Category: dogs

Evening along the Sloterplas, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1964….

Evening along the Sloterplas, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1964. Photographed by Leonard Freed.

A Cute Accident

Clay brick with a stamped cuneiform inscription and a dog’s pawprints.

From the ziggurat at Ur, 2112 BCE – 2004 BCE.

A Cute Accident

Clay brick with a stamped cuneiform inscription and a dog’s pawprints.

From the ziggurat at Ur, 2112 BCE – 2004 BCE.

Kids and puppies, 1920s.

Kids and puppies, 1920s.

Yesterday's Print 2019-02-26 03:48:31


Napoleon and Uncle Elby
by Clifford McBride in the
The Evening Sun, Baltimore, March 10, 1936

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Yesterday's Print 2018-12-28 18:32:17

Punch magazine, England, December 1, 1948

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New Evidence That Humans Have Loved Dogs Since…

The remains of a woman, a man, and two dogs have been found in Bonn-Oberkassel, Germany, dating to some 14,000 years ago. The burial is the oldest known example of dogs being buried alongside humans. It gives early evidence about dog domestication, and demonstrates that the dogs were very well taken care of.

A study of the younger dog’s teeth show it died at 27 or 28 weeks old, after contracting canine distemper as a 19-week-old puppy. Distemper kills almost all puppies within weeks, even with proper veterinary care, so it seems this puppy was well looked after. To have kept it alive for so long would mean having kept the puppy warm, clean, well-fed, and well-watered, all while there was no hope of the dog ever becoming a working animal, and repaying its care.

The teeth study, and the placement of the dogs with their owners, suggests humans and dogs shared a unique and close relationship as early as 14,000 years ago.

Yesterday's Print 2018-12-15 02:42:50

The Good Companions by

Henry Stevens, 1889

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The Shogun Who Loved Dogs

Tsunayoshi Tokugawa was shogun of Japan from 1680 to 1709. For a long time, he had a bad reputation, historically. The samurai class disliked him because Tsunayoshi had a fondness for boys of any class – and the samurai did not like that Tsunayoshi did not discriminate his lovers by class. He was also a pretty strict ruler, confiscating many properties, cracking down on prostitution, and banning too-fancy fabrics. None of which likely endeared Tsunayoshi to the literate class, either. But this is not a post about his administrative style. This is a post about dogs.

Often fondly referred to as Oinusama (the dog shogun), Tsunayoshi really did have a soft spot for canines. He was born during the Year of the Dog, and was told that he had been a dog in a previous life. Tsunayoshi also issued a number of edicts, known as Edicts on Compassion for Living Things, that were released daily to the public. Most of them involved the protection of dogs — in fact, it was a capital crime to harm one. A massive kennel, said to have held more than 50,000 dogs, had to be set up outside the capital city of Edo to house the surfeit of dogs that resulted. Paid for by the happy citizens of Edo, of course.

Tsunayoshi was not just about the dogs, though that is what he remains known for. He became immersed in Neo-Confucianism and studied it profusely. Through this influence, Tsunayoshi enacted many protections for living beings — not just dogs — during his rule. In fact, he also insisted abandoned children and sick travelers should be taken care of and not be left to die, as was often the practice.

Yesterday's Print 2018-12-14 18:11:41

Louis Agassiz Fuertes in National Geographic, March 1919

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