Dogs on the Titanic
Taking A Look Back At The Dogs from The Titanic
Puppy Dogs on the Titanic
Titanic’s maiden journey ended, not with a bang but with a slide and scrape, as the ship brushed too close to an iceberg. After inspecting the damage, Captain Smith issued an order for a distress call. “Come at once. We have struck a berg. It’s a CQD, old man.” Next, Captain Smith gave the order for the lifeboats, “Women and children first, crewmen to row the boats.” In the first-class cabins, passengers made hard decisions. Husbands said goodbye to their wives and children. Some passengers said goodbye to their beloved pets. While other first-class passengers prepared their dogs for a journey on a lifeboat.
From the 2,435 passengers and a crew of around 900 people, Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Carpathia rescued 705 people from the Titanic’s lifeboats. In those lifeboats, along with the human survivors, were three little dogs.
Titanic historian, Dr. J. Joseph Edgette from Widener University, studied the disaster for decades. Edgette curated an exhibition that included man’s best friend for the 100th anniversary of the disaster.
“There is such a special bond between people and their pets. For many, they are considered to be family members. I don’t think any Titanic exhibit has examined that relationship and recognized those loyal family pets that also lost their lives on the cruise.”
The dogs of the Titanic
Edgette’s research confirmed at least twelve dogs were on board the Titanic when it sunk. These canines all belonged to first-class passengers. The actual number of dogs on board the Titanic is unknown. Ship records, lost with the ship, would have identified all animals, including dogs that traveled as cargo.
Of the twelve confirmed dogs on board, records that still exist identify seven canine passengers by breed and owner’s name. Various documents, including insurance paperwork, transcripts of the senate inquiry, and newspaper reports, enabled the following dogs to be identified:
- Frou-Frou, a toy poodle;
- Kitty, an Airedale;
- Gamin de Pycombe, a French Bulldog;
- Sun Yat-Sen, a tiny Pekingese;
- Lady, a young Pomeranian;
- Chow-Chow, who was actually a Chow-Chow;
- A Fox Terrier called Dog;