Posts Tagged ‘puppy love’

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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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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