Archive for October, 2010

Barks from Beyond

It’s another Halloween special of barks from beyond and howls from the other side. I’ve got some real scary doggie hauntings here, as well as gentle and courageous spirits.  Just like last year, get ready to be scared by things that go woof in the night. 

Sheba, Ghost Dog of the Bahamas

Ask any German Shepherd owner and they will swear on their mother’s grave about the undying sense of loyalty and emotional bond these dogs have with their owners.  In this story, this bond extends from another world into ours, even to this day.

During an intense hurricane in the Bahamas, late 1800s, a sailing ship was traveling from Cuba to Bermuda. Among the passengers was a family with two daughters and a German Shepherd named Sheba. During the trip, a strong hurricane struck the ship so powerful that the hull split sending the two sisters and Sheba into the sea.  The two sisters did all they could to hang onto Sheba, but powerful waves tore them apart.  Sheba found one of the girls and pulled her to a nearby shore.  Then the dog heard a faint cry.  It was the other sister calling out for help.  Although Sheba was exhausted, she swam out sea to rescue the other girl. They never made it to shore.

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The Inuit Sled Dog Killings

Beautiful, aren’t they.  These are Canadian Inuit dogs (Canis familiaris borealis).  This breed is the official animal of the territory Nunavut (the northern third of Quebec).  It is one of the oldest pure breeds of dog in the world and has been in the arctic for over 4000 years.   The Inuit have used this dog in the winter as sled dog, in summer as a pack animal, and a hunting partner year round.  

These dogs were central to the lives of the Inuit. They were the only means of transportation and an important element of hunting.  The dogs could find their way home in a white-out blizzard.  They have even been known to rescue the lives of their owners.  When they died, the dogs were still important.  The Inuit used the flesh to feed the other dogs and used the fur for clothes.  The Inuit and their sled dogs depended on each other for survival.  They were dogs with a job, but they were also considered members of the family.  

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Good Grief! Snoopy is 253 years old!

That is, uh, 253 years old in dog years.  In human years he celebrates his 60th birthday today.  On October 4, 1950, two days after the strip premier, Snoopy made his cartoon debut in Peanuts as Charlie Brown’s Beagle puppy.  He is the most recognizable and the most popular of the Peanuts crowd.   He has had over 100 different personas and believe it or not, he is suspected to be the product of a puppy mill. 

Snoopy was born at the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm.  His original owner was a girl named Lila.  Soon after, Lila and her family had to move to an apartment that did not allow dogs.  He was returned to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm where he was eventually rehomed to Charlie Brown.  Prompting Charlie Brown to lament the fact that he owned a “used dog”. 

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