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Archive for the ‘puppy’ Category

Swirl knows it.

Ivan the Incredible knows it.

Certainly, little Precious knows it….

“It’s not for nothing that good dogs don’t wear watches. They’re on dog time, which seems the best time of all.” ~Joe Murray

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Cooper and Swirl’s pound pup-loving friends Ria & Don looked thru his Grandpa’s memory album over the weekend, and found some incredible vintage photos from a visit to Alaska during the 1930s. That lucky Alaskan Malamute (above) even has his own log cabin! Cooper says, “That must’ve been snug when the North Wind blew!”

This charming vintage photo of three beautiful little girls and their best pups captures a moment in time… We wonder what the future held for those young girls. Are they wise, cherished elders today? Do relatives of those little pups still toil by the side of the families of those girls? We hope their futures were bright! Sometimes vintage photos tell a story; sometimes they leave more questions behind than answers.

What we do know for sure, is that Alaskan dogs were indispensable to the lives of Native Alaskans and the adventurers and explorers who found their way to the Great North. Images of their sled dogs are iconic, and stories of the dogs’ strength and courage are legend.

It’s interesting that the best sled dogs weren’t the biggest, but usually mixed-breed, 50-pound athletes, with an instinctive desire to pull, and a natural curiosity to see what was around the next corner. While our backyard pups easily thrive on 1,500 calories-per-day, a working sled dog can down 10,000 calories-per-day, just to maintain his high-energy output.

And here’s a thought: Cooper reveals, “Many sled dogs have sensitive feet, and in a long trek, they wear fleece-lined booties to protect their pads. Each bootie lasts about 100 miles, and a dog team might use 2,000 booties in just one long trek! Wow! We’re glad owners take such great care of their dogs.”

Thanks for sharing your vintage photos, Ria & Don, and honoring those remarkable Alaskan dogs. Here are more great vintage photos of Alaskan dogs from an earlier post on http://CooperAndSwirl.com

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Cooper’s great friends, Alice and Tish, are lovingly cared for by a petite dynamo, appropriately named ‘Precious.’ Just look at her soulful & sincere puppy gaze….

“Obviously, taking time off from reading her morning paper,” Cooper observes, “to pose for the shutterbug. Smart cookie! Even at rest, she’s always listening…”

Cooper reconsiders, “Well, almost always…. ” Swirl smiles, “Now, that’s Precious!”

When Alice and Tish sent these special pix, they also mused how our 4-leged family and friends help create a ” …houseful of love.  The best thing about animals seems to be the unconditional love… We need to pass it along… Wouldn’t the world be a much better place?”

“You’re right!” the Coopster says emphatically. “And we love that little Precious.”

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Isn’t this a charming family portrait? “On a scale of 1-to-10, it’s an 11!” Cooper says…

Found in a friend’s old photo album, these two vintage photos are captioned: Alaskan dogs–Mt. McKinley Park, Alaska… 1930.

This proud canine family, perhaps a mix of Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute, are probably descended from an original working sled dog, which recent DNA research confirms is among the oldest of dogs. Pound-for-pound, they are the most powerful pulling animals on earth, able to maintain speeds of 8- to 12-miles-per hour for literally hundreds of miles.

Essential partners for life in the far North, these darling little pups would grow up to pull sleds with laden with people, goods and mail. In 1925, a devastating diphtheria epidemic hit Alaska, and sled dog teams and their mushers delivered life-saving medicine to Nome, Alaska, from Nenana–almost 700 miles distant. Despite 80-mph-winds and temperatures of 40-below, an heroic lead dog named Balto brought the precious cargo in, and saved many lives.

“He was a national hero!” says Cooper, and he’s right. Today, in New York City’s Central Park there is a statue in Balto’s honor, and a plaque that states:

Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925.  Endurance · Fidelity · Intelligence


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Cooper and Swirl’s friend, Alice, was inspired to browse through her treasured old photos, and found this timeless image of a boy and his dog. It was taken in 1935, and as her Grandpa (quiet & kind in his overalls) looked on, her Uncle Neal posed with his beloved dog. The whirlwind of energy that is a boy and his dog, was captured forever. Their momentum looks barely stopped, and we’ll bet that a heartbeat after the camera’s shutter clicked, those two conspirators were off and running!

The family lived on a farm in the beautiful mountains of northern Alabama, near the Tennessee border, where there were endless opportunities for a boy and his dog to find adventure–and we imagine that they did! We love this vintage photo–A wag of the tail to our friend Alice, for sharing!

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We love, love old photos, and the glimpse they offer into days gone by… Just look at those ernest children, in their Sunday best–and their terrier, like them, without even a single grass-stain on his handsome white coat! One of our fav design blogs, the sartorialist, has recently celebrated dashing & fanciful style thru the last century in vintage photos… Inspired, we reacquainted ourselves with dusty, old family albums, and were delighted at how many photos featured the family dog, front and center.

We’re not even sure who or where these folks are—the picture has ‘postcard’ printed on the back, but perhaps that was how pictures were developed early in the last century? We’d like to know these earnest people & their serious, contemplative pup. After their pose for the camera, did they relax to smile (breathe again) and enjoy some iced tea or throw a ball for their fine terrier?

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then, “… read on to meet Taffy, and her unexpected gift to her rescuers.”

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