her exercise. Her long life was certainly her secret. As for the photo, this fellow is dressed for the day. I remember my dad dressing no matter what the chore was for the day..right down to the cuff links! His outfit is most likely wool and it’s most likely a hot day. I’m surprised he has no chicken in the photo.

  11. I’ve more info for this story- the back of the photograph says, “All of my family except for the chickens. Taken in my back yard about a week ago. Weston, Texas, Feb. 1930.” Has anyone been to Weston?