Diana Thorne

Pat the Terrier

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Pat the Terrier in "Laugh, Clown, Laugh"

When I first saw Pat he was a tiny puppy cutting up the window of an animal shop.  He was so comical I just had to go inside and meet him.  When I put my hand down to pick him up, he grabbed my sleeve and proceeded to chew off a button.  It was love at first sight.
Pat rode home with me in the taxi, laughing all the way.  At the studio I put him down, and he sat there grinning at me, head cocked to one side, he looked like the perfect little clown; so I went straight to work and etched his first portrait.  The result was Laugh, Clown, Laugh, a picture that became quite a favorite. 
That evening, after Pat had put away a big steak dinner and had worried a pair of slippers dragged from a closet, he curled up and went to sleep.  I put him on the bed and made another sketch--The End of a Perfect Day.
Pat was the best of my models.  Most dogs aren't good posers.  They can't sit still, even for a short period, but Pat, notwithstanding his high spirits, would take almost any position I asked and hold it longer than any other dog I have known.
Today Pat, getting along in years is the boss of thirteen dogs in my kennels in Connecticut.  And a real boss he is.  He rides around gleefully in the keepers car, barking away, telling the other dogs where to head in.
Time and time again a cheerful dog like Pat has lifted me out of discouragement, set me on my feet, and given me a fresh look at things.
Diana Thorne

Pat the Terrier in "The End of a Perfect Day"


The New York Times
March 6, 1928

Pat, her favorite model, can roll over and dance with paws pointed to the sky.  He can stand in a stately pose and address a solemn meeting of dogs.  And like any good dog with a sense of humor, he can laugh with unaffected glee.  But down at heart Pat is a wistful dog.  Once long ago in his wanderings he met somewhere a little girl who loved and fed him and then disappeared from his horizon forever.  Perennially in the spring he remembers his lost mistress and goes off on a long search for her.  But his quest always ends in the comforting lap of Diana Thorne, who knows him and understands. 

It is not strange that in "Laugh Clown, Laugh," showing Pat in one of those gay moods behind which there lurks the wistfulness of dogdom, she has caught a universal quality.

Saturday Night
December 28, 1929


Diana Thorne freely donated her time and artwork to benefit organizations aiding homeless dogs such as the New York City Tailwagger Club, the Animal Protection League, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society.

Pat the Terrier in "Pals"

Whenever I returned to my apartment after what Pat deemed to be a longer-than-necessary absence, I could both hear and see him as I turned the corner into the street in which I lived.  Pat strenously objected to being left behind to await my return, and, on such occasions, he had his own idea of the time at which I should return to make all well with the world.  To Pat I was Pippa.  On these belated homecomings, the terrier was observed by all passing who cared to see and, not caring, were compelled to notice, by his vociferous barking, punctuated by wails of seeming agony...  His voice, megaphonic, far through the quiet evening, was pitched in high key, and so must have been to neighbors as disturbing as a perpetual fire-siren.  The consoling (or advising) words of a passer-by served but to accentuate the blast and raise the note of agony.  As I approached the house and waved my hand, he would promptly disappear from the window and dart to the door, thence to rush back, reappearing like a jack-in-the-box, until I reached the street door.  Coming upstairs, I would hear excited barks and furious door-scratching--the hysteria reaching a climax when I opened and entered, laden with bundles always, one of them being generally, the offering of a restaurateur who had "fallen" for Pat and bespoke his affection by votive offerings gratefully accepted by the object and his mistress...
Oh, Pat loved reunions as much as he detested partings!
"Diana Thorne's Dog Basket"

"Her canine friends became something other than mere models to her, for she had the delightful faculty of studying more than their anatomy, of seeing deep into their souls. "
Dora Albert

Frank J. Leskovitz