Category Archives: dog trivia

Famous Dog Statues Around the World

dog statues falaBy Laurie Darroch

Statues around the world reflect history, legends and great people or events. Famous dogs have also made their mark in the art of statuary, with symbolic statues ranging from simple dedications to dramatic memorials of cultural heritage. Our faithful canine friends have greatly impacted the lives of mankind; it is only appropriate they would be immortalized with honor the same way humans have been. Although there are many dog statues around the world, this small sampling will give you an idea of how important dogs have always been to humankind.

Fala

Fala, a wee Scottish terrier, was the presidential pet of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fala (originally known as Big Bo), was a Christmas gift to Roosevelt from a cousin. Roosevelt renamed him after a Scottish ancestor named John Murray of Falahill. A statue of Fala next to President Roosevelt, created by sculptor Neil Estern, is in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Fala traveled everywhere with President Roosevelt, and was lovingly cared for by Roosevelt. The travels with the president included accompanying him to international conferences and to Roosevelt’s homes in Georgia and New York where the president received treatments for  the paralysis he had developed from polio.

Fala was named an honorary private in the United States Army, and his name became a code word between American Military troops in The Battle of the Bulge to help keep Germans from infiltrating the U.S. ranks.

Laika

The name may not be well known in all parts of the world, but Laika, the stray dog found on the streets of Moscow in the late 1950s, is a hero in her own right who earned her place in history. She was among the earliest living animals to be launched into space. On the 3rd of November 1957, the Russians put Laika into Sputnik 2 to be the first animal ever to hopefully orbit the Earth. Although her fate from the flight was a sad one, with her death occurring while in Sputnik 2, she helped pave the way for humans to travel in space.

The tiny 11 pound dog has been immortalized in two statues in Moscow, Russia. One created in 1997 depicts her standing on a rocket in Star City, Russia where the cosmonauts trained. The other includes her in the Monument to the Conquerors of Space built in 1964. The mixed breed dog was born in 1954 and died in 1957.

Besides statues, Laika received recognition on a Romanian postage stamp in 1959. To further honor her, NASA named a soil target Laika during the Mars Exploration Rover Mission.

dog statues bremen townBremen Town Musicians

Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten (Bremen Town Musicians), are featured on a statue in Bremen, Germany which was erected in 1953. It was built in honor of a well-known Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The story is about four animals – a dog, cat, donkey and rooster – that are past their prime and usefulness in local farms. In an effort to stay alive and become independent of their human masters, each of the four run away and meet on the road on their way to become musicians in Bremen. On their travels they come across a home inhabited by robbers enjoying their ill-gotten gains. The four animals climb on each other’s backs and frighten the terrified robbers away from the home with the loud music they create. The robbers try to regain the home, but are again frightened away by the seemingly ghostly foursome. The four brave animals have become a loved symbol of bravery, unity, independence and perseverance.

The tale has been reproduced in numerous books and movies, including a Muppets version called The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, an altered 1975 version by children’s author and illustrator Richard Scarry entitled Richard Scarry’s Animal Nursery Tales.

Anubis

Not just one, but many statues and pictorial representations of Anubis have appeared in ancient Egyptian art. Anubis, although actually a jackal, is part of the nomenclature of Canidae, which includes foxes, wolves, coyotes, jackals and domestic dogs.

Jackals, as nocturnal feeders of rodents that lived among the tombs, were believed to be protectors of the dead. In the old Kingdom of Egypt, the statues were used to pray for the souls of the departed. Anubis became the God of embalming and cemeteries, a very important role in the ancient rites of passage into the afterlife. Priests involved in the mummification process were believed to don a mask of the animal god to symbolize Anubis watching over the departed during the ceremony.  Present in statuary and art discovered from ancient Egypt, he is present in every kind of Egyptian historical treasure that has survived the centuries.

dog statues k9K9 Statues

In their loyalty to humans, dogs have long been members of military and law enforcement teams. These often unheralded companions, team members and working dogs perform their dangerous services to help protect human beings. Some have lost their lives in the effort, and others served for a lifetime. The bond between their handlers and these amazing service dogs is similar to that between human comrades in arms, no matter what their service was. Their sacrifice and loss, or longtime service is deserving of statues being built in their honor.  There are countless examples of canine heroes represented in memorial statues across the United States. The deep connection between man and dog withstands even the most harrowing circumstances. It is no wonder these brave animals are so honored. Their contributions have been immense.

It is obvious in their inclusion in the vast art of statues throughout the world, that dogs are valued for their steadfast loyalty and love for humankind, and rightfully honored.

Top photo by Ken Lund/Flickr
Middle photo by Allie_Caulfield/Flickr
Bottom photo by State Farm/Flickr

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8 Dogs That Played a Role in World History

dogs history jasonBy Linda Cole

The space race between the United States and Russia began in the early 1960s when President Kennedy issued a challenge to NASA to put a man on the moon by 1969. Russia was first to put a living being into space when they launched a stray terrier named Laika. Sadly, she didn’t survive long enough to reach orbit, but it had a profound effect on the world and gave us the drive to put a man on the moon. Laika wasn’t the only dog that played a role in world history, though. Here are 8 more.

Belka and Strelka

When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 5 in 1960, two mixed breed stray canines from Moscow were the first dogs to go into orbit and return alive. The furry cosmonauts’ 24 hour orbital flight gave the Soviets the confidence to continue their dream of putting a man into space. The dogs became national heroes and were honored worldwide for their contribution to the space race. Shortly after Strelka returned from space, she gave birth to six puppies. Nikita Khrushchev gifted one of the pups, Pushinka, to President Kennedy and his family.

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10 Dog Related Terms Used in Conversation

By Laurie Darroch

Dogs have become so much a part of our world that terms related to their behavior and interactions are interwoven into our conversations. Although there are many dog-related expressions, this sampling of just ten will show you how much our canine friends have influenced us.

Dog Tired

If you’ve ever watched your dog run and play with extreme high energy until they fall asleep and barely move a muscle from sheer exhaustion, you have an idea of the origins of the term dog tired. A dog who is that tired may be difficult to rouse from sleep. When you are dog tired, you have reached the end of your rope and need rest to rev up for the next activity or day.

Dog-Eared

This term has different meanings depending on its usage. A dog-eared book has the corners of pages turned down as bookmarks, or to mark pages with pertinent information. Sometimes it is the sign of a very loved and well-read book. Any item which is worn out or shabby may also be referred to as dog-eared (old clothing, photographs or houses, for example). Basically, the item has seen better days.

In a Dog’s Age

You may not have seen an old friend in a dog’s age, or you may not have been to an old hangout or eaten a favorite food in a dog’s age. It simply means it has been a very long time since you’ve had that experience. The typical life span of dogs is about 10 to 15 years. That is a long time not to have done something you used to do!

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The All Dog Radio Website: Online Fun for Dog Lovers

By Laurie Darroch

While doing some of my endless researching and web searches, I happened across an internet website that is totally dedicated to all things dog. Intrigued, and obviously being a longtime dog lover, I wanted to see what the All Dog Radio site had to offer. I discovered that it’s full of trivia, music and other dog-related content, and some of it was quite surprising, fun and informative.

The site has a large collection of varied musical recordings that are described as “The WooFTunes Music Library! Probably the largest collection of Dog Music & Dog Songs anywhere!”. The musical choices range from rap to a page called “WoofHouse” which is a concert series of unplugged non-amplified and acoustic musicians.  The WoofHouse musicians travel by dog cart and perform around parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania on their little red cart.

All Dog Radio offers pages of jokes, poetry, song and rap lyrics, (available in recorded format to listen to or in print to read if you prefer it that way), and dog stories, including three ongoing fictional stories. If you want to send in your own stories, the site encourages submissions of your own real life doggy tales. For those into political related trivia, the First Dogs make an appearance on the website as well.

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Intriguing Facts about Dogs and Cats

By Linda Cole

Most pet owners spend a lot of time bonding with their pets and learning all about them. We know where they like to be scratched, if a thunderstorm will upset them, how they respond to strangers, or if a stubborn streak will try your patience. Each pet is unique with their own personality, but as a species all dogs and cats are intriguing. Here are 13 facts you may not know about your pet.

1. A dog’s sense of smell is so powerful that some can detect odors buried 40 feet underground or track whale scat in the ocean. We have around 5 million scent receptors in our nose, but canine noses are equipped with around 125 to 300 million scent receptors, depending on the breed.

2. A common belief is that all cats are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t be given milk, but that’s not true for every feline. Some don’t have a problem drinking milk; however, after weaning they don’t need milk, and it can upset a cat’s tummy if she drinks too much. As long as your cat can tolerate it, there’s nothing wrong with giving her an occasional saucer of milk in addition to a quality cat food like CANIDAE. If you want to know if your kitty can have some milk now and then, give a small amount and wait 24 hours. If she doesn’t develop diarrhea, a little milk as a treat is fine.

3. A dog’s wet nose helps capture scent particles, and if his nose is dry, he may lick it to help him catch a scent. They can wiggle each nostril independently, and they know which nostril a smell entered, which helps them locate the source of a smell. The nose is made up of ridges and dimples unique to an individual dog, and is believed to be as individual as our fingerprints are. Felines also have a nose print that can be used to identify an individual cat.

4. Cats that live on their own don’t communicate by meowing to each other. Domesticated cat meows and yowls are used to communicate with humans. Felines have a fairly sophisticated vocalization range of about 100 different meows or yowls. Dogs only have about 10 different barks, yips or snarls.

5. Dogs have a disconnected shoulder blade, which gives them a better range of motion when running and jumping. Most canines can run at around 19 mph at full speed.

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Fascinating Dog Facts

Lundehund

By Linda Cole

Dogs are such interesting creatures. We’ve had an association with them for centuries, but scientists have only recently begun to understand how unique and special they are. Because of selective breeding over the years, we’ve been able to tame the wild beast, so to speak, but there are still mysteries we need to unravel. Most of our modern day breeds were created just a short time ago in relation to how long man and dogs have been working together as a team. We are still discovering interesting dog facts about our canine friends dog lovers may not know.

Research has shown that children who grow up with pets in the home have 31% fewer respiratory tract infections and 44% fewer ear infections, and are 29% less likely to need antibiotics. A dog in the home can even help protect kids from the common cold and reduce the chance of your child developing asthma.

The Norwegian Lundehund, native to Norway, has some rather unique characteristics not found in any other dog breed. The dog has six toes on each foot, erect ears that can be folded closed at will – forwards or backwards – and they can bend their head backwards so far it touches their backbone. The breed is also called the Norwegian Puffin Dog; Lunde means puffin, and hund means dog.

Greyhounds can reach a top speed of 45 mph, making them the fastest dog on earth, but the Siberian Husky has endurance to outlast most other breeds. A team of Huskies can travel 100 or more miles per day at an average speed of 11 mph.

We know dogs were the first animals domesticated by us, but it’s still not known exactly when that took place. The belief by researchers is that domestication took place around 15,000 years ago, but a 50,000 year old cave painting in Spain shows what experts believe is a dog-like figure in the painting.

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