4/5/21

Caesar: King Edward VII's Close Companion


Despite his questionable manners, Caesar was King Edward VII's loyal and inseparable companion during the last years of the King's life.


King Edward VII, Caesar and Queen Alexandra

Caesar, a high-strung wire fox terrier, was born in the kennels of the Duchess of Newcastle in 1898 and was given to King Edward VII in 1902 by Lord Dudley after the King lost his dog Jack. The two bonded quickly. Caesar, who had his own footman to tend to his needs, slept on a chair next to the King's bed, was almost always at his master's side, and wore a collar with a gold tag bearing the inscription "I am Caesar. I belong to the King."

Despite his loyalty, the feisty terrier enjoyed chasing small critters. On one occasion, an entire police force was sent into the woods to find the lost dog. When misbehaved, the King would shake his walking stick at Caesar and call him a "naughty dog." But this wasn't always the case. According to Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst, "Whenever I went into the King's cabin [on board the royal yacht], this dog always went for my trousers and worried them, much to the King's delight. I used not to take the slightest notice and went on talking all the time to the King, which I think amused His Majesty still more."



Funeral procession

When King Edward VII died in 1910, Caesar, accompanied by a kilted highlander, walked behind the carriage that carried his master's coffin - in front of international dignitaries. This did not please some, including Kaiser Wilhelm II of the German Empire.


"Silent Sorrow"
A painting by Maud Earl in 1910 capturing Caesar's grief, resting his head on the King's favorite chair.

Caesar, who mourned his master's death, remained in the Royal household with Queen Alexandra. Shortly after the King's death, an unofficial book titled Where's Master was written from the viewpoint of Caesar.

Caesar passed away in 1914.


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3/16/21

Marilyn Monroe and Her Dog Maf


Marilyn Monroe loved dogs and had many throughout her life. Maf was one who outlived her.




Maf, a Maltese terrier, was sometimes described by Marilyn Monroe as a poodle. Some say Pat Newcomb, Marilyn's press agent, gave Maf to her but according to a statement made by Marilyn, her little white snowball was given to her by her dear old friend Frank Sinatra. It is believed that Sinatra bought Maf in 1961 from Natalie Wood's mother (a dog breeder), and Marilyn named the dog Mafia Honey as a humorous reference to Sinatra's alleged mafia connections.

The pampered dog was allowed to sleep on her expensive fur coat, accompanied her to fancy Hollywood restaurants and department stores, and even got to meet President Kennedy. Unfortunately, their time together was short-lived due to Marilyn's premature death in 1962. Maf was given to Gloria Lovell, Sinatra's secretary, and later tragically died when he was run over by a car.


2/23/21

Earthquake, Bubonic Plague and a Fox Terrier


A fox terrier helped in the prevention of the bubonic plague after San Francisco's massive earthquake in the early 1900s.




The earthquake shook San Francisco on April 18, 1906 a little after 5 a.m. with a magnitude close to 8, killing an estimated 3,000 people and leaving more than 250,000 people homeless. About 80% of the city's infrastructure were ruined, with rats massing over destroyed land and open sewers.




According to John J. Conlon, a boy at the time, "There was a bubonic plague scare shortly after the fire and because the fleas on rats were carriers of the germs, the City paid a bounty for dead rats. These bounty payments were my introduction to the functions of the "middle man." An older lad enriched himself by paying the neighborhood youngsters with candy for dead rats. The rats he exchanged for cash at the repaired Emergency Hospital. The fire drove thousands of rats into our district and mother was horrified by them. Consequently, to avoid attracting them, all were instructed to securely cover garbage cans. Every morning, after the women had deposited the breakfast trash in the cans, I would remove the covers. Returning in about an hour, I would inspect the galvanized cans, and if any rats were trapped therein, cans were tipped so that my fox terrier could kill the emerging rodent; then to the "middle man" for candy."

Despite the preventive measures, outbreaks did occur. San Francisco was finally declared plague-free in 1908.