Dogs of History
I never would have thought I'd have a category of this type on my blog BUT you can't argue that doggo's are pretty amazing companions and there are some who have had a role in history that is worth sharing. You'll find these stories here. More added regularly.
Who: Ukraine's Wartime k-9 Hero
If you haven’t heard of Patron before or seen Patron, then I’d be surprised. This doggo is a war hero and one of the more light-hearted sides you’ll see to the current war in Ukraine.
Light isn’t really the best term as it is sad a doggo like Patron is even needed but he is needed, and his work is vitally important to those communities returning to war affected parts of the country.
At just 3 years old Patron is a Jack Russell Terrier with a big job as a member of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. Patron's owner and handler is a bomb disposal technician from Chernihiv, an area that suffered the Russian invasion early on in the war. Today, Patron works hard to help identify unexploded bombs so that his home can be made safe again.
Patron has proved to be a very popular symbol of the war and has become a mascot of the efforts by ordinary Ukrainian's for the nation. He has received the Order of Courage, Third Class earlier this year.
He is truly the goodest doggo out there! (If only his services were not needed).
For more on the current invasion of Ukraine and the work of Patron, click here
Who: Queen Elizabeth II's First Corgi
One of the most well known associations of Queen Elizabeth II's reign is her love of corgis.
Do you know how many corgis have called the palace home or who the first royal corgi was?
Elizabeth's first corgi was "Dookie" and he joined the family in 1933 when her Father King George VI brought him home.
Over her lifetime Elizabeth would own over 30 corgis (with some sources saying there may have been up to 80 born in the family)!
In 1944 Princess Elizabeth (as she was then) was gifted a corgi for her 18th birthday. This Corgi was named Susan and Susan would become the matriarch of a royal corgi line that would continue for over 14 generations and remain within the palace until 2018.
There was even a mixed breed known as “Dorgis” bred when Princess Margaret’s dachshund Pipkin mated with Elizabeth’s Corgi Tiny (Susan’s Great Great Grandchild).
After well over 40 corgis called the palace home during Elizabeth’s lifetime her final corgi, Willow, (yes a direct descendent of Susan) died in April 2018. Elizabeth made the decision to not bring any more corgis into the palace as she knew they would likely outlive her.
Image: Princess Elizabeth with Dookie, 1936 (Source: Vanity Fair)
Who: The dog accused of causing the Hindenburg accident (spoiler - it wasn't him)!
This is the brief story of the dog whose presence led to claims that sabotage caused the Hindenburg accident.
This dog was a German Shepherd named Ulla.
Ulla belonged to Joseph Spah, a German born-American citizen who was returning home after spending a season working in Europe as a performer. During his time in Europe he had purchased Ulla for a large fee and the dog became a part of his act.
By all accounts Spah was very close to his dog and was very upset when he found out that the dog had to travel in the cargo hold, not the passenger cabin. He claimed this was due to the value of the dog and her worth as part of show but it is also possible that he was just very close to his dog.
Throughout the flight he visited Ulla in the storage hold constantly and each time he had to be accompanied by a member of the crew who grew tired of having to chaperone him. As a result he often snuck into the hold to be with his dog. This behaviour was considered suspicious so after the accident had occurred his name was put forward as a possible saboteur.
The FBI conducted an investigation into Spah but he was cleared of any charges, so it likely that he just preferred to company of his dog to the other passengers on board!
Sadly, Ulla died in the accident while Spah survived by jumping from the burning craft. There was also one other dog noted as travelling on board but this dog also died and we know nothing else about the dog.
We don't have any photographs of Ulla but we do know that Ulla was a German Shepherd, like the illustration here.
For more on the Hindenburg Accident read the blog, click here
Who: Olympic Winter Gold Medallist in the 1932 sled dog event
In 1932 at the Lake Placid, New York Games a sled dog race was held as a demonstration event. There were 12 entrants all from either Canada or the USA. The event saw two races of 40.5km each with six dogs pulling each sled. The winner was famed musher Emile St. Godard of Canada whose fastest time was 2 hours 11 minutes and 7 seconds.
Interestingly, Godard is the only dog sled racer to be found in Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame which is largely thanks to his Olympic win and his ongoing rivalry with Seppala as the two battled over six years for sporting supremacy.
This is Toby, he was Godard’s lead dog and is probably one of the few doggos to have a Winter Olympic Gold to his name! He was a mixed breed husky/greyhound and lived to the age of 9, passing away in 1934.
For more on the Winter Olympics and this event click here
To learn more about the History of the Winter Games visit the blog clicking here
Photo: Godard and Toby (local media)
Name: Multiple (See post for more)
Who: The Dogs of the Titanic
There were at least twelve dogs that we know about having been on the Titanic. All of these dogs were of course first class, after all who else could afford to transport their pets across the Atlantic.
Of those 12 just 3 survived.
The three dogs to survive the disaster belonged to Elizabeth Rothschild, Margaret Hays and the Harper’s (who would go on to own Harper Collins Publishing).
The first two owned Pomeranian’s while the later owned a Pekingese; all three were so small that it was likely when wrapped in a blanket others thought the women were carrying a baby, not a dog.
📷 The most famous photograph of dogs on the Titanic however sadly we know none of these dogs survived.
For more on the dogs of the Titanic check out the blog click here
To learn more about the History of the Titanic visit the blog clicking here
Photo: Unknown Source