Sunday, July 22, 2012


All of the articles here were cut out of the San Francisco Chronicle or Oakland Tribune between 1924 and1945 by some long forgotten dog lover. I'll post a few here from time to time because incredible dog stories, whether fib, fable, fiction or fact, are always worth a second printing.

No story tugs at our heart strings like that of a faithful dog.  Saving people from fires, plucking drowning children from raging rapids and thwarting no-good burglars were sentimental canine soap operas retold in newspapers throughout the 19th century well into World War II.
Amazing indeed...
Admittedly, some stories were fictional or in the least fanciful, but I would like to believe that dogs have remarkable talents still unexplained by science, like halting a locomotive as this headline indicates.
Or  the ability to travel a long distance to return to their person who is located in an unfamiliar place. If monarch butterflies can do it, why can’t dogs? What triggers some dogs to start off on their journey?  How can they travel such long distances?  How do they know where to go?

With more stringent leash laws, thankfully creating a shortage of lost dogs, stronger fencing materials to keep roving rovers in the yard, and people like you and I who are committed to rescuing any dog we see trotting down the interstate, it’s not likely that science will ever have an opportunity to learn anything about this extraordinary behavior and how it works.  

Incredible dog stories, whether fib, fable, fiction or fact, reached their zenith in World WAR II, then found their way to the big screen with “Lassie, Come Home” (1943) and the small one with “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.” (1954-1959). They eventually fell victim to parody and all but disappeared by the 1960s.  

Today dog anecdotes are mostly relegated to websites and super market stand tabloids.  To find new fangled versions of old fashioned yarns visit American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards website.

Thanks to my friend Sue Ashline who owns this special scrapbook.


  1. I loved Rin tin tin and I remember reading the Paddy story before. My dog would never save me, he might hide behind me, lol.


  2. Paddy Reilly, the terrier you mention above, was indeed the mascot of the Humane Society of New York,m and did play a role in saving numerous animals and people. You may enjoy reading his story: