Remembering The Dogs of The Titanic

Remembering The Dogs of The Titanic | The Dogington Post

Remembering The Dogs of The Titanic

April 15th will mark 100 years after the famed “unsinkable ship” struck an iceberg in the north Atlantic, sinking on its maiden voyage to America. But, did you know there were at least 12 dogs aboard the Titanic? It is suspected that many more dogs were on board that day, but because they were listed as cargo in the ship’s records, most details have been lost.

It has been said that Titanic had excellent kennel facilities, even planning a dog show for April 15th, the very day that the ship went down.

While the world is remembering the tragic events of April 15th, we’re taking a moment to honor and remember the dogs of the Titanic.

As reported by Yahoo! News, of the 12 confirmed dogs on the Titanic, only 3 survived the shipwreck – all of which were small dogs, 2 Pomeranian and 1 Pekingese, easily hidden inside a blanket or coat and carried into the limited space on lifeboats.

One Pomeranian named Lady, bought by Miss Margaret Hays while in Paris, shared the cabin with and was wrapped in a blanket by Miss Hays when the order was given to evacuate. The Rothschilds owned the other Pomeranian, and the Pekingese, named Sun Yat-Sen, was brought on board by the Harpers (of the N.Y. publishing firm, Harper & Row).

The ship’s captain, Capt. Smith, has been seen photographed on board Titanic with his dog, a large Russian Woldhound named Ben. However, Ben only spent one night on the ship, before it left the dock, and was returned home to Capt. Smith’s daughter.

In a particularly touching account, one passenger, 50-year old Ann Elizabeth Isham, was said to have visited her Great Dane in the ship’s kennels daily. At one point, Isham was seated in a life boat, but when told that her dog was too large to join her, she exited the boat. Her body was found several days later, clutching onto her dog in the icy waters.

A photo of dogs on the Titanic. A dozen dogs were confirmed to be aboard; three small dogs survived. (Photo courtesy of Widener University)

Only first class passengers were permitted to bring dogs on board the ship. A few of those passengers were, Helen Bishop and her Toy Poodle named Frou-Frou, millionaire John Jacob Astor and his Airedale named Kitty, Robert Daniel and his French Bulldog, Gamin de Pycombe, William Carter and his family brought along two dogs – a King Charles Spaniel and an Airedale, Harry Anderson was joined by his Chow-Chow (aptly named Chow-Chow), and many other 4-legged passengers who remain unknown, including a Fox Terrier named simply, Dog.

Helen Bishop survived the Titanic, later reporting that her dog, Frou-Frou latched onto her dress with his teeth when she left him in their cabin. She reportedly said, “The loss of my little dog hurt me very much. I will never forget how he dragged on my clothes. He so wanted to accompany me.”

In a fortunate turn of events, one passenger, Charles Moore of Washington, DC, had planned to transport up to 100 English Foxhounds via the Titanic, but made arrangements on a different vessel at the last minute.

Two other dogs avoided disaster when they disembarked with their owners at Cherbourg, the ship’s first stop after leaving Southampton.

It’s hard to imagine being any part of this terrible tragedy, even harder to imagine having to make the decision to leave your dog when the ship began to sink… Would you have been able to do it?



17 Responses to Remembering The Dogs of The Titanic

  1. Judi

    April 11, 2012 | 1:31 pm

    I’m afraid i would have been like Miss Isham–i couldn’t think of leaving my dog behind. The poor dog that belonged to that Bishop woman-how terrified it was, and she couldnt be bothered to scoop him up & take him with her. The whole disaster was horrible, and to know that people and animals suffered needlessly is heartbreaking.

  2. Helen Rowan

    April 11, 2012 | 1:36 pm

    Aww how very sad that these poor defenceless animals didn’t get the choice to live. Just like the rest of the poor souls on board the Titanic . R.I.P. all of you. xxxx

  3. Lauren

    April 11, 2012 | 1:45 pm

    No! Simple as! No! I would not have left any of my animals and wouldnt have let that woman leave her dog behind in the cabin, that was heartbreaking, i would have died before i let my dogs die, i would have joined Ann Elizabeth Isham and my body would have also been found holding my dogs. It was a horrible tragic event but atleast we understood what was happening and what we needed to do, the poor animals couldnt try and escape, they didnt know what was going on, they didnt know why they were being left behind locked in rooms with no escape. If you have a pet, then that pet becomes your responsability no matter what and you should do all you can to look after them x

    • karen cooper

      April 11, 2012 | 1:56 pm

      Ii agree I wud of stayed wiv my dog or tried my best to get him on a lifeboat too! He is only small and wud of bin fine on my lap! I never knew till today animals were aboard! How very fdrightened they wud ave bin! A awful thing to happen to the people and annimals that died!

    • nikki shepherd

      April 11, 2012 | 2:44 pm

      Amen! I agree with every word. I hate to admit it, but the first staff member that told me I had to leave my baby behind would’ve gone overboard!

  4. Paws

    April 11, 2012 | 2:00 pm

    I read a story yrs ago and it stated that only one dog went down with the shop a bulldog and his owner was awarded ??1000 compensation and I thought how terrible and sad and wondered to if one dog was correct now I see it isn’t.i think a little memorial shud be erected ontheir memory to.poor poor dogs. Bless them all.

  5. Dog Lover

    April 11, 2012 | 2:09 pm

    No, I couldn’t leave my dogs behind. I lost my home to fire 9 years ago–I was not leaving without my dogs. We fared better than the house:-S

  6. nikki shepherd

    April 11, 2012 | 2:41 pm

    Such a sad story. There’s no way I would’ve left without my fur babies.

  7. Dawn Frydenlund

    April 11, 2012 | 3:25 pm

    Simple choice for me. There’s no way I would have left my pets behind. It’s good to see a story about the animals involved in this disaster. They deserve to be remembered too.

  8. Rose Harries

    April 11, 2012 | 4:37 pm

    simple answer . . .NO!!!!! How that woman have left her dog when he so desperatly wanted to be with her.Ann Elizabeth Isham who jumped off with her dog deserves a medal.Seeing half the boats went away empty it shouldnt have mattered if the dog was there. REST PEACE ALL DOGS

  9. marlene hodgkins

    April 11, 2012 | 5:01 pm

    I have a 100 pound Akita–usualy have medium to large dogs–would have died before leaving my dog–she trusts me totally. Would willingly gone into the ocean with her rather than leaving her to such a terrifying death–at least she would have been with her pack person. I think some people should not have animals

  10. Cheryl Y

    April 11, 2012 | 6:02 pm

    No,no and NO,I could not have left my dog Klaus to die such a horrible death !I,like Ann,would have been found clinging to my beloved rottweiler in the frigid sea – loyal to the end !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Cat Robinson

    April 11, 2012 | 9:04 pm

    I would have died with my dogs. I cannot imagine leaving them, the fear and uncertaintly they would have felt. Surely they would have been panicked to be plunged into the icy water, but I would have tied them to me, and we would have gone together. If I had been traveling without my pets, I would have likely stayed behind with those left to perish.

  12. Susan

    April 11, 2012 | 9:31 pm

    No way in the world would I have left my pet/s. I too would have been found in icy water
    clutching them in my arms. I can’t even come close to imagine
    leaving them behind.

  13. Toni

    April 11, 2012 | 9:36 pm

    I like the lady that was found clutching her beloved dog, would be found the same way. I would not be able to leave my dog behind. All of my dogs are my ‘kids’ and would never be left behind to die alone…

  14. gioia spano

    April 12, 2012 | 5:29 am

    I never never never leave my dogs on the ship…for me it’s better die whith my friends!!

  15. Doris Sturm

    April 12, 2012 | 9:19 am

    You never know for sure what you would do in such a terrifying situation, but I would like to think that NO, I would not have left my dog but dragged him along in a purse or under my dress if I had to…surviving is one thing, but living with the knowledge you abandoned your best friend would be haunting me for the rest of my life…but again, one just never knows for sure and hopefully I’ll never have to find out! How tragic for everyone on board!

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