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The Dogs Of The Titanic

Click here to read the complete article
198 – The Annual, 2023-24

By Caroline Coile

ith Titanic’s tragic 1912 fate once again in the news, it’s heartbreaking to think of those who had to leave their families–human or canine–behind to perish. We don’t know a lot about the dogs of the Titanic, but it’s clear that they were very much loved, to the point of smuggling them aboard lifeboats and perhaps, staying behind to die together.

A dog show was even planned for the morning of April 15. It never happened. The ship hit an iceberg during the evening of April 14, and sunk in the early morning hours of April 15.

The Kennels

Twelve dogs were confirmed as passengers on the Titanic, but other reports claim more. The original Titanic plans placed the dog kennels below on F Deck near the third class galley, and this is what is usually reported. However, many historians argue that the kennels were ultimately placed on the boat deck, in the area originally earmarked as the second class cloak room. Photographs of the area show open barred windows for ventilation, and this location on the boat deck, rather than below decks, would allow the dogs to be walked outside and make for easier clean-up.

When the ship began to sink, somebody let all the dogs loose. The dogs added to the general chaos as they ran fore and aft on the listing deck of the sinking ship. Some reports claim that Colonel John Astor–whose beloved elderly Airedale, Kitty, was amongst the kenneled dogs–let them loose. Although by far the richest man on board, Astor elected to stay behind and go down with the ship. However, Titanic survivor Richard Williams said he later spoke with the man who claimed to have released the dogs. Since Astor did not survive, it could not have been him. Also, adding to the evidence the kennels were on an upper deck, that man stated he “went up to the top deck and opened up all the kennels.”

The Dogs

Click here to read the complete article
198 – The Annual, 2023-24

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=278686

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