Famous friends

by Gail Emerson July 18, 2017

The dogs behind five historical heroes

Canines have lived alongside humans for at least 14,000 years and have witnessed -or been involved in - some famous historical landmarks....

1. Issac Newton
Isaac Newton's dog, Diamond, may have set scientific advancement back by several years. He jumped on the famous scientist's workbench knocking over a fire and setting fire to reams of notes and papers. But Newton was so besotted with his pet he simply reacted as 'oh Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done!'.

2. Orville Wright (the Wright brothers)
A later inventor perhaps learnt from this mistake. Orville Wright adored his St Bernard, Scipio, and took him to work every day. Wisely, he built a fence to keep the dog away from the construction of the first successful aeroplane which he and his brother flew in 1903. 

3. Josephine Bonaparte
Fortune the dog kept one of history's most famous romances alive, despite a shaky start. When Napoleon tried to join his new wife Josephine Bonaparte in bed on their wedding night it is said that Fortune bit the famous military leader rather than give up his spot on the bed! Fortune clearly later warmed to Napoleon when he visited him in prison with secret messages from Josephine tucked in his collar. 

4. Admiral Richard Byrd
Few dogs can have been more intrepid than Igloo - you can guess where his owner took him exploring! Igloo had so many adventures that a book was even published detailing his exploits with Byrd in the polar region.

5. Billie Holiday
But the dog who must have had the best of times was surely Billie Holiday's boxer. Joining her mistress at all the jazz era aftershow parties, he was described by one of the famous singer's friends as 'the best hangout dog ever'... a true party animal! 

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Gail Emerson
Gail Emerson

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