How Many Dogs Survived?

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I've ploughed through this web site. Maybe I have missed the answer to my question.

Did any pets, especially dogs or cats, survive the sinking?
Three dogs--a Pekingese named Sun-Yat Sen owned by Henry Sleeper Harper; a Pomeranian owned by Margaret Hays, and another Pomeranian owned by Elizabeth B. Rothschild. The Rothschild dog was then attacked and killed by a larger dog within just a few weeks of surviving Titanic.

The story of Riegel or Rigel seems to have been a press invention, one among many. I have run across several versions even in fairly reputable magazines of the day - and some unlikely ones like "Good Housekeeping," of all places.

A bit of Titanic doggie trivia:

We've all heard stories (some apocrychal) of people who missed sailing on Titanic, but there was at least one pup who missed the boat of boats. Lady Duff Gordon's Pekingese Mr. Futze ("Footsie")always accompanied his mistress on trips but in April 1912 she reluctantly left him back at her Paris flat, looked after by her maid Rachel, because she was making only a quick business jaunt to NY and thought "Footsie" would have a better time "running about the garden or begging at the tea table."

One has few doubts, however, that had Footsie been aboard Titanic, he would surely have escaped on milady's lap, putting the number of occupants of the embattled emergency boat up to 13, an extra bit of bad luck the Duff Gordons surely did not need.


Tracy Smith

It makes sense that only a few of the small, "ankle biter" type of dog survived. Large dogs, such as Astor's Airedale, Kitty, would have taken the space a human could occupy.

I've seen a picture or two of Captain Smith with his dog, a beautiful white Borzoi. Does anyone know if the captain's dog was with him on the Titanic?
Randy - lucky pup!

I assume all the dogs got off in the early boats before the seriousness of the situation became apparant to the passengers.

The New York Herald attributes the Rigel story to one Jonas Briggs, a crewman on Carpathia. Trouble is, there was no Jonas Briggs in her crew, as you can see on this site. Rigel was supposed to belong to William Murdoch.

One of my favourites is the press story that turned Edith Russell's musical box in the form of a pig into a real pig. Fancy saving a pig at the expense of humans!

Scott Blair

Former Member

Smith's dog "Ben" was at home . Smith was a bit of
an animal lover . Apart from the dog I read some-
where that he had an interest in horses.

Scott Blair
Carlos, according to one story, a cat and her kittens travelled from Belfast to Southampton but had the sense to leave the ship there.

Another story says that there was a cat called Jenny, who also had kittens, but nobody knows what became of them.

If you search the site you'll find the full stories. Believe them if you like.

In her biography stewardess Violet Jessup referred to the ship's cat, Jenny, who lived in or near the kitchen and was proudly showing off her new litter before the maiden voyager.

I'm sure Jenny and her kittens died along with the other pets and people left aboard.

A similar thing happpened on "Lusy". Didn't the stokers mascot or something like that aboandon her before the last trip. A cat named Dowwy or something like that. Is this true or myth?
Sandro, we've had the discussion on ET twice that I know of concerning where the kennels were. Since I don't recall where the thread is, all I can do is sum up by saying that nobody seems to know for sure where they were. The deck plans reproduced in Eaton & Haas "Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy place the kennels on F deck just across the passageway from the 3rd Class Galley.

While I don't think this can be 100% ruled out, I suspect this may not have been the case if only because of the obvious health and sanitation problems this would tend to cause. A likelier candidate seems to me the Boat Deck IMO. It wouldn't have been too much trouble to convert a deck chair stowage over for that perpose at the last minute.

Of course, I could be mistaken on this. If anybody has better information, I'd be glad to hear it.

Michael H. Standart
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