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A "dog blog" about all breeds and issues of importance to people who value the dogs in their lives, with a special emphasis on Search and Rescue dogs, in particular the training of my Newfoundland Dogs

Friday, November 30, 2007

Great Dogs in History

Did you know Napoleon Bonaparte was saved by a Newfoundland Dog? Sure enough...he was trying to escape his exile from the Island of Elbe when he fell overboard. The Ship's dog, a newfoundland, leaped after him and brought him safely back, as he was drowning, or so the story goes.
All of the folks who own Alaskan Malamutes or Huskies know the story of Baldo, the great sledding dog who made the famous trip in 1925, when what later became known as the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; and Baldo palyed a heroic part in this life saving trek.

And then there is the Russian dog known as "Laika" who travelled to the stars and 1957.

And of course the name "Lassie" brings to mind the famous collie star of the book, movie, and various animated editions thereof...The original book "Lassie Come Home" was first published in 1940 by Eric Knight.

Lord Byron is famous for his "Tribute to a Newfoundland Dog". Inscribed on the tombstone where his dog was laid to rest and where Lord Byron himself asked to be buried with his dog are the following words:

"Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.

This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Who was born at Newfoundland, May, 1803,
And died at Newstead Abbey, Nov. 18, 1808."

Stay tuned to this blog for more "historic dog" posts in the coming months!