Collector’s Attic: What About the Collector’s Spouse?

Sunday, March 15, 2015 by


While trying to decide on a new topic for this issue’s column, I was interrupted by my husband needing a drink of water.  He is recovering from a quadruple bypass and cannot do too much right now. He has to be careful not to injure the surgical area  especially where his sternum is located. (so has to be careful in getting up, coughing and the like).  It occurred to me he would be the perfect guinea pig er ah subject for my column! I wondered how the spouses of those of us who collect all this dog memorabilia really feel about our addiction. Bravely, I ventured into this new frontier, where no writer has gone before, hoping we would still be talking when I finished. He was, as it turned out, glad for the diversion. So, please enjoy this “Interview with the spouse of a collector.”

Gail-  Carl, please tell me how you feel about the Irish Setter collection I have and why you like or don’t like it.

Carl – Just, Irish Setter? YOU collect a LOT of stuff! I never knew a collector before. I like the real Irish Setter because of the Irish history and my mother was Irish. You have some really nice Irish Setter figurines on display throughout the house.

Gail-What are your favorites in the statues?

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Concrete lawn dog ready for St. Patrick's Day


Carl- Either the big stone one out front or the large on point one in the dining room. The one out front is probably my very favorite because you decorate it for every holiday and that is fun.

Gail - What are your favorites in the pictures?

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Red Wing Puppy Portrait

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Carl- The Red Wing Shoe Company’s puppy picture (it hangs over our fireplace and is signed and numbered by the artist). I also like the large one of the Setters running about in the field that was a housewarming gift from Carol when you moved into your apartment.

Gail- Any other favorite ones you’d like to mention?

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made by my cousin Mimi Martin

Carl – Yes, the beautiful quilt your talented cousin designed and made for you.  (quilt is hanging on the wall in the picture to show it off better but it is used by me and is nice and warm . It was made by my cousin Mimi Martin)

Gail – what would you change about my collection if you could?

Carl- I would put more out on display where company could see and admire them (as opposed to most being in the small collection room behind a closed door)

Gail- What would you like to add to my collection?

Carl- More statues, I don’t really know what is available for sale now but I would like more “lawn” Setters especially. (ie: concrete or other weather safe material dogs to decorate our lawn)

Gail- What is the most you think a person should spend on a statue?

Carl- Probably one hundred dollars but, I really don’t have a set amount. You would probably know that better than I, however, I think you could buy a nice item for that price.

Gail- What do you dislike about the collection?

Carl – You cannot see everything you have. I would like more of the collection to be displayed out in the open.

Gail – That makes me feel really good to hear you say that! What do you think of my doing mad searches for “themes” ? An example would be when I start looking for Christmas scenes that include Setters as soon as the holiday figures come out in the Fall.

Carl- No problem, I like painting the dogs to be more “Irish” when the manufacturer hasn’t made them red enough.

Gail- What would you do to improve the collection room?
Carl- you need more space to move around in there.

Gail-maybe we could move into the collection room and move the collection into our large bedroom?
Carl- Uh, no.

Gail- Only kidding. Do you know what other animals I collect besides Irish Setters?

Carl – Well, I know you have some horses.

Gail-All the Setter breeds are represented by at least one statue in the collection. I also collect wolves, Collies, black cats (and a few others that are the colour of cats I have or have owned), and I like the horses to be black Arabian if possible. (though I have some other breeds and colours). I have a few dogs in other breeds people either gave me or that I admired. The Dalmatian group was mostly part of a collection belonging to the deceased brother-in-law of a co-worker who gave them to me because she knew I would take care of them. My aunt and uncle had a Dalmatian when my cousin and I were children so they are special to me.

Carl – OH!

Gail – You should visit the collection room more often (laughs)

Gail- Do you enjoy shopping for collectibles with me?
Carl- Yes, I do because I know you like it. (smile)

Gail- Have you learned about real Irish Setters as a result of becoming involved in my collecting hobby?

Carl- YES! I had no idea what they were like and the breed is so very nice!

Gail- What would you like to add as a comment about the future of my collection?

Carl- We should open a museum!

Thank you so much for giving me this interview. I think my readers will enjoy seeing my world through the eyes of a former non-collector.

Until next issue….happy collecting!


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Large (almost life size) Irish in dining room



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Hall of portraits

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Beautiful portrait by our editor, Jan Irving. This is a personal favorite of mine (Gail) because it so reminds me of my Katie even down to the quail in the bottom of the scene


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Door to the collection room


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The collection room and why it should be larger is obvious!


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1 Comment

  1. Sharon Damkaer

    I love this contribution by Gail. Interesting point of view hearing what her spouse Carl thinks about her collection.

    Sharon Damkaer

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