Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities by Jan BondesonAmazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities by Jan Bondeson

Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities

byJan Bondeson

Hardcover | April 8, 2011

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Dogs have a cherished role as close companions, and their sometimes startling abilities have been a never-ending source of fascination for their observers and friends through the ages. In Amazing Dogs, Jan Bondeson uncovers the stories of some of the most extraordinary dogs in history. In the 1750s, the Learned English Dog, a Border collie with the ability to spell and perform mathematical calculations, was a sensation in London and thought by some to be a reincarnation of Pythagoras. The acting Newfoundland dog Carlo, who performed in London from 1803 until 1811, had plays specially written for him; their plots called on him to tackle villains, liberate prisoners, and dive into artificial lakes onstage to save drowning children. Don the Speaking Dog toured the world barking out words like "Hungry! Give me cakes!" and had particular success in New York.

Some of the amazing dogs whose stories Bondeson chronicles belonged to the canine proletariat: turnspit dogs ceaselessly ran inside wheels to turn the roast meat, and terriers showed off their native abilities in rat-pits, with bets laid on the number of rats killed. The champion terrier Billy killed 100 rats in five and a half minutes in 1823, a record that stood until 1863, when it was broken by Jacko, another champion rat-killer. Before the days of UNICEF trick-or-treaters, dogs once collected for charity in London's railway stations, with boxes attached to their backs. Lord Byron's rowdy Newfoundland dog Boatswain belonged to the opposite end of the canine social spectrum, as did the superrich dogs that inherited money from their wealthy and eccentric owners.

Amazing Dogs, illustrated with more than 130 contemporary images, including thirty in color, suitably ends with a chapter on dog cemeteries and canine ghosts. A literary and visual treat for both dog lovers and those fascinated by the history of the strange and the uncanny, this book reaffirms the special bond between humans and dogs.

Jan Bondeson is a senior lecturer and consultant rheumatologist at Cardiff University, Wales. He is the author of many books, including Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities; Blood on the Snow: The Killing of Olof Palme, The Two-headed Boy, and Other Medical Marvels; The Feejee Mermaid and Other Essays in Natural and Unnatura...
Title:Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine CuriositiesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.5 × 0.39 inPublished:April 8, 2011Publisher:Cornell University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801450179

ISBN - 13:9780801450174

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. The Great Munito & The Learned English Dog
3. Some Canine Intellectuals
4. Some Celebrated Talking Dogs
5. Doggy Drama: Some Celebrated Canine Thespians
6. Railway Jack, Owney & Some Other Canine Globetrotters
7. Some Canine Philanthropists
8. Guinefort the Dog Saint & Some Other Holy Dogs
9. Greyfriars Bobby & Some Other Faithful Dogs
10. The Turnspit Dog & Some Other Extinct Breeds
11. Lord Byrons Boatswain & Some Other Remarkable Newfoundland Dogs
12. The Great Barry & Some Other Curious Saint Bernard Dogs
13. Annals of the Rat-Pits of London & New York
14. The Brown Dog Riots
15. Dog Cemeteries, Dog Ghosts & Some Last Words


Editorial Reviews

"Bondeson is a marvelous storyteller."—Fortean Times