Helen Bishop's dog


Andrew Pascale

Hi guys! Since you all give great suggestions and input whenever I come here to ask a question, maybe you could help me out with this-
Helen Bishop brought a small dog named Freu Freu aboard Titanic, but she left in on board during the sinking. Does anyone have any input on what type of dog it actually was? I have never read about the exact type of dog it was, but i always imagined it as a chihuahua or a maltese. Were maltese or chihuahuas popular during that period of time? I would really like to hear someone else's input other than my own so feel free to put in your own suggestion! Thanks!


João Carlos Pereira Martins

Hi Andrew!

Mrs. Bishop could carry her dog in her arms, so I suppose it was a small animal. I've already seen many pictures of ladies (including Lady Duff-Gordon) of this Era and lots of them carried small dogs, I think was pretty "fashion" at that time! Hope this helps!

Best, João

Vitezslav Ivicic

Lucy Duff-Gordon had two dogs, one of them was a pekinez named Mr. Futze and the other was a huge St. Bernard named Porthos. I have see a photo of her carrying Mr. Futze.

Randy Bryan Bigham

Maybe no one but a "Lucilophile" will care but Lucy Duff Gordon actually had three Pekingese, three Chow-Chows and an Airedale. The St. Bernard —— seen in the well-known picture of the Duff Gordons at tea in the garden of their villa —— belonged to Cosmo. But the couple’s animals weren’t with them on the Titanic.

One of Lucy’s chows ("Mahmud") was a mascot for the French Red Cross during the early days of WWI, while the eldest of her Pekes ("Futze," nicknamed "Mister Footsie") was her own favorite accessory. Futze appears in a number of photos of Lucy, portraits as well as snapshots. Here’s a glimpse of him, perched on a chair in the Lucile salon in Paris; his mistress was nearby supervising a fitting.


Martin Williams

Helen Bishop was quite up-to-the-minute in christening her pet Frou-Frou. The eponymous play, co-written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy, had remained popular with American audiences since it was first staged on their side of the Atlantic in 1870. Indeed, it had been revived on Broadway as recently as March, 1912. Was Mrs Bishop's choice of name inspired by a review she read whilst on her honeymoon? With all its connotations of chi-chi Frenchness, it was presumably quite appropriate for the fluffy little lap-dog I imagine Frou-Frou to have been.

Her owner having elected not to take her up on deck when the call to the boats came, poor Frou-Frou's bones must still litter the floor of the Bishop stateroom. Unless Jim Kalafus's more...inventive...scenario is closer to the truth than previously suspected:

Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Frou Frou may have been named after one of the grisettes in The Merry Widow, which was very popular at the time.