Tales of Sailing Ships and Dog Breeds October, 2009

Dean's Welcome Notes

There is much turmoil in the pet ownership world. Many of you are already aware of pending legislative actions in most of the United States that may change pet ownership dramatically. If you are not aware of the issues, please take some time to become informed.

Most pet owners love and care for their special family members. However, there are some organizations that wish to destroy pet ownership rights and replace them with costly governmental oversight. In fact, some organizations want to altogether eliminate pet ownership in our country.

Personally, I think they are wrong. If you agree with me, I invite you to sign the National Pet Owners Bill of Rights Petition and pass it along to other pet owners you know.

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

Enjoy the autumn and until next time,
Dean Hamill
TV dogs

Animal Trivia:

What are the names of these two dogs, and what TV series did they co-star in?

Go to the end of the
newsletter for the answer.

Tales Of Sailing Ships and Dog Breeds

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Taken in 1873 - The Great Eastern ship with crew and dog - from the National Maritime Museum, London The voyages of ships of yore are sure to evoke all kinds of images in our minds.

Perhaps you're thinking of the romantic journeys across the high seas. Or maybe you are envisioning the hardships endured by the passengers and crew of long ago sea vessels. It might be the establishment of the great trading routes that's captured your imagination.

But, are you thinking about the evolution of dog breeds? If not, you should be!

Many breeds of dogs have histories that originated from the sea. However, sorting out what is pure rumor, folklore, or documented fact can be amusing at best! And just because something is folklore does not mean it's not true. Read on and decide for yourself!

Bolognese ~ Folklore: Centuries ago, these highly prized and popular dogs were taken aboard ships sailing in the Mediterranean. They were specifically meant to be presented as gifts to merchants and noblemen, with whom the sea captain wanted to establish trading relationship.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever ~ Folklore: In 1807 an English ship was wrecked off the coast of Maryland. All onboard the ship survived, including two St. John's water dogs (puppies). They were then cross-bred with local retrievers and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was born. Photo taken in 1911 aboard the St. Katherine - with the captain, his children and his dog Queen

Chinese Crested ~ Folklore: Chinese ships were sailing the coast of Africa, and picked up these dogs along the way, to keep the rodent population under control.

Coton De Tulear (the possible ancestors of the Bichon Frise) ~ Folklore: Sailing ships going from France to the West Indies, in the 15th Century, carried small white dogs as not only company for women, but to use as ratters. A particular ship (of unknown name) sank off the coast of Madagascar and everyone aboard perished. But the dogs managed to get to shore near the port of Tulear. Hence the name...Coton De Tulear. Photo taken in 1914 of Annette Kellerman and her black pug dog

Havanese (National dog of Cuba and its only native breed) ~ Folklore: This breed came to Cuba in the early 16th Century aboard the trade ships sailing from the island of Tenerife.

Portuguese Water Dog ~ Fact: Historically these dogs lived aboard boats and worked with fisherman. They acted as couriers between ships, and were taught to herd fish into nets and dive underwater to retrieve nets and gear.

Folklore: There's a claim that half the ships of the Spanish Armada had Portuguese Water Dogs onboard to carry messages from ship to ship. The Kerry Blue, the Irish Water Spaniel and the Poodle also claim that it's possible that they descended from the same ancestry as the Portuguese Water Dog, and all of these breeds have tales of the Spanish Armada in their historic lore.

Newfoundland ~ Fact: This breed lived aboard fishing boats, in Newfoundland, Canada. They hauled nets out to sea and retrieved both people and objects that fell into the waters.

Folklore: In the 15th and 16th Century, European explorers came to North America with Mastiffs, Sheepdogs and Waterdogs. The Newfoundland came about as an interbreeding of these dogs.

Skye Terrier ~ Folklore: A man-of-war ship from the Spanish Armada was wrecked off the coast of Scotland. A dog survived, and then bred with a local terrier - producing an offspring with the typical long silky coat of a Skye.

Teacup Chihuahua ~ Folklore: In the mid to late 1800's, Chihuahua's were considered excellent companions onboard vessels. Their diminutive size allowed them to chase vermin out of small spaces that other dogs could not reach.

Cyber Fiber for the Sailing Minded Animal Lover


Great crossword puzzle titled "Of Seas and Ships and Sailing Dogs"

Downloadable jigsaw puzzle of a Schooner


"Animals At Sea" by Liza Verity - 2004 National Maritime Museum (London)

"The Little Black Dog Buccaneer" by J.B. Spooner - 1998 Arcade Publishers


Applehead Siamese Kitten

Siamese Cats : Appleheads and Wedgies galore!

The Siamese is one of the oldest known breeds of cats. The name is derived from their country of origin - which was Siam, now known as Thailand.

There are two main types - with wonderful names!

One type is the Extreme ~ also known as Modern, Wedgehead and Wedgie ~ wedge shaped heads and a leaner, longer look are its prominent characteristics.

The other type is the Traditional ~ also known as Applehead and Old Style ~ rounded heads and a more muscular body are two distinguishing features.

Both types are considered "pure bred" cats - neither is better than the other - it's simply personal preference.

Siamese are known for their interesting vocal qualities - to say the least!

They can sound like a baby wailing or like a tormented beast. Some talk non-stop, while others only speak when something is very important to them. Their voices and propensity to talk are established when they are kittens. So, if you purchase a young Siamese, don't expect them to "outgrow" whatever you're now hearing - just relax and enjoy their music!

Wedgehead Siamese cat Anonymous:

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods.

Cats have never forgotten this."

Animal Trivia Answer:   Apollo and Zeus ~ the TV show was Magnum P.I.

Apollo and Zeus

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