Posts Tagged ‘vintage dog photos’

Meeting Perki the Pekingese this weekend reminded us that someone near & dear to our hearts raised Pekingese dogs in the 1930s… could we find vintage evidence of the cute little smooshed-in faces of those Lion Dogs of yesteryear? Mais oui!

We found a trio of lovable little munchkin dogs —

And one happy dog doing tricks for his treats … so long ago. A moment captured forever. A gift of remembrance across time and space.

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Cooper and Swirl’s great friend Priscilla shares this sweet vintage photo of her husband’s father, Billy, and his Boston Terrier, Jackie, circa 1922. Priscilla has a couple of revealing stories about that angelic-looking little boy and his napping pup …

“Billy grew up in New York, so that’s where the picture was probably taken. His father was a violinist in burlesque theaters, but also played Carnegie Hall! Bill did not get the musical gene, but went on to become a big Pentagon mucketymuck. And he always liked dogs.

Many years ago, when my husband and I had a Boston Terrier, Bill asked my husband what Boston Terriers did. He asked this while the dog was snuggled on his lap. My husband answered, “She’s doing it, dad.” …Bill clarified his question with, “I mean, do they hunt, are they for sport, working dogs — what were they intended for?” … But my husband insisted, “She’s doing what she was bred to do: sit on your lap and keep your knees warm —  that’s it.” … He left out: they bite bad little boys….

You see, Bill once said to me, categorically, “I don’t like Boston Terriers.”  Why is that? I asked. “Because one bit me when I was a kid,” he said sullenly, and pouted like he was 5-years-old… What did you do to it? I asked… Indignantly, he said, “That’s just what my mother said!” But he never told me, what he had done … Yea, he was 5, you know he did something …”

“We love this photo,” Cooper says, “and thank Priscilla for sharing it with us!”

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Getty Images

Nearly 100 years ago, the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and Brit Robert Falcon Scott raced to the South Pole, with much of their burden shouldered by brave sledge dogs. Thanks to U.S. Air Force Col. Ronald J. Smith, the former commander of Operation Deep Freeze which supports Antarctic research, names of those heroic dogs–like Helge and Urroa–will mark points on the aeronautical charts used every day by pilots navigating between New Zealand and Antarctica. The Colonel wanted recognition of the important canine role (& in most cases, their ultimate sacrifice) in exploration of the most southern continent.

Cooper says, “Thanks, Colonel Smith! Those great dogs gave their all.”

Check out an entire article on this honor, from the Sept. 28, 2010 New York Times.

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Beaming from ear to ear, it seems this natty gentleman is quite proud of his handsome dog and his spiffy new wheels… A notation on the photo reads: Reese, Mt. Baker Park, Seattle, January 18, 1929. A celebratory moment captured in time forever  ….

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Years ago, when our neighbor’s young German Shepherd left to enter military school, we were reminded that dogs have bravely served alongside their masters and mistresses for centuries… Of course, most did not have the benefit of intense special training that our youthful friend had.

Some, like Rags (above) strayed into their destiny… Rags was a Cairn Terrier–a French pup who met the U. S. 1st Infantry Division in France in 1917. He quickly overcame any language barrier, and volunteered to relay messages along the front lines, doing his duty although bombs often rained down all around him. Rags served bravely, even after he was partially blinded by gas. He returned to the U.S. with his military family, whom he continued to devote his considerable energies to, for the rest of his long life. Cooper says, “A wag of the tail to you, Rags! Merci!”

Little bright-eyed Smoky (above) was 4-pounds of pluck and goodwill, who was discovered in a New Guinea jungle in 1944 by an American G.I. No powder puff, the diminutive Yorkie lived a soldiers’ life with Corporal William Wynne for the next 2 years. She scoffed at the thought that dogs are afraid of heights (humbug!), and flew a dozen rescue and reconnaissance missions. In camp, when her sizable ears detected enemy planes coming, she’d bark a warning to Wynne; they survived 150 air raids. After the war, tiny Smoky stowed away inside an oxygen mask case and flew to the States, where, for the next decade, she shared her joy in living with wounded veterans, and helped them heal. The Coopster says, “Thanks, little Smoky, for your great, big heart! You’re good therapy!”

And then, there was Stubby, who famously served in WWI. He, too, strayed into his future when he wandered onto a playing field at Yale University, perhaps looking for some easy-going fun. Instead, he found the 102nd Infantry doing exercises, and decided to join up, on the spot! He allied himself with Corporal J. Robert Conroy. Together, they served on the front lines in France, where an alert Stubby captured a German spy by chomping on the seat of his baggy britches. Grrrrr….. Don’t mess with Stubby! This brave Pit Bull was awarded many medals and eventually met three (!) Presidents, but his real reward was Mr. Conroy’s lifelong devotion.

“My heroes,” Cooper says, with awe. “A wag of the tail and our eternal gratitude to you!” When Stubby died in 1926, The New York Times published a memorable obituary of this brave pooch.

So, on this Memorial Day 2010, Cooper and Swirl honor all the brave men and women, living and dead, who have served with such generosity of spirit. And a wag of the tail to their steadfast 4-legged friends, who faithfully serve at their side.

Heroes all.

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Vintage photos remind us, how completly timeless the connection is between dogs and their people. We loved seeing the little boy’s pride in his prized pup (below)– a moment in time, captured nearly 80 years ago… And we’d love to see more!

If you have a vintage dog photo to share, please do! (say, anything before 1980–after all, the 70s were very good years) Tell us a little about the people and the dogs in the photo. Or if like us and the photo-postcard we found, you’re unsure of who they are, just imagine what story it tells.

Email us your vintage dog photos at: cooperandswirl@earthlink.net

We’ll share them here (and nowhere else–promise). We’ll delight in the wonderful dogs that have enriched the lives of your families and friends thru the years. We’ll smile with you. Cooper says, “Heaven knows, we can always use more smiles!”

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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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