While horses may be used in drawings for dude ranches and other vacation venues, dogs and less frequently cats, serve as symbols of idealized domesticity. “Fido and Felix” tend to communicate stability and a happy home. This message is apparent in many of the residential and multi-residential presentation drawings, but more subtle in campus renderings. It is interesting to note the size of the dog in relation to the class of people represented. It seems that very large and very small dogs are linked to the upper class, while the middle class has medium-size dogs. Dogs frequently show up in drawings for outdoor settings welcoming to families, such as parks. Also, dogs included in drawings for commercial projects are friendly and non-threatening as are the locations in which they appear.
Both the dog and the women in this drawing represent scale and class. Notice the standard poodle with its proper “English Saddle Clip.”
Arne Kartwold, renderer for William Wurster’s Case Study House #2, attempted to develop land for single family homes in Alamo, CA. We can only guess whether his drawings were for clients or his own amusement. In addition to the dog that appears in every image, he sometimes included horses or cows to indicate the previously rural, soon–to-be suburban landscape.