Friday, January 27, 2012

How we chose our name

Most of us involved with Mastiffs have heard or read the quote from the 1800 version of the Cynographia Britannica:
What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family; he stands alone, and all others sinking before him. His courage does not exceed its temper and generosity and in attachment he equals the kindest of his race.
I don't know why, but I always really loved this quote, maybe because it does ring so true to our breed.  Well, my last name is Griffin, but it's a pretty common name and there are several other "Griffin Mastiffs" out there.  I was doing some research and found the definition of "Griffin" was this:
griffin, griffon or  gryphon  (‘grifin)  - noun  
a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the gryphon was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The gryphon was also thought of as king of the creatures.  In antiquity the gryphon was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine.

[Greek: grýpon, early form grýps; Latin: gryphus; Old French grifon]
Seriously, how fitting is that for a Mastiff!  How can I not use the name Griffin Mastiffs!  So I just had to do it, I chose the coolest spelling of Gryphon I could find and here we are.

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