Home
Browsing articles in history
News: JoAnna Lou
Dogs of the Titanic
The doomed ship's survivors included three canines
April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Knowing that only 31 percent of the ship's human passengers survived, I was surprised to learn that three dogs made it safely to New York. Only first class passengers were allowed to bring dogs on the voyage and many belonged to prominent families. There were 12 confirmed dogs on board the Titanic including a Toy Poodle, a Fox...
News: Karen B. London
The Origins of the Kong
Happy accident launched the toy
Louis Pasteur’s remark “Did you ever observe to whom the accidents happen? Chance favors only the prepared mind” is true in many fields. Those who have great knowledge recognize opportunity and are able to take a random event and recognize the value of something unexpected. In the world of dogs, a great example of chance favoring the prepared mind is seen in the original inspiration for the Kong...
News: Karen B. London
Dog Hair Used in Textiles
Woven items of the Coast Salish
Wearing dog hair has become acceptable to the point that many people believe no outfit is complete without it. The contribution of canine fur to textiles is hardly new, though.   Before European contact, the Coast Salish people of the Pacific Northwest incorporated dog hair into their textiles, including robes, sashes and blankets. Oral histories have long claimed this, and a recent scientific...
News: Guest Posts
Owney Look-Alikes
With backstories to match
First there was Owney the original—a Terrier-mix stray who became the loveable canine mascot of the Railway Mail Service. Then, there was Owney the stamp. Next, Owney the iPhone app and Owney the star of the interactive e-book Tails from the Rails (to be released later this fall). And, finally, Owney look-alikes. I could suggest this is overkill, except that not only do I find all the Owney...
Culture: Stories & Lit
Anthrozoology Books Explore the Science and History of Dog-Human Bond
Scientists have only recently caught on that canines are not just a fertile subject for their particular specialties — psychology, anthropology, zoology, ethology and more — but also a topic that the publishing world seems eager to promote. This trend has been a long time developing. Nobel Prize–winner and ethology’s co-founder, Konrad Lorenz, wrote Man Meets Dog (1950), breaking ground that lay...
Culture: DogPatch
Q&A with Dog Sense Author John Bradshaw
Making sense of dogs
What is an anthrozoologist, anyway? Turns out it’s someone who studies human-animal interactions, and John Bradshaw, who directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute based at the UK’s University of Bristol (and founded it at the University of Southampton), is pre-eminent among them. For more than a quarter of a century, he’s investigated the behavior of dogs and their people, and his...
News: Guest Posts
Owney Will Travel with the Mail Again [UPDATED]
Railway Mail Service mascot gets his own stamp
A few years ago, during an East Coast vacation with my pre-teen nieces, we did the museum circuit in Washington, D.C., including a stop at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum. It was my sister’s idea, and I thought a likely snooze-fest. But I was wrong; the museum is a fascinating place with a particular jewel, Owney, the canine mascot of the Railway Mail Service. Still looking...
News: JoAnna Lou
Nazis Trained Dogs to Talk
Hitler planned to use dogs to win WW2
In recent years, canine cognition research has gotten extremely popular, but interest in how dogs think isn't exactly new. In the 1920's, German animal psychologists believed that dogs were almost as intelligent as humans, and capable of abstract thinking and communication. This school of thought even influenced Hitler in his quest to win World War II. Recent research discovered that the Nazis...
News: JoAnna Lou
Ancient Burial Shows Human-Canine Bond
7,000 year old dog suggests people saw canines as thinking beings
I happen to live near the nation’s first pet cemetery, located in Hartsdale, N.Y. Pet burials may seem like a modern luxury, but the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery has been burying beloved dogs since 1896. However, it turns out that canine burials may far predate New York’s venerable cemetery.  Recently, the burial remains of a dog that lived over 7,000 years ago was discovered in Siberia. Unlike wolves...
Culture: DogPatch
Gene Sharp: Wagging for Freedom
Sit (In)!
Gene Sharp and Caesar
Recent events in Northern Africa have turned the spotlight on Gene Sharp, PhD, a scholar and social scientist anointed by the Daily Beast as “the 83-year-old who toppled Egypt.” For decades, Sharp — through his manuals and books, including From Dictatorship to Democracy, The Politics of Nonviolent Action and 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action— has argued that nonviolent action is the best way to...

Pages