Horses Pulled the First Fire Engines, and Dalmatians Helped. When fire departments started using horses to pull their equipment, Dalmatians came along to help thehorses. ... When the horses got out on the street, the dogs would run along beside them, keeping other dogs and people at bay while calming the horses.
We don’t fully understand the natural affinity between Dalmatians and horses, but it exists. The breed seem to have a natural calming effect on their equine friends, something that was noticed so early on that horse mounted warriors and hunters may have first used Dalmatians in their pursuits. By the 17th century, Dalmatians became society dogs and were trained to run along side ladies’ carriages. As a result, they became known as ” Coach” or Ladies dogs. In fact, the term “coaching” refers to how a Dalmatian will take up position just off the side and towards the rear of a horse and run with them.
Dalmatians were used to protect horses that pulled English stagecoaches where two dogs typically ran next to the horses as they pulled the coach. Horse theft was pretty common and for the average driver, this meant a night spent sleeping in a hammock strung between two stalls where they would watch for thieves. Drivers who owned a Dal, however, could sleep in a hotel or house knowing that their dog would keep watch over the horses and guard against theft.
In time, firemen found that Dalmatians could be trained to run between the horses pulling the water wagons to keep them moving as a team and not nip at each other. Not a task for just any breed.
Aarrr, Matey! The old Sea Dog here, wishin’ ye a fine day of adventure and a rowdy good time. Why not sit a spell with yer old friend, the loyal dalmatian with the eye patch and peg leg? The old Sea Dog is your mate when it comes to fantastic, legendary adventures on the land and sea, and you can even get the t-shirt!
In the last episode of the legend of the old Sea Dog, the Dalmatian was urgently sensing an unknown danger and wanted to get away from the mysterious island that the fighting pirate ships had drawn close to.
As the ship’s mates pulled hard on the oars and let the wind fill the sails to hurry away from the island, the men took a look back at the enemy pirate ship that belonged to Gloomsday. Its red flag with the black skull and crossbones waved merrily in the breeze, belying the ship’s dilapidated condition after suffering much cannon fire.
Gloomsday’s sailors anchored the ship in the small inlet of calm water that was surrounded by protruding rocky outcroppings at varying intervals. The men were busy about casting some nets to catch the many fish that had crowded into the area to feed, when all of a sudden, there was a great upheaval in the sea.
What had appeared to be land was not land at all. It heaved and rose up. The men in the Sea Dog’s ship gave a yell of terror and felt themselves to be not at a safe distance at all, so they made even more haste to get away.
It was a giant beast that arose from the sea. The “harbor” of calm water where the ship was anchored and the fish were feeding proved to be the bottom jaw of a giant mouth, and what had appeared to be a nearby cliff proved to be the upper jaw. As it started closing down on top of the whole mass, Gloomsday’s sailors immediately jumped overboard to try to escape from their doom by swimming, but it was to no avail. The giant mouth, high above the mast of their ship, now clamped down on ship, men, fish, and all, and the ship splintered into bits as if it was a bunch of toothpicks. That was the last that was ever seen of Gloomsday or anything pertaining to him.
The Sea Dog’s men saw a pair of huge eyes and nostrils and a waving mass of many tentacles as the creature submerged slowly back down into the watery depths. Its descent created a whirlpool so strong that the crew of the Sea Dog’s vessel barely managed to escape being sucked down into the watery depths with it.
Only when it was gone again did the terrified men find their voices again, but it was in hushed whispers, as if they did not wish to be overheard by the creature that they knew to be below them.
“What was that?” Peter asked.
An old and grizzled sailor spoke in answer.
To be continued…
Ahoy, matey, and welcome to the blog of the hearty and salty old Sea Dog. You’re in the right place for a woof and a wag and a rollickin’ good time of adventure. Stories of the fearless dalmatian with his eye patch and peg leg are famous far and wide, so why not pull on your favorite Sea Dog t-shirt, draw up a chair, and chat a spell?
In our last blog post, the Sea Dog’s crew was gearing up for an encounter with the dread pirate Gloomsday, a character they’d rather not have had to mess with.
The enemy ship drew nearer and nearer, despite the best efforts of the crew to keep ahead.
“She’s a speedy one,” the sailors muttered under their breath. “But we’ll resist ‘em.”
When the ship got within striking distance, the sailors expected the cannon balls to start flying, but to their surprise, they saw no cannons aboard the vessel.
“So that’s how it moves so fast. But what are they up to?” the sailors wondered.
Gloomsday’s men were setting up a strange contraption that looked like a giant catapult on the ship’s deck. As they got within striking distance, they loaded up the bucket with a payload of grenades whose fuses had been lit, and they sent them all flying toward the Sea Dog’s ship.
Quick as lightning, as the grenades hit the deck, the Sea Dog took off for the first one, bravely grabbed it by the rope fuse, and tossed it off the ship, the same way he had done with the rats. A cheer went off from the throats of all the men, and they all scrambled to help the Sea Dog, throwing the grenades overboard. In this way, they succeeded in ridding their ship of all the grenades, and not one caused damage or injury.
Gloomsday’s ship sent a hail of grenades again and again, and each time, Sparky and the ship’s crew bravely hunted each one down and tossed it overboard. This caused no end of frustration to the pirates on Gloomsday’s ship. In return for the grenades, Bill ordered his sailors to fire the cannons. The two ships were now at such close range that almost all of the cannon balls hit their mark, doing great damage to Gloomsday while leaving the Sea Dog’s ship relatively unscathed.
A rain of arrows followed, Gloomsday seemingly having run out of grenades, and the two ships fought furiously. Under the sustained cannon fire, however, the enemy pirate ship began to founder. After many hours of fighting, the two ships came together, and hand-to-hand combat began.
Gloomsday went straight for Bill, and the two started to fight.
“Of all the fish in the sea, I had to run into you,” Bill said to Gloomsday in an irritated tone of voice. “What do you want from us, anyway?”
“At first I only wanted revenge,” Gloomsday said in a smooth, suave voice that contained an undertone of glee, “but now I want far more than that. Rumor has it that you have a mighty fine treasure on board, and I aim to capture that for myself. And since you've just about sunk my ship, me and my men will have to take over yours.”
At hearing these words, the Sea Dog growled. There was no way that Gloomsday was going to get away with this.
To Be Continued...
Aarrrr, Matey! The old Sea Dog here, welcomin’ ya to yet another segment of the legend of the old Sea Dog. You’ll be sure to love the adventurous spirit of the brave dalmatian with his peg leg, earring, and eye patch. The only thing you’ll love even more is the chance to wear the super-soft Sea Dog t-shirts with their artwork featuring the Sea Dog’s shenanigans and cheeky sayings, so shop our t-shirt selection today.
In our last blog post, the Sea Dog’s crew was just reminiscing about the Sea Dog, telling all the stories they knew to the new cabin boy, Peter.
The ship sailed on for days, and all the men breathed a huge sigh of relief at the fact that their captain was back with them, safe and sound, after his recent close call. However, relief gave way to monotony as the days wore on. Calm seas and not much to do caused more than one of the sailors to feel the itch for action.
Peter seemed to be the only one who wasn’t bored. Life aboard the ship was a new experience for him, a grand adventure after his confined life in the small harbor town that he had left behind.
In his free time, he spent many hours training Sparky. The first skill he learned was accidental, and it was almost a game between Sparky and the boy.
It all started with a rat — actually, a family of rats — who had managed to sneak aboard the ship in one of the crates of provisions that the sailors had brought aboard. The rats began to wreak havoc, driving the cook crazy with the destruction and filth that they spread. Every night, it seemed there were new holes eaten into the bags of flour that the ship carried. The cook tried in vain to catch the rats, but they outsmarted all his traps. It seemed there was simply no way to get rid of them, and the cook wrung his hands in despair over the waste and mess that the rats were causing.
One day, when there was nothing to be done but look for entertainment, Peter and the Sea Dog were playing a game of tug of war with a knotted rope, when suddenly, a rat scurried across the deck. Both of them spied it at the same time and took off in pursuit of the rat. The rat scurried under the doorway into the captain’s cabin, and Peter and the dalmatian followed. They slammed the door shut and stuffed rags under the door to block the only exit. From there, a hilarious game of hide-and-seek ensued, with the rat scurrying from side to side in the room.
Finally, the Sea Dog caught the rat, but just barely. He snapped up its tail and held up his head proudly with the rat dangling from his mouth.
The two proceeded from the cabin and the Sea Dog practically strutted around the deck with his prize dangling from his mouth. However, the rat grew tired of being paraded around and decided to make a violent attempt to free himself, which led to the Sea Dog shaking his head back and forth, back and forth, back and forth —
And the tail of the rat slipped from the Sea Dog’s mouth and the rat was flung through the air until it landed with a plop in the sea.
At this, all of the men gave an involuntary cheer, led by the cook, who said, “Do it again, Sparky!” The dalmatian practically glowed with the praise and went sniffing for another rat.
For the next several days, the Sea Dog chased rats and got quite good at catching them by their tails and flinging them into the sea.
“Isn’t that something, now?” the ship’s cook said. “Any other dog would’ve just ‘et em up, but not our Sea Dog. He’s got some tricks up his sleeve.”
To be continued…
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Arrr, Matey! Top o’ the mornin’ to ya, from the rollickin’est pirate dog ever ta sail the high seas. Our brave dalmatian with the peg leg and eye patch has weathered many a storm and survived many an adventure, and his high spirits and frolickin’ ways never seem to diminish. For the adventurin’ hero in your life, let ‘em wear the Sea Dog t-shirt — whether they’re goin’ for style or shenanigans. Either way, the Sea Dog will be the most faithful and loyal companion you ever did see.
In our last blog, the pirate ship was sailing away from the harbor with a new cabin boy aboard, and new adventures were about to begin for the Sea Dog and all his crew.
Right away, the ship’s crew noticed that the Sea Dog had taken a strong liking to the boy, Peter. It was as if he was saying to the entire crew, “I’ll take care of this new seaman, boys.” Wherever Peter went, the Sea Dog followed, sticking to his heels like a loyal friend and romping around him with unrestrained happiness. When two of the gruffer seamen tried to give Peter a hard time, the Sea Dog leaped in front of him and faced the two men, growling and showing his teeth.
This caused the men to relax into grins. One elbowed the other in the ribs and said, “Look at Sparky go! He won’t let nobody pick on the boy.”
“Looks like he’s decided he’ll be a trusty ol’ pal to ya,” the other said to Peter.
Peter fondled the Sea Dog’s ears. “That’s right, Sparky.”
“This dog is quite the hero, you know,” the first man said. “This wasn’t his first close call — or his first rescue. Let me tell you about the time he lost his leg…”
“No,” the first man broke in, “Tell him the part about how he lost his eye first so that the boy gets the story in order.”
The two of them started telling stories about the Sea Dog’s adventures, and before long, almost the whole ship’s crew had gathered around, chiming in with the forgotten details of the story. The mood of the whole group alternated back and forth from jolly hilarity to solemn remembrance as they talked about some of the close calls that Sparky had had over the days he had been on board.
“Sparky, what a good dog you are,” Peter said more than once as he heard the string of adventures. “How did you manage to live through all those dangers?” Then, he turned to the crew.
“How old is Sparky, anyway?” he asked.
“We don’t know,” Bill said. The first time we ever saw him, he was already a full-grown dog. We found him floatin’ aboard a drifting ship that didn’t have any other people aboard. Not a soul. It was very mysterious. All I can say is, ever since he came to us, this-here Sea Dog has been good luck to our ship and crew. We not only captured all the treasure from that abandoned pirate ship, we find other riches almost everywhere we go. It’s almost like Sparky led us to
‘em without ever seeming to. Like the time when I dug in the sand, thinkin’ he was dead and I was gonna bury him, and my shovel just “happened” to strike a buried chest. Yer good luck, aren’t ye, Sparky my mate?”
Sparky let out a loud “woof” in answer, as if to say yes, and all the men laughed.
“What would we do without ye?” Bill said to Sparky, stroking his head.
To be continued...
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Keep reading our blog for more of the legend of the old sea dog.