Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Five dog stories

In honor of my friend Deb's birthday, my post is about dogs this morning. The top photo is a skye terrier named Bobby, who was acquired as a watch dog by John Gray when he became a night watchman for the Edinburgh Police Department in 1856. The two became inseparable, walking the beat and eating together. Two years later, Gray was diagnosed with tuberculosis and died within weeks. He was buried in Greyfriar's Kirkyard and Bobby accompanied the procession to the grave. The little dog took up position at the spot and refused to be coaxed from it - except for his midday meal - for the next 14 years, until his own death. "Greyfriar's Bobby" was buried just inside the gate of the churchyard, and his loyalty has been celebrated in several films and in the erection of a statue and fountain in his honor.
The second photo is English artist Francis Barraud (1856-1924) with his dog "Nipper." Barraud's painting of the little dog cocking his head at the phonograph was adapted and registered as a trademark for His Master's Voice, a company still in existence as the HMV Group. The trademark is said to be the best-known in the world, and is also still in use.
In addition, I have collected 3 dog hero stories: In Titonka, Iowa, in July 2006, the Schutjer family's border collie kept 3-year-old Allie warm overnight in a cornfield after she wandered away from a campfire and went missing. In December of last year, Jaylynn Thorpe was protected from 17-degree weather by his two puppies when he was missing for 21 hours in the woods of Halifax County, Virginia. Last but not least, a chihuahua named "Pebbles" saved owner Beverley Burkitt from hypothermia in March after she strayed into dense woods on a walk in Dolwyddelan, North Wales, and found she had lost her cellphone - a little person saved by a little dog, since Burkitt is a dwarf!

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