The Dogs on Board


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Andrew Maheux

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Dec 4, 2000
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Is it true the Carters from 1st class had 2 dogs travelling with them. I heard that one of the dogs was an Airedale and the last Master William Carter saw of him on the deck John Jacob Astor was holding the dogs leash. Mr. and Mrs. Astor were also bringing an Airedale with them on the Titanic. It is possible that the Airedale Mr. Astor was hloding could have been his or there is something wrong with this story.

Does anyone have any infomation this topic.
 
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Rolf Vonk

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Hi Andrew,

It is true that the Carters held two dogs in their cabins. I don't know if they had an Airedale, but it's sure they had a King Charles spaniel with them. Master Carter went on deck with this King Charles spaniel. The story about Mr. Astor is new for me. I can't tell you anything about it.

Hope you have some more information.

Greetings Rollie
 
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Edmund Turner

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That is right Andrew, Master William never forgot how he was forced to leave his elderly Airedale on deck while he stepped in to the lifeboat, apprantely Mr Astor promised William that he would take care of him ( why his father did not I don't know ). My opinion is that Mr Astor certainly went down to the kennels and liberated Kitty (his Airedale) as thay were inseperable and Mr Astor certainly thought a lot of her. It does seem strange that the Carters only had one dog with them on deck, I wonder were the other was ??
Edmund
 

Mike Norton

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Logan Marshalls 1912 book on the wreck speaks of numerous dogs running about in the last hour before she went down and of several dogs paddling about in the water afterwards. He even mentions one dead body clinging to a dead LARGE dog.
 
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Rolf Vonk

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I think Edmund is right. When Mr Astor was inseparable from his Kitty, it must be certain he liberated her. But I've wonder why he put his Kitty in the kennels on the boat deck when he had the chance to keep her with him in his cabin. The Astors had room enough on board. The Carters and the Bishops held their dogs in their cabins too. Is it sure that the Astors put the Airedale in the kennel? Mike's note is true. A rescued titanic-passenger on the Carpathia told that he liberated the dogs from their kennels on the boat deck before the ship went down. Some passengers saw dogs in the water after titanic was lost. First class passenger Mr Williams was in front of Robert Daniels French Bulldog when he lay in the water.
 
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Edmund Turner

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That is a an intresting point Rolf, it does seem more likely that the Astors kept Kitty in there stateroom although I don't think Madeline ever mentioned it.
First Class survivor R. Norris Williams recollected, that as he was struggling in the freezing water he found himself staring into the face of a bulldog he thought he had imagined it but later he met a fellow passenger on the Carpathia who explained that he had gone to the kennels and released the dogs, sparing them from being trapped in there cages as the ship went down.As a matter of a fact a dog show had been planned on the Titanic for Monday, April 15.
of all the dogs aboard only three were rescued,
Margaret Hays carried her little Pomeranian in to lifeboat 7,Henry Sleeper Harper brought Pekinese Sun Yat Sen with him into boat 3 and Mrs Elizabeth Rothschild boarded lifeboat 6 with her Pomeranian
Edmund
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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I don't believe too many dogs were kept in the kennels towards the end of the voyage.
Margaret Hays remembers having her dog in her cabin. Helen Bishop had her dog in her cabin. Edith Russell remembered stopping a friend's cabin to see his bulldog ( Robert Daniel? ), and so on. I do not believe Astor liberated any dogs. He was clearly seen sans dog in the beginning near the loading of boat 7. By then the passage to the kennels would be long under water. And the only other way to get there would be to cross over to 2nd class by the third funnel and follow a series of corridors to the kennels by the third class galley. I doubt he did it. I feel that the dogs seen that night were kept in the cabins.
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Perhaps Mrs. Astor just didn't like dogs too much...so that's why her husband confided Kitty to the kennel. You know, when you're in a honeymoon...you don't especially need a dog.
 
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Rolf Vonk

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I don't know if you're married Charles to make that conclusion, but I guess you're right.
I do actually have one question. We are talking about the dog kennels, but what was their location? I thought they were on the starboard side of the boatdeck on the engineers promenade between first and second class.
Some of you suggest they were located after the third class galley. But is there enough room in that area? I think the F dek is a very weird location for keeping dogs. It is difficult to reach and it means the dogs had to climb many stairs.
If a rescued passenger on the Carpathia told he had liberated the dogs on the boatdeck. Than it is possible they had reached the decks. But I don't think the dogs had find their way to the boat deck when their kennels where so low in the hull of the Titanic. Beside I doubt if one of the passengers was so crazy to went down to F deck when the ship also went down.
Rollie
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Good question, Rolf. No, the kennels weren't located on F-deck near the galley. They were, as you just said, on the starboard side of the Boat Deck. I think there is a discussion devoted to the subject somewhere in the archived posts, with the sources of information and the conclusions concerning the location of the kennels. You may want to read this one.
 
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Edmund Turner

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My personel opinion is that Colonel Astor rescued Kitty from the Kennels before Madeline entered the lifeboat and it was probably Kitty that was running down the decks as Madeline looked up from the lifeboat. Madeline would of course of been to far away to actually distinguish between it being Kitty and another dog
but if Kitty was with the Astors when they were waiting to board the lifeboat Madeline would of course of known it was her running down the deck.
I also am given to believe that Madeline was quite keen on Kitty, that is the impression I get when I read her subsequent accounts of what happened that night. The Colonel had already lost Kitty once on there honeymoon,while in Egypt and it appears that he to was very fond of her.
Edmund
 
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Rolf Vonk

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Thanks Charles for telling me about the archive posts. Can you tell me where to find it? I'm new here and I really don't know where to find it.
Maybe that discussion could give a new look at this one.
Anyway, is there a kind of list about the dogs on the Titanic? I wonder how many stayed on board. I've read somewhere that captain Smith brought his own dog with him. Could that be true?
I do agree with Edmund, but are there other accounts which could tell us more about dogs on the Titanic? I guess someone must have seen the airedale Kitty (or another dog) running down the deck too. I must have been a strange thing to see some dogs walking on the deck. I can't imagine that the rescued passengers didn't remember anything about this. When Astor took his dog with him, I do believe some passengers or crewmembers must have seen this. Astor was a well known person. What do you all think?
Rollie
 

Mike Poirier

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Edmund
if you look at the cold, hard evidence.
1. At 12:45- survivors placed Astor by boat 7.
He did not have the dog in his company.
2. At 12:45, the E deck first class corridors were flooding. So normal access to the F deck kennels were cut off.
3. The only other way he could have gotten there (
and this is a stretch of the imagination )
was if he crossed over to second class. Took the stairway by the thrid funnel and fllowed a maze of corridors to F-deck.
4. In one of her rare interviews Madeleine Astor didn't say the dog was with them when she entered the boat, but said when she looked back JJ must have gotten the dog from the kennel. But by 1:45 the kennel would have been underwater. So obviously didn't sprint back and forth in a few seconds. If he took the way be second class at that late date it would have taken him 20 minutes and by then the ship would just be about to break up.
5. I would believe that the dog was in the cabin. But Billy Carter remembered leaving his airedale behind at boat 4. And since there was not two airedales running about- it was probably the Carter ariedale.
As romantic and heroic as it sounded, Astor didn't fetch his dogs from the kennels. If you follow the rate of flodding and match it up to a deck plan it was impossible
 
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Edmund Turner

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Hi Rollie ! I think you are right in saying that Capt Smith brought his dog with him there are pictures in existence of him with his dog (a big white dog , looking like a whippet but much larger).If any one did see Colonel Astor with Kitty in the last minutes I don't think any one mentioned it in any account, In a "Night to Remember" Walter Lord says that Astor stood by himself in the last minutes before she went down but he does not mention Kitty being with him Maybe to eye witnesses it did not seem an important point to later mention. As I said before 3 dogs were rescued by the owners, and all the others were left behind, we know that Helen Bishop bitterely regretted leaving her dog "Frou Frou" behind in her cabin.Clarence Moore was bring with him 50 pairs of fox hounds. And it was somebodys job to exercise all the dogs aboard.
Eva Hart later recollected watching the dogs being walked along the decks, and from the there her love of Bulldogs developed.
Edmund
 
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Edmund Turner

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To be honest Michael we don't now absolutely that the Colonel did not have Kitty with him when Madeline entered the lifeboat also Kitty may have been in the cabin and Astor went to get her after
waving goodbye to Madeline.I believe that Kitty was with them the whole night thats why Madeline believed it was Kitty running down the deck
Edmund
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Thanks Michael Poirier for the educated deduction.

Edmund: Mr. Moore's dogs weren't on board. I believe they were to be delivered to him in America on another ship.

Most certainly the dog Madeleine saw running on the deck was the Carter's old airedale.

Rolf: You'll find the discussion in the 'closed threads' forum. Look under 'kennels' or 'dogs'. I can't seem to remember what was the specific title of the discussion.

Charles
 
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Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hi there,
I was wondering about your point five, Michael. You told there were not two airedales running about. But could you give a time at which the dogs should have been liberated from their kennels? It seems possible to me that there were more airedales running around the decks at the point the dogs had leave their kennels. It is a fact that there were two airedales. I don't know but maybe even more.
You concluded that the tale about Astor isn't correct. I agree it sounds a bit romantic and heroic, but you think the kennels were located on the F deck. I believe they were at the boat deck.
That place could have made it possible for Astor to reach his dog. Is it possible that Astor stayed with his dog at the place where I locate the kennels? Maybe I have a kind of hypothesis for it. When the kennels are located on the engineers promenade on the starboard side, they are at the same place of the breakpoint during the end of the sinking. We al know that Astors body was found in a terrible state. His whole body was covered with soot. I thought that could mean Astor was a victim of the fracture. Why should he have been there at that point? Quit simple, just to be with his dog near the kennel...
I really don't know if this could be right. It's only a suggestion. What do you think?
Rollie
 
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Rolf Vonk

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Thank you very much Charles for giving me the information. I will check it.

Greetings Rollie.
 
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Edmund Turner

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My opinion is that it would seem more likely and more reasurring to Master Carter that his father would of taken care of his old Airedale instead of John Astor, and to me saying it was Astor who offered to look after a dog belonging to an anxious little boy seems more heroic than liberating his own dog.Also i'm sure that Maeline would of seen her husband "apparantely" offer to look after Master Carters dog even if she entered the lifeboat before the Carters, thats why I firmly believe that Kitty was with her Master while they were waiting to board lifeboat 4 thats how Madeline knew it was Kitty running down the decks .It also seems intresting to mention the fact that why did the Carters only have one dog with the on deck ??Surely the reason they brought the Airedale on deck was because they thought there might be a chance of it being allowed in to the lifeboat so why not bring dog number two with them ??
Edmund
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Charles
Thanks!
Rolf: The kennels were clearly on F deck by the 3rd class galley which was near the third class dining room. They were not on the boat deck. Now I would say that most of the dogs were with their owners that night. The latest possible they could have gotten to the kennel would be about 12:20. The water was at the base of the E deck grand staircase by 12:30. The normal route being to go along E deck to Scotland Road and down one deck by the Steward's laavs to the kennels.
Edmund:
We have have several people testifying that they saw the Astors without the dog ( Lily Potter, etc... ) around boat 7.
And we have Madeline's account that she thought JJ must have gone down and gotten the dog after her lifeboat left. So it was not with them when they were waiting for Madeline to enter the boat.
We know Madeleine saw one airedale. We know Carter left his airedale with Astor. So that's basically how we come to the most sensible conclusion.
 
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