1/25/21

Kabar: Rudolph Valentino's Broken-Hearted Dog


It is said Kabar died of a broken heart after the death of his beloved master Rudolph Valentino.


Rudolph Valentino with Kabar on the deck of the Leviathan

Rudolph Valentino, silent film legend and sex symbol of the 1920s, loved animals - especially dogs. Kabar, a Doberman pinscher given to him by a Belgian diplomat when the dog was only a few months old in 1922, was one of his "special" dogs that was almost always at his side. For unknown reasons, Valentino did not take Kabar with him on his trip to New York in 1926 - where he died prematurely on August 23 at the age of 31.

At the time of Valentino's death, Kabar (some 3,000 miles away in Hollywood) started a mournful howling. Alberto, Valentino's brother, was able to console him some, but the broken-hearted dog was almost constantly sick. He later ran away from home, returned a few months later in poor shape, refused to eat and passed away within a few days on January 17, 1929.

Kabar was buried at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery. Some claimed to have seen Kabar's ghost at Valentino's mansion and at the grounds of the cemetery - still searching for his beloved master.


1/24/21

Warren Remedy: First Best in Show Champion


Warren Remedy was Westminster Kennel Club's first dog to win Best in Show.


Painting of Warren Remedy by Gustav Muss-Arnolt

The Westminster Kennel Club, named after a long gone hotel in Manhattan, is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. It was established in 1877 with a mission "to celebrate the companionship of dogs while promoting responsible dog ownership, health, and breed preservation".

The first Best in Show was in 1907, and the winner was a 20-month-old smooth-coated fox terrier named Warren Remedy owned by Winthrop Rutherfurd. She also won in 1908 and 1909 - the only dog to win on three occasions. (The terrier group is the most successful group, with 47 wins out of 111 occasions.)

Warren Remedy passed away in 1912 on Rutherfurd's farm in New Jersey.


1/2/21

Esmeralda: A Dog with a Breast Implant


A dog named Esmeralda made history as the first recipient to a silicone breast implant.


Dr. Frank Gerow

Breast augmentation began in the 1890s, and a variety of materials were used such as glass balls, ivory, ox cartilage, sponges and paraffin to enhance the look of the breasts with poor results and dangerous side effects. A safer solution did not come about until the early 1960s when two plastic surgeons from the US, Frank Gerow and Thomas Cronin, created the first silicone implant with the help of Dow Corning. It all started when Gerow handled a bag of blood and noticed that it felt a lot like a woman's breast.

The first test subject for the implant was a dog named Esmeralda. According to Thomas Biggs, a junior resident working with Gerow and Cronin, "I was in charge of the dog. The implant was inserted under the skin and left for a couple of weeks, until she chewed at her stitches and it had to be removed." The surgery was deemed a success and Gerow declared that the implants were harmless. Soon after, in 1962, Timmie Jean Lindsey became the first human to receive the implants.