The History of Firehouse Dogs May, 2009

Dean's Welcome Notes

Last month we posed the following question to our readers- "Should your dog or cat have the same rights as you?". The comments were appreciated - and interesting. The number of exclamation points alone shows the wonderful passion that our readers have. We've devoted a section of the newsletter to some of the answers - enjoy. The actual names of respondents are on file with

As always, here at and we value your opinions and enjoy hearing from you.Mystery Dog

Until next time,
Dean Hamill

Animal Trivia:

What's the name of the dog in the
Blondie and Dagwood comic strip?

Go to the end of the
newsletter for the answer.

The History of Firehouse Dogs

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Dalmatian DogBright red gleaming fire trucks and Dalmatians just go together. Ever wonder why?

In the late 1800's fire wagons went from being pulled by hand to horse drawn. Sturdy, fast horses were needed to do this job. This was a boon to firefighting but it created two new problems. One - these horses were very desirable - to horse thieves that is! And two - the smoke, sirens and general chaos upset the horses greatly.

In come the Dalmatians to the rescue! For more than 200 years prior to this in England, Dalmatians had been used by coachmen to befriend and calm the horses of carriages owned by the aristocracy.

History had already established that Dalmatians had a natural affinity with horses, and form lasting bonds of friendship with them. These very strong dogs were able and willing to run long distances and were extremely loyal. They were used as protection for not only the horses, but also as a deterrent to thieves. It was a natural fit for the newly created horse drawn fire brigades.

Dalmatians have other notable qualities that endear them, to this day, to firefighters worldwide. They are excellent at catching rats and other vermin - which was a real problem in early firehouses. Their outstanding and unique good looks made them a valued asset for the early carriage owners and continues to enchant us now.

Myths about Dalmatians - which need to be dispelled once and for all please:Dalmatian Dog
- they like the color red, so firehouses keep them around (most dogs are color blind)
- they are deaf, so the sirens don't bother them
- they are courageous and can see through smoke and fire - and will run into a burning building and pull someone out (these dogs were not ever intended for use this way - although it has happened)

Dalmatians have had many names throughout history - here are a few:
Coach Dogs, Carriage Dogs, Spotted Carriage Dogs, Plum Pudding Dogs, Fire House Dogs, Dalmantiner, Dalmatinac, Dally's, and Dal's.

Oh, and by the way, firefighters, breeders and owners would like everyone to know that the breed name is spelled with a "tian" at the end - and not the common misspelling with "tion"!

Comments From Our Readers on "Should your dog or cat have the same rights as you?"

"Dogs and cats are our pets and are not equal to humans. They do deserve the right not to ever be mistreated in any way but they are our pets. Anyone that thinks an animal should have rights other than this is a little (well really a lot) nutty. That is the problem with the world today. There are a lot of "NUTS" out there!!" ~ C. W.

"Definitely not! I love my dogs and I try to take good care of them but God put man over creation. He did not create us equal!!!" ~ MA. W.

"I believe animals should be well taken care of but should not be considered on the same level with human beings and therefore, should not have the same rights." ~
>^..^< L. A.

"Dogs and domestic cats have served the human race for thousands of years as pets, care givers, sentinels, body guards, but most of all, a friend like no other. They deserve to be treated as angels in waiting. Being a breeder should be a privilege not a burden." ~ E. J.

"NO, they ABSOLUTELY should not!! There is a vast difference (that our society somehow does not seem to understand) between animals and humans. Animals do not have a soul and are not eternal creatures, nor were they created in the image of God!! While I by no means advocate any type of cruelty or abuse of animals, I absolutely do not believe that they should have the same "rights" as humans or be treated as humans!!!!!" ~ G. F.

"I love my dogs, but they are not people and should not have the same rights. They are animals. I am not their "guardian", I am their owner." ~ S. H.

"I sat here at my desk for 15min. thinking about this, and I decided that I should ask my shelties, Sophie and Preston, after all it is THEIR RIGHTS we are talking about. They believe every human right should be available to ALL living beings who need to rely on a care-taker. ... an animals' rights needs to be recognized as a very real issue... Animals NEED to have a Bill of Rights, (one that works for them, not one they have to work for) we care-takers OWE it to them..." ~ W. T.

"Along with rights comes responsibilities. Our pets depend on us for all of their needs. If we are responsible pet owners we will fulfill this labor of love. If people are irresponsible they should be persecuted to the full extent of the law. If we start changing the concept of pet ownership then we are giving the radical animal rights groups more power. Their ultimate goal seems to be the elimination of companion animals... No, I don't think that our animals should have the same rights as us. We are their caretakers and they are our loving companions. Changing the concept of rights is not going to eliminate animal abuse. Only people who care can do that..." ~ Z. W.

"NO NO and NO, they should not!! They are animals and only groups like PETA and HSUS try to diffuse their long-term agenda by asking or having others ask this particular question. Once the wording in any animal law/ordinance is changed from "owner" to "guardian" WE the people, lose our right to decide what is to happen with our pets - and that includes if our pets can have young ones, or get neutered or even vaccinated! Don't make the mistake thinking that the word "guardian" is a good one in connection with animals! It's only a good word in connection with people!" ~ G. G. P.

"No, animals should not have the same rights as humans. In God's creation plan, He gave dominion over animals... " ~ B. F.

"What kind of "rights" are you talking about? A warm roof over my dog's head in the winter and a cool house to lay in the summer? Plenty of good food to eat? Medical attention when needed? Plenty of friends so they are socialized in society? Punished when they are bad? Praised when they are good? Are these the kind of "rights" you are talking about?" ~ J. K.

Cattails Egyptian Mau cats

Egyptian Mau Cats : A spot on breed of cat!

If you're in the market to worship a cat - the Egyptian Mau is the breed for you. Words that describe them include "rare", "historically significant", and "fiercely loyal". They also have two claims to fame: they are the only naturally spotted breed of domestic cat and they are the single fastest breed of the domestic cats. And their eyes - well "Gooseberry Green" is the only acceptable color! is pleased to be able to offer you quality breeders of Egyptian Mau cats.


"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast"

Animal Trivia Answer:   Daisy - the dog

Blondie and Dagwood's Dog

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