Monday, February 16, 2015

George Washington and His Love of Hounds

Since today is George Washington's birthday and since this blog is about pets I decided to do some research about his life-long association with dogs.

Fox hunting was one of his great delights and passions and during his years in Virginia he would ride out with his dogs two or three times a week.

As an educated and devoted farmer, Washington knew the basics of animal breeding and husbandry which was his passion. Washington's diaries are filled with his accounts of his dog breeding and eventually he created a unique breed of foxhounds that he called "Virginia Hounds."

During his life, he owned more than 40 dogs. Some of the names of his dogs were Venus, Captain, Sweet Lips, Juno, Jupiter, Mopsey, Sweet Lips, Venus, Taster, Truelove, Tippler, Drunkard, Pilot, Tartar, Trueman, Duchess, Ragman, Countess, Lady, Rover, Vulcan, Singer, Tiyal, Forrester, and Captain.

When our first president went off to fight in the war against the British in 1777, he took favorite dog, Sweet Lips, with him. The British General Howe also had his dog with him.

During a battle General Howe lost his dog and was brought to George Washington. Everyone expected that George would keep his enemy's dog as a prize but instead he took the dog to his tent, fed it, and brushed it and then he ordered all the soldiers to stop fighting and shooting so he could safely return the dog to General Howe.

It goes without saying that I admire our first president for his contribution in making America a great nation and I also admire him for his devotion to his dogs whom he considered to be his friends.

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