Friday, April 13, 2012

Queen Victoria and Her Pets, Part 2

Judith Laik is here again to finish off her series on Dogs in the 19th century with a look at the dogs of that most iconic of 19th century figures, Queen Victoria.

The Queen's husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was also a dog lover, and they were to have many pets about them in their years together. Albert's Dash was a greyhound named Eos, which he brought with him from Germany when he and Victoria married, and who figures in many pictures. That's him at right with Prince Albert and young Vicky, the Princess Royal.

There is a charming painting of their domestic life, showing dogs and baby Princess Victoria, their first child, clustered around the royal couple, and one showing Victoria in her cradle guarded over by a little terrier. I imagine the cozy familial picture continued in their lives as the other children appeared.

Among the breeds Victoria owned were Greyhounds; at least one Scottish Deerhound; a number of Skye Terriers and other terrier breeds, included Jack Russells and Fox Terriers; Pomeranians; and Dachshunds. I didn’t see any indication she owned another King Charles Spaniel after Dash died in 1840.

She owned a number of Collies, and a succession of them (Sharp, Noble, and Roy--that's Sharp at left) became her close companions after her beloved Prince Albert died. However, these were not the Collies one usually sees today. They were the earlier, farm-type dog. Some of the sources describe them as Border Collies, but even today’s Border Collies are more refined looking than Victoria’s pets.

Some of the sources I researched noted that Victoria and Albert had large kennels, and that many of the dogs they kept were shown at early dog shows. Likely most of these dogs did not get a chance to partake in the companionship of the queen and her family, but were wholly cared for by kennel staff.


Judith said...

Marissa and Regina, thank you for the opportunity to share my love of dogs and of history with your readers. I enjoyed writing the articles and learned a lot, as well as discovered some areas of research to continue my education. I hope the readers had fun, also.

Marissa Doyle said...

Thank you, Judith--it was a pleasure!

QNPoohBear said...

Great post! I remember Dash well from Bewitching Season. I liked reading about the other dogs, especially the terriers.