ENTERPRISE — Have you ever seen a pack of dogs racing go-carts? You can now, in Kathy Hunter’s ceramic display in one of the windows at the Wild Carrot on Enterprise’s Main Street.
Hunter’s unique and creative display was inspired by something she saw at a friend’s home.
“I saw a poster in a friend’s guest room of cartoon dogs that were having a heckuva good time,” she said Friday, Feb. 12.
As with most of her works, the ceramic dogs are part of a multimedia display. In this case, they serve to illustrate her poem, “The First Annual Go-Cart Race for Dogs.”
The poem starts:
“I was sent to this event
“As local news promoter
“To report on the pace of a go-cart race
“With rides denied a motor.”
Some of the entries in the race include a wheeled sled driven by a St. Bernard, a “dragon boat” with wheels powered by sled dogs and a Chihuahua barking out the rhythm for them, a bath tub with three different breeds of dogs called Rubadubdub, three dogs in a tub in the poem and an Afghan hound in a wagon.
Bringing up the rear is the one that should’ve been “hero” of the poem, a French bulldog on a skateboard, Hunter said.
“He should’ve been the winner but he ran away for dinner,” Hunter paraphrased from the poem.
It may have been the first annual such race, but the poem tells us it’s also the last:
“Absent the din and with no bets to win
“The audience peeled off, walking.
“Leaving the locals, those deserted yokels
“With the road the mess was blocking.
“The crowd had left the neighbors bereft
“Of tools and helpful manuals.
“But all agreed on their future need:
“There’d be no second annual.”
A well-known storyteller in Wallowa County, Hunter also has worked as a journalist and editor. She lives between Lostine and Wallowa where her husband has a gun shop.
She’s been doing ceramics about two years, having learned at the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph under the instruction of Mellica McIntire of Imnaha.
McIntire no longer teaches at the Josephy Center, but still holds a class at her Imnaha home, where Hunter continues her learning.
“It’s a wonderful thing to get away from all that’s going on in the world these days,” she said of the classes.
Rowan Cypher, a fan of Hunter’s, urged people to get downtown to see the exhibit, which will be there until March 12.
“Kids should know it’s there and there’s a wonderful poem Mrs. Hunter wrote to go along with it,” Cypher wrote in an email. “Because nobody’s walking around, nobody’s seeing it. She’s so creative.”
Hunter plans to sell at least some of the racing dogs once the display is concluded. She plans to have them photographed and possibly included with the poem in a book.
“If I don’t, I’ll have to build another room on my house,” she said.