Pup Culture: Dracula’s Dog

Pup Culture: Dracula’s Dog

25 oddball nuggets of canine trivia

By Bud Buccone

With the sweltering dog days of summer upon us, it’s best to relax and avoid strenuous mental exercise. In the season’s spirit of fun, I’ve raided my notebook for the weirdest, wackiest, and most obscure tidbits gathered in my 15 years of dog writing. Guaranteed to amaze your friends at parties!

Comedian Jerry Lewis paid $10,000 for his Cocker Spaniel’s hearing aid. ... Dogs were so venerated in ancient Egypt that when the hound of an aristocratic family died, the entire household was expected to shave their whole body, head to toe, as a sign of mourning. ... George Washington named his favorite foxhound Sweet Lips. ... An African king named Lobengula swapped 200 head of cattle for one Italian Greyhound...

The Spinone Italiano breed standard calls for a nose that is “bulbous and spongy.”... Toto the terrier didn’t appear in the 1902 Broadway musical version of The Wizard of Oz. Instead, Dorothy’s beloved companion was “Imogene the spotted calf,” played by two actors in a cow suit. ... Melvin Tucker, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, trains Clumber Spaniels as search-and-rescue dogs. .... Belgian shoemakers of the 1690s exhibited their Schipperkes in the world’s first specialty dog shows. ... Should you find it necessary to imitate a dog while overseas, note the following translations of woof-woof: Thai, hong-hong; Taiwanese, wang-wang; Greek, rav-rav; Danish, vuf-vuf. ...

According to folklore of the Bretons (inhabitants of Brittany), the souls of infants who died unbaptized return to wander the earth as puppies on All Souls’ Day. ... Puppy, Dean Koons’s 43-foot-high sculpture of a West Highland White Terrier, is made of 25 tons of soil and more than 70,000 flowers. ... In 326 b.c., Alexander the Great received a pair of Neapolitan Mastiffs from King Porus of India. ... The most famous show dog of the Prohibition era was a Sealyham Terrier named Bootlegger. ... In 2013, a Miniature Schnauzer named Oreo helped police crack a stalking/home-invasion case in Kalamazoo, Michigan. ...

Zeppo Marx, of the Marx Brothers, was a key figure in establishing Afghan Hounds in the U.S. ... A rope of Dogue de Bordeaux drool can stretch to a foot long. ... Jim the Wonder Dog, an English Setter of the 1920s, predicted World Series, Kentucky Derby, and presidential-election winners. ... A 7th-century Chinese emperor maintained a kennel of 5,000 Chow Chows. ... In medieval Britain, it was illegal for those below the rank of earl to own a Scottish Deerhound. ...

A Boston Terrier museum in Floydada, Texas, houses more than 3,000 items. ... Matford Vic, a Wire Fox Terrier bought from a farmer for $10, won Westminster in 1915 and 1916. ... The real Count Dracula received a gift Kuvasz from the king of Hungary. ... Over the course of 19 seasons on TV, Lassie never saved Timmy from a well. ... By the end of WWII, only 14 Mastiffs remained in all of England. ... The next Chinese Year of the Dog will be 2018.


photo mash-up/Chris Espiritu