Companions to genius

Companions to genius (and etc.)

Famous people (and their Poodles)

This short list doesn't include people who were "just" members of the nobility (except kings).

Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius (1486-1535). German physician and theologian, remembered for his intensely-controversial interest in magic. Black Poodle, Monsieur, who committed suicide by drowing himself in the River Saône after the death of his associate. One of Agrippa von Nettesheim's followers was Georg Sabel of the Rhineland, who called himself Dr. Johannes Faustus, and was reputed to be followed by a black Poodle who transformed himself into a servant (see Poodle Lit. 101, Goethe). Paul-Marc Henry, Poodlestan: A Poodle's Eye View of History (New York: Reynal, 1965), pp. 44-7.

Bertil (HRH Prince Bertil of Sweden, "uncle to the present king, and son of the former king) imported Vulcan Eman from England in 1944, who sired at least one champion in Sweden. Prince Bertil also bred the champion bitch Isabelle S12662/54 by Dirk vom Gluckspilz out of Desirée av Barbette." This note from B., 1/4/98, explains the following: "Today [1962] the poodle finds a place at court with the royal Family of Sweden," Lydia Hopkins, The Complete Poodle, 3rd edition (NY: Howell, 1962), p. 286.

Byng, Hon. Frederick Gerald (1784-1871) aka "Poodle" Byng. "Hon. Byng, called Poodle Byng all his days, the Eton name he had." Letter 146 (undated, August/September 1852), page 180, Vol. II, Sect. 2, Letters and Memorials of Jane Welsh Carlyle (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1883) ed. James Anthony Froude. Thus we conclude that the from-boyhood nickname was due to his thick, curly head of hair. This is of interest to the Poodle History Project because it indicates use of "poodle" in English prior to 1825--date assigned by The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1933); presumably Byng wasn't at Eton after ca 1800; however, we need a contemporary reference in order to apply to modify this authorative--and impeccable--source. (NB: We have documentation of the use of--by contrast--"pudel" in a popular Roundhead cartoon; see Army dogs, Boye.) Byng--perhaps as an act of good sportsmanship--appears to have kept a Poodle as companion: Beau Brummel saw him one day driving in his curricle with a Poodle at his side, and hailed him with "Ah, how d'ye do, Byng? A family vehicle, I see." ( ...Prinny's Set). Byng, as Gentleman Usher of the Royal Chamber, was appointed by George Canning (1770-1827; Liverpool's foreign minister in succession to Castlereagh, 1822) to escort members of Hawaiian royal family during an unexpected visit to London; the Hawaiian King's name was thought by the British to mean "dog of dog" so the appointment of "Poodle" Byng as advisor and escort was a joke which some found amusing at the time, and which is of interest to the Poodle History Project because of its play-on-the-Poodle-word. See: Marjorie Sinclair, Nahi'ena'ena, Sacred Daughter of Hawai'i (Mutual Publishing, 1995).

Carlyle, Thomas (1795-1881), and his extraordinary wife, Jane Baillie Welsh, whom he married in 1826. Nero (c. 1849-60), was "'A little Cuban (Maltese? and otherwise mongrel) shock, mostly white--a most affectionate, lively little dog, otherwise of small merit, and little or no training [Carlyle].' Material for a life of him abounds....He is buried at the top of the garden at Cheyne Row under a small stone tablet." Virginia Woolf, Flush (London: Hogarth Press, 1933), p. 161. It seems that Poodle-mix Nero mitigated Carlyle's chronic depression. "Shock" is thus defined in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: (1933) as "1638. (Cf. Shough) "A dog having long shaggy hair, spec. a poodle--1800.... A thick mass of hair [1819]....Having rough thick hair. Of hair: Rough and thick, shaggy....Shock-dog. 1673."

Carr, Emily (1871-1945), Canadian artist/writer. Sketch, "April: Missus Goes Sketching..." (1909), rear view of the artist wearing long overcoat and big hat, bag slung on her shoulder, holding folding stool, sketching materials, umbrella, and followed by a Standard Poodle with shorn face and flood pants. The New York Times, Sunday, September 23, 2001, p. TR3, col. 3, with article: "In Canada, Recalling an Artist and Eccentric." Emily Carr was a life-long dog-lover and, from approximately 1913 to 1933, a dog breeder. See Emily Carr.

Churchill, Winston (1874-1965). British statesman, soldier, and author. Rufus (brown). Engler, p. 116. Photo of Churchill with Rufus (a Mini): Hans Thum, Mein Freund der Pudel, (Munich, Gersbach & Son, 1960), p. 92. "Rufus I [was] closely followed by Rufus II," Henry, p. 77; Sunday Express, 26 October 1947 noted that When Winston Churchill's poodle was killed by being run over, Moira Abbott of Uxbridge offered him one of her bulldogs. She was thanked, but, said the reply, "If Mr. Churchill has another dog it will be a poodle again." Photo of Churchill being welcomed by Rufus (moyen-sized) leaping chin-high, Daily Telegraph, 24 January 1951: "Welcome home for Mr. Churchill.--Rufus, a French poodle, giving an excited greeting to his master at Victoria Station yesterday..." Stanley Coren, Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality (New York: The Free Press, 1998), anecdotes about Winston Churchill's Minis, Rufus and Rufus II, pp. 54-5; p. 117 (NB RE Fala and FDR photographed with Churchill and Rufus, in 1941, aboard USS Augusta; photograph of Churchill with Rufus, between pp.148 and 149).

? Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658). See Rupert of the Rhine, below.

Dickens, Charles (1812-70). English novelist, while "he toured in America, was presented with a white Havana spaniel called Boz," a name which ultimately evolved to Timber. Timber lived a long and happy life. Estelle Ross, The Book of Noble Dogs (NY: Century, 1922), pp. 237-8.

Dumont, Augustin Alexandre (1801-84). French sculptor's Poodle performed a feat, re finding a coin. Hopkins, p. 283.

Dulles, Janet Avery (1891-1969). Wife of John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State. Berry Pom of Misty Isles. A118266 (1-37). Black male whelped Jul 29 1936. By CH Sparkling Jet Of Misty Isles ex Ma Mie Of Misty Isles.

Eberhardt, Mignon. Author of mysteries. Brown Mini: Ginger. Hopkins, p. 285.

Gabor, Zsa Zsa (1918- ). Gabor's Harvey. N135320 (6-52). Silver male whelped Apr 2 1950. By Gilan's Platinum Of Wee Bonnie ex Blakeen Silversheen.

Gainsborough, Thomas (1727-88). English painter. White Mini (moyen): see "...Visuals", Gainsborough's portrait of his daughters, Margaret and Mary.

Hammerstein, Oscar (1895-1960), American composer, owned Josephine of Pinafore (AKC reg. A622175), female Standard Poodle, black, whelped 12 February 1942 (Pillicoc Doughboy x Pillicoc Patience). Her litter sister was owned by Dorothy Rodgers, wife of Hammerstein's collaborator, Richard Rodgers (1902-?): Penzance of Pirates (AKC reg. A622174), also black (AKC studbook).

Hayes, Helen (Helen Hayes MacArthur; 1900-1993). American actress. Black Poodle: Turvy, rescued September 1939. Hopkins pp. 289-90. More details, notes taken (by KF, 7/99; and amplified) from January, 1941 AKC Stud Book: "Rettats Turvey A450354 (1-41), black male SP whelped October 31, 1935, bred by Miss N. Statter, England by Griseley Labory of Piperscroft (in 1935 or 1936 imported by Hayes Blake Hoyt of Blakeen to US, where he became a US Ch and CD) ex Rettats Topsy. Turvy was bred at least once, to Carillon Canaille, A428968 (10-40), black female SP whelped April 4, 1940 (by Ch Carillon Jaseur ex Ch Carillon Celeste), who was purchased by Helen Hayes in June, 1941. The litter was whelped August 16, 1941 -- so far, I've found six females, one male, four blacks, and one each cream, dark brown, and apricot. Helen Hayes appears to have used 'De Gaulle' as her kennel suffix."

Heisman, John (1869-1936). American college football coach for whom the Heisman Trophy is named. His small Poodle, Woo, was his constant companion. "If you click on http://video.library.gatech.edu/griffin/griffin.html#search and search on GP246, you'll see GT's [Georgia Tech's] 1906 baseball team and Coach John Heisman (who also coached GT in football and for whom the Heisman trophy is named). In the photo Coach Heisman is holding his poodle, Woo; unfortunately, Woo has his head turned. (There is a better photo of Coach Heisman and Woo on the wall in the GT library.)" (BF, 11/04)

Hellman, Lillian (1905-1984), American playwright, owned Blakeen Kalmira (AKC reg. A324063), female Standard Poodle, white, whelped 27 March 1939; bred to Blakeen Scaramouche in 1940 (AKC studbook).

Holiday, Billie (1915-1959), see Ships' and/or fishermen's dogs, fox "hound", draft/sled dogs, etc., Other Poodle feats, "Poodle cremated in mink coat."

Hugo, Victor Marie, Vicount (1802-85). French poet, dramatist, and novelist. Poodle: Baron. Engler, p. 116 (including anecdote).

Josephine (1763-1814), Empress of the French (1804-9). Miniature: Fortuné, who carried messages (concealed under his collar) from Josephine's children, Hortense and Eugène de Beauharnais, to her in Robespierre's prison. Henry, p. 38.

Keller, Helen Adams (1880-1968). In the photograph " Portrait of Helen Keller as a child of age 7, circa 1887" Helen Keller sits in a chair, cradling an alert white (perhaps parti-coloured) Moyen-sized Poodle/Poodle-mix in her lap.

Kings of France. This is a Poodle-history mother-lode into which we haven't delved: if you're keen, perhaps see MacDonogh, K., Reigning Cats and Dogs (NY: St. Martin's Press, 2000) and let us know what you find! Here's a handy guide to the kings of France during their Poodle/Barbet-loving era, to facilitate your research. We've inserted *memory-joggers*.

  • Henri II (1519-59, king of France 1547-59) was preoccupied with hunting to the detriment of state affairs (after all, Fontainebleau had been constructed as a hunting lodge by his father, Francois I). Henry II hunted with Barbets; the most famous of his mistresses was *Diane de Poitiers*.
  • Henri III (1551-89, king of France 1574-89). (Carried his favorites in a basket slung around his neck; his favorites, Liline, Titi, and Mimi barked bravely to warn their master of his assassin, the Dominican friar, Jacques Clement. Henry, p. 6.)
  • Henri IV (1553-1610, king of France 1589-1610), *Henry of Navarre, first Bourbon king of France*.
  • Louis XIII (1601-43), advised from 1624 by *Richelieu*.
  • Louis XIV (1638-1715; king of France 1643-1715), *Louis Roi Soleille*. Tiny Poodles at court. See "...Visuals".
  • Louis XV (1710-74), *Mme de Pompadour*; *Mme du Barry* "'Filou', the devoted companion of the sovereign, is figured in several of the works of French poets and novelists of the time", P. Howard Price, The Miniature Poodle Handbook (London: Nicholson & Watson, 1960).
  • Louis XVI (1754-93; king of France 1774-93, when he was executed), *Marie Antoinette*. (Henry, pp. 4-5, suggests that Marie Antionette's dog at the time of her arrest, Thisbe, who, since she was not allowed to follow her mistress into prison, was concealed by a dressmaker, was a Poodle; we lack confirmation of Thisbe's breed.) See Poodle Lit. 101, Poodle Lit. pre-1929 : Delille, Jacques (1738-1813) for a few lines of poetry about the dog who followed his daughter into exile.
  • Louis XVII (1785-1795, who died in prison);
  • Louis XVIII (1755-1824, king of France 1814-15), *Hundred Days*.
  • Charles X (1757-1836, king of France 1824-30).
  • Louis Philippe (1773-1850; king of France 1830-48). French print depicts him fleeing from revolution into the snow with his queen and his Poodle, February 1848. (Hopkins, p. 286; noted in the same breath: "The ill fated Prince Imperial of France [query: which?] owned a poodle who was his inseparable companion. The dog is described as being "very black, rather large, his eyes soft and his character charming."). Louis Philippe died in exile in England; his descendants, the Orleans line, continued to claim the throne.

    Kwang-Hsü, Emperor of China and/or Empress Tzu Hsi (1900). Mrs. Howard Eden Shultz, "Pekingese," AKC Gazette, December 2001, p. 56, col. 2, quoting from an article, "The Pekingese" (1908), by Lady Algernon Gordon-Lenox, on the subject of the pair of Pekingese received by her sister-in-law (Duchess of Richmond; Goodwood prefix); these were two of the five removed from the Imperial Chinese summer palace during a raid by English troops and brought to England in 1860. "'Admiral Lord John Hay gives a graphic account to the finding of these dogs [Palace Dogs or Sacred Temple Dogs of Pekin] in a part of the garden frequented by an aunt of the emperor who had committed suicide on the approach of the allied forces. Lord John and another naval officer each secured two dogs; the fifth was taken by General Dunne, who presented it to Queen Victoria....[However] At the time of the Boxer Rebellion [1900] only spaniels, Pugs and Poodles were found by the allied forces.'"

    Mann, Thomas (1875-1955). German novelist, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1929. Black SP: Niko. Engler, p. 114, including photo. Also see: Thum, p. 92.

    Maeterlinck, Maurice (1862-1949). Belgian philosopher. Poodle: Adhemar ("the misunderstood"). Henry, pp. 68-71.

    Mary Kay (1918-2001), aka Mary Kathlyn Wagner Ash. White Toy (Mini?), Gigi. (The Hamilton [ON] Spectator, Saturday, November 24, 2001, p. B2: "Obituary. Mary Kay, cosmetics queen. Fortune 500 firm mourns its 'high priestess of pink.'" File photo, the Associated Press: "Mary Kay Ash poses with her poodle Gigi in her Dallas home in this 1990 file photo.")

    Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87). Henry, pp. 6-7, states that the dog who accompanied Mary Queen of Scots to her execution and was found afterwards concealed in her robes, was a Poodle. We lack confirmation of the breed of this small dog.

    Mesta, Perle (1889-1975). American hostess and diplomat. CH Ty-Del's A.M.T. White male Toy whelped Oct 8 1957. By CH Wilber White Swan ex Ty-Del's Call Me Madame Breeder: Perle Mesta (owner of the dam). His championship was published April 1959, per Poodles in America vol. II.

    Monteaux, Pierre (1875-1964), symphony conductor. Fifi, Standard Poodle, and author of a biography of her master, Everyone Is Someone (NY: Farrar, 1962). 138 pp.

    Nordica, Lillian (1857-1914), American soprano. Opera News, June, 2004, page 39, photo of the singer taken in Berlin in 1894 with her beloved black Standard Poodle, Turk, in moderate Continental clip. Turk traveled with her throughout the USA and Europe. For more about the singer, see Lillian Nordica. To learn more about the dog you may have luck with the following sources: Ira Glackens, Yankee Diva : Lillian Nordica and the golden days of opera (New York: Coleridge Press, 1963), or the musum maintained in Nordica's family home in Farmington, Maine, maintained by the Madame Nordica Association, and open June 1st through Labour Day (207)778-2042.

    Pearson, Drew (1897 - 1969), American journalist. Selassie; Sheba. ("Per the AKC Stud Book for March 1936, he owned black SP littermates Selassie (m) and Sheba (f), bred by Mrs. Leo Brady of Baltimore." (KF, 9/2004).

    Pope, Alexander (1688-1744). English poet. Pope's Poodle, Marquis found gold watch given by Queen and lost on hunting field (Hopkins, p. 283). Ross (pp. 166-7) states that "Marquise" found, after a long search, the watch which had been lost during a walk at Twickenham. Marquis/Marquise also saved Pope from attack by an unfaithful servant (Ross, p. 167). Elzéar Blaze, Histoire du Chien (Paris, 1846), pp. 15-6 describes the incident (naming the breed, "caniche" but not the specific dog) approximately as follows: one night the poet was awakened by a row made by his Poodle who was holding a man by the throat; the poet rushed to the window and called for help; saw three robbers in his garden; the man whom his Poodle continued to hold beneath his paws was Pope's valet, who, armed with a pistol, had been determined to murder the poet. Blaze speculates that the dog, who was familiar with the servant, perceived danger because the man's smell changed when he steeled himself to perform the dastardly deed.

    We're attempting to find primary sources for these two stories. So far, we've checked Robert Carruthers, The Life of Alexander Pope 2nd edition (London: 1862), and Samuel Johnson's life of Pope, and note that both used Spence's Anecdotes (complete edition published in 1819 when it was edited and published by Samuel Weller Singer); Carruthers notes William Ayre's Memoires of his Life and Writings (1745) is "careless and worthless." We've skimmed Ayre (2 vol.; over 700 pages), without result. We've also skimmed through four volumes of The Correspondence of Alexander Pope, edited by George Sherburn (Oxford: Clarendon, 1956) and have scanned the exhaustive index which is the entire contents of vol. v. We've dipped into Maynard Mack's definitive biography, Alexander Pope, a Life (New Haven, Yale: 1985). From Pope's birth until ca 1700, he lived in a London row house whose garden (handy when keeping dogs in the 17th century, as now) seems mostly to have consisted of cisterns; his father then retired from the linen business and removed his family to the village of Binfield, Berkshire, near Windsor; Pope (who was increasingly crippled by Pott's disease--tuberculosis of the bone--probably contracted from his wet-nurse) moved to his riverfront villa at Twickenham in 1720. At Binfield, "in the intervals of his reading, he wandered about...with his spaniel at his heels ('a little one, a lean one, and none of the finest Shap'd,' [he wrote] ... evidently remarking a certain affinity between master and dog)..." (Mack, p. 73). Sherburn's collection is inclusive; Pope recognized even very small kindnesses; but we failed to find mention of a gold watch (most likely donor-queen: George II's Queen Caroline; on the other hand, if lost on the hunting field: Queen Anne). In relation to a dishonest valet: 12 September 1724: "...my man Robert proves a vile fellow, and I have discarded him; auri sacra fames is his crime..." (vol. ii, p 257), however there's no description of a dog's dramatic role in the valet's arrest. Mack includes under the index-heading "Pope, Alexander" a sub-heading: "dogs owned by" and states, "All his life long, so far as can now be ascertained, Pope had kept dogs...in...1716...it was a male named Bounce. The dog standing by Pope's knee and looking fondly up at him in a painting by Richardson of about 1718, is very possibly the same, a large tan-colored hound with 'A. Pope' inscribed on his collar. By 1729, when the Dunciad had made Pope the object of physical threats, he took with him for his walks upriver to visit the Fortescues, along with his pistols, 'a great faithful Danish dog' (as his sister describes it), again named Bounce and presumably of the same general configuration as our present-day Great Dane; and this is clearly the configuration of the very large animal in the riverfront view of Pope's villa that Curll, to annoy him, had engraved in 1735 in put on sale in his shop" (p. 676). Mack relates (p. 490) that "by 1 June 1728...hardly more than a fortnight after the first Dunciad's appearance, the story circulated that two 'Gentlemen' had met with him in Ham Walks (then a somewhat parklike area just across the Thames from Pope's house) and disciplined him severely....the story is probably pure fiction, though it is worth noting that Pope took the trouble to repudiate it publically on June 14 in The Daily Post..." Male Bounces were followed by a female Bounce, who had puppies. Andreas Rysbrack engraved a view of Pope's villa (1735; Mack, p. 361) which shows three dogs on the lawn which descends to the Thames. One, near the house, is a large hound-like dog, perhaps one or another of the several Bounces; two smaller dogs of indeterminate breed are gamboling mid-way up the slope. Either could be Marquess/Marquise.

    Also please note:
    "Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade;
    Or lose her heart, or necklace, at a ball;
    Or whether Heaven has doomed that Shock must fall.
    Haste, then, ye spirits! to your charge repair:
    The fluttering fan be Zephyretta's care;
    The drops to thee, Brillante, we consign;
    And, Momentilla, let the watch be thine;
    Do thou, Crispissa, tend her favorite lock;
    Ariel himself shall be the guard of Shock."
    --Alexander Pope, "Rape of the Lock", Canto II, lines 108-16. Other references to Shock in "Rape of the Lock": I, 115 and IV, 164. Similarly, see: John Gay (1685-1732), "An Elegy on a Lap-Dog [named Shock]." "Shock" is thus defined in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: (1933) as "1638. (Cf. Shough) "A dog having long shaggy hair, spec. a poodle--1800.... A thick mass of hair [1819]....Having rough thick hair. Of hair: Rough and thick, shaggy....Shock-dog. 1673."

    Putin, Vladimir (1952- ). President of the Russian Federation, 2000 - . "Putin has two white dwarfpoodles [FCI measurement: 28cm-35cm--or 11"-13.75"]. A female [Tosca] and her son. When the bitch was in season someone from the party contacted Victoria Denisova, who owns Multi Ch. Sporrens Blast-Off. [Ms Denisova]... refused to let her dog go to Putin's dacha on his own, so she was invited to come with him. They were picked up at ...[her] home in a large black limo. They stayed there over a weekend and the resulting litter consisted of two males. One of them stayed at the Putin residence, the other went to the Hungarian ambassador....' JH, 27 January 2004. See The Economist, January 24-30 2004, p. 47, for a photo of Putin with one of these dogs on his lap: white with black nose (great pigmentation!). See also "Putin is Russia's Man in Charge", by Judith Ingram, Associated Press Writer, AP release, Friday, 31 December 1999: Putin has a black belt in judo and is the proud owner of a Toy Poodle. Related interest: there exists a postcard from the Tolstoy museum showing Tolstoy going for a walk in snow, at the head of a procession of retainers/compantions, breaking the path and beside him is a black Standard Poodle: see below.

    Rodgers, Richard (1902-1979), American composer. See Oscar Hammerstein, above. Also: "I was watching a documentary on Richard Rodgers, the musical composer, last night and saw a scene with him with his wife. His wife had a black Miniature Poodle on her lap." (CP, 5 Nov. '01)

    Rostand, Edmund (1868-1918). French poet and dramatist. (Henry, p. 75.)

    Rupert, Prince (1619-82). Soldier; white SP, Boy, see: Army dogs. Also, please note: "Dutch engraving of Cromwell's dissolution of the Rump of the Long Parliament (Radio Times Hulton Picture Library)." It is April 1643 and has Cromwell saying "Be gone you rogues You have sat long enough" while his small Poodle in continental clip runs "growling" at the departing parliamentarians. Perhaps the Dutch got Prince Rupert's Poodle Boye mixed up with Cromwell? Perhaps Cromwell himself owned a Poodle? Antonia Fraser, Cromwell--Our Chief of Men (London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1973) ISBN 029776556 6, between pp. 412 and 413.

    Sabran, Eléonore de Manville, Comtesse de (1749-1827). Gray Poodle, Zina. For a quick fix on Zina, who was allowed to go to boarding school with the youthful Eléonore and there met a tragic end, see: Margaret Trouncer, Oriflamme (London: MacDonald, 1945) (informal and descriptive presentation of the correspondence of the Comptesse de Sabran and Chevalier de Boufflers), pp. 18-21.

    Sand, George (pseud.); Amantine Lucile Aurore, Baroness Dudevant (1804-76). French novelist. See: George Sand, Histoire de ma vie (Paris: Callmann-Lévy, 1879; reproduced, Paris: INALF, 1961-); for an eye-witness account of her Standard Poodles, see Hopkins, pp. 284-5. Chopin was "associated with" Sand from 1837-47; wrote "La valse du petit chien" (the final bars of which comprise the head-piece for this section) inspired by the frolics of one of her Poodle puppies. See Poodle Music, a sub-section of Poodle Lit. 101.

    Schopenhauer, Authur (1788-1860). German philosopher. Standard Poodle, Butz (Engler, p. 114; cartoon, p. 115). Also, Atma (Brahmin's term for World-Soul; Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy in Books on Tape, from the first of the section on Schopenhauer). Also see "The Schopenhauer Method," by Alain de Botton, The New York Time Magazine, 13 February 2000, p. 60: "1833: He settles in a modest apartment in Frankfurt am Main. His closest relationships are with a succession of poodles who he feels have a gentleness and humility humans lack.... He lavishes affection on these poodles, addressing them as 'sir,' and takes a keen interest in animal welfare."

    Sheridan, Ann (née Clara Lou; 1915-1967). Movie star of the 1950's: "Just Across the Street" starring Ann Sheridan and John Lund; Universal-International, 1956. Press photo to advertise this film includes two of her "prize French Poodles [which she raises] as a sideline to her busy acting career."

    Simon, Neil (1927- ). American playwrite. Neil Simon Rewrites (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1996). "Dozens of references to his Poodle, Chips. He writes about a six-months period after Chips suffered torn tendons and cartilage in his right hind leg, during which Simon 'gently massaged four times a day without fail, for three to five months' Chips' leg. 'After a while, I thought I was being had. Chips was walking well around the house but when he saw me, he started to limp.' This was a pet shop puppy, purchased when he and his wife first became engaged. He 'wanted to take her [his intended] to a jewelry store and buy her a ring. Instead, she led me to a pet shop, looked around, and spotted a scruffy silver-gray Miniature Poodle sitting on the floor tied to a table leg. She pointed to him and said, "There's my engagement ring."'" (LAB, 6/1/2000).

    Stein, Gertrude (1872-1946). American author. White SPs, Basket, and, later, Basket II (Henry, p. 75). Hopkins, p. 285, photo, p. 99. Of the first Basket, Stein wrote: "We now had our country house, the one we had only seen across the valley and just before leaving we found the white poodle, Basket. He was a little puppy in a little neighborhood dog-show and he had blue eyes, a pink nose and white hair and he jumped up into Gertrude Stein's arms. A new puppy and a new ford and we went off to our new house and we were thoroughly pleased with all three. Basket although now he is a large unwieldy poodle, still will get up on Gertrude Stein's lap and stay there. She says that listening to the rhythm of his water-drinking made her recognise the difference between sentences and paragraphs, that paragraphs are emotional and that sentences are not.

    "Bernard Fay came and stayed with us that summer. Gertrude Stein and he talked out in the garden about everything, about life, and America, and themselves and friendship. They then cemented the friendship that is one of the four permanent friendships of Gertrude Stein's life. He even tolerated Basket for Gertrude Stein's sake. Lately Picabia has given us a tiny mexican dog, we call Byron. Bernard Fay likes Byron for Byron's own sake. Gertrude Stein teases him and says naturally he likes Byron best because Byron is american while just as naturally she likes Basket best because Basket is a frenchman." Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (London: Grey Arrow Edition, 1960; first published by The Bodley Head, 1933), pp. 251-252. Note from the contributor of this item, Susan Kelliher, 31/05/97: "capitalization (e.g. ford, american, mexican) and punctuation...seems a little eccentric but...it appears as I quoted above....have seen pictures of Gertrude Stein with Basket and will send...infomation... [also RE] a book that is written by a poodle about her life with Pierre Monteaux the conductor...for the Poodle Lit. section..."

    Gertrude Stein's Basket I was a contemporary of Picrate (who belonged to the popular novelist Maurice Dekobra, also a chronicler of La view trés Parisienne) and Rag, a gray Standard owned by the "poet of Montmartre", Francis Carco. (Henry, p. 75.)

    Also see: Diana Souhami, Gertrude and Alice (Pandora--an imprint of Harper-Collins--1991) which contains several photos of Poodles Basket I and II. One is by Man Ray. The entire collection may be found at the Yale University Library. Souhami states (p. 171) "Alice had wanted a white poodle for years, ever since reading Henry James's novel, The Princess Casamassima." (See Poodle Lit. 101, James.) Stein was also photographed with Basket in Paris in 1946 by Horst (copyright) Horst P. Horst, and a postcard printed by Rapoport Printing Corp. (copyright) 1979 Fotofolio, Box 661 Canal Sta., NY, NY 10013.

    Steinbeck, John (1902-68). American author. French-born "bleu" SP, Charley; photo The Economist, 6 May 1995, p. 85. Anecdotes about Charley mostly derived from P. Lisca, John Steinbeck, Nature and Myth (New York: Crowell, 1978) and Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: in Search of America (see Poodle Lit. 101.), Coren, pp. 97-100; also, photo of Charley and Steinbeck, bet. pp. 148 and 149.

    Tarkington, Booth (1869-1946). American novelist. Black SP, Figaro. Black SP, Wop. Photo Tarkington and Figaro: Hopkins, p. 100. See: Poodle Lit. 101 for a reference to an article by Tarkington about Wop.

    Thurber, James (1894-1961). American humorist. Medve and Christabel. "Blackmount Medve was whelped 10 Dec. 1928, by Eng. Ch Whippendell Carillon ex Whippendell Frou Frou, owned by Thurber's wife, Althea, who bred Medve at least twice (to Felix and to Gamin IV)." (KF, 6 Jan. '02) See: Poodle Lit. 101.

    Thorvaldsen, Albert Bertel (1770-1844). Danish sculptor. Primon was his Poodle's name. Engler, p. 114.

    ? Tolstoy, Lev (Leo) Nikolayevich (1828-1910). Russian writer. Postcard of an elderly Tolstoy walking with a black SP at the head of a group of people in snow. Publisher: Society of Tolstoy's Museum. Seria No. 2. "Day of the Lev Nikolaevich."

    Wagner, Richard (1813-83). German composer. "Wagners bester Freund war der Pudel 'Peps', der ihn 13 Jahre lang auf Schritt und Tritt begleitete und von seinem braunen Pudel 'Rüpel' erzählte er, dass er besonders musikalisch war [Wagner's best friend was the poodle Peps, shadowed his (Wagner's) every step for thirteen years. And of his brown poodle, Rupel, Wagner said that he was especially musical. (BC, 18 April '97)]." Engler, p. 114.

    Washington, George (1732-1799). Water dog, Pilot. The following exerpts are from The Diaries of George Washington, vol. II. 1766-70. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia). Washington owned fox hounds, which he bred and to whom he rode evidently at every good opportunity, 1766-70. Waterfowling was a side interest:

  • Page 38: "Went a ducking between breakfast and dinner..." February 18, 1768.
  • Page 39: "Went a ducking between breakfast & dinner & killd 2 Mallards & 5 bald faces [Baldpates/American Wigeon?]." February 24, 1768. "I went to the Creek but not cross it. Killd 2 Ducks-viz. a sprig tail [Pintail] and Teal. February 25, 1768.
  • Page 98: "The Hound Bitch Mopsy going proud, was lined by my Water dog Pilot before it was discovered--after which she was shut up with a hound dog--Old Harry." September 17, 1768.
  • Page 105: "The hound Bitch Tipsey, was lined by the little Spaniel dog Pompey before she was shut up in the House with old Harry." October 1, 1768.
  • Page 126: "The hound bitch Musick got out of her confinement. & was lind by Pilot." 22 January 1769. "Went a Gunning up the Creek--killd 7 Ducks." 3 February 1769.
  • Page 127: "Went a ducking..." 9 February 1769. "Went a shooting again..." 10 February 1769. "Ducking till Dinner..." 11 February 1769.
  • Page 139: "To this time Mopsy had been lind several time by Lawlor as Truelove had been by Drunkard--but as this Bitch got [out]one Night during her Heat it is presumable she was lind by other Dogs especially Pilot..." March 31, 1769.
  • Page 207: "Went a ducking but got nothing the Creeks and Rivers being froze." January 9, 1770.
  • Page 226: "Countess a hound Bitch after being confind sometime got loose and was lined before it was discovered by my Water dog..." Editor's note: "GW had paid £ 1 16s for a spaniel on 5 Feb. (Ledger A, 302)." March 26, 1770.
  • N.B.: It is confidently assumed by Mark Derr, A Dog's History of America (New York: North Point Press, 2004), p. 77 (and, we infer because of the juxtaposition of the note, also by Jackson and Twohig) that the spaniel bought on 5 February 1770 was a water spaniel; whether or not this was the case, Pilot predates that purchase. Dorr (p. 128) states: "As befitted a sportsman, he [Washington] also had a water spaniel, sometimes called an Irish retriever." Dorr fails to document by whom and where the water spaniel was called the Irish retriever, nor does he document that Washington called the Water dog a Water spaniel.

    Woollcott, Alexander (1887-1943). American author. Harpo; Pip. Photo of Woollcott with Cocaud: Hopkins, p. 102. Henry, p. 76: "Woolcott's own poodles, Gamin and Harpo..."

    Rumors and celebrity sightings

    "Did you know that Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner had a Standard Poodle named Ahab....[who] attended JP's funeral..." (SF, 31 March 2001); "Yesterday, as I was watching the Olympics on CBC I saw a commercial for an upcoming Life & Times programme on the photographer, Karsh. One of the photos shown during the commercial was of Karsh holding what looked like a black Miniature Poodle.... I did watch it. There were two photos of Karsh holding a black Ministure Poodle, one front view and the other with the Poodle looking over his shoulder. It looked like a self-photo." (DY, 16 Oct. '00).

    John Heisman (Johann Wilhelm Heisman; 1869-1936), pioneering (USA) college football coach ("Never forget a football player may be a gentleman"), when coaching at Georgia Tech in the early years of the 20th century owned an apricot Miniature Poodle, Woo, who often came to practices and posed with Heisman for team photographs. See Pat Edwards, "Heisman Led Jackets to Victory" (GT Campus Life) as of 14 January 2004.

    Coren's list of Poodle-owning celebrities

    Stanley Coren, Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality (New York: The Free Press, 1998) gives the following list of Poodle (Standard, Miniature and Toy) owners (a gold-mine for those of us interested in modern celebrities!), pp. 274-7 (and encourages anyone who can add to this list to write to him--Dr. Stanley Coren, Psychology Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, VC, V6T 1Z4, Canada): Don Adams (Brandy and others); Jane Alexander (Martini); Marie Antoinette (see above); Mary Kay Ash (Gigi, Monet); Lucille Ball (Tinkerbell), Kay Ballard (Pockets and others); Tallulah Bankhead (Daisy); Ingmar Bergman (Teddy); Erma Brombeck (Frosty); Omar Bradley (Beau); Carol Burnett (Beau Jangles); Red Buttons (Lucy Brown and others); Maria Callas (Djedda, Pixie, and several others); Barbara Cartland; Winston Churchill (see above); Mary Higgins Clark (Porgy); Claudette Colbert (Missy and others); Catherine Cookson; Joan Crawford (Cliquot); Sammy Davis Jr. (Bojangles and several others); Doris Day (Bubbles, Columbus, Ivana, Dido, Muffy); Walt Disney (Duchess); Kirk Douglas (Teddy); Barbara Eden (Annie); Joan Fontaine (Hazber); John Forsythe (Fallon and several others); Joe Garagolia (Wellington and Napoleon); Jennie Garth; Jane Goodall (Gigi); Ruth Gordon (Sacha); Cary Grant (Suzette); Michael Gray (Butch and others); Robert and Ruth Grossman (Beauregard); Helen Hayes (Chiquita); Katharine Hepburn (Button); Margorie Holmes (Tanjay); Bob Hope (Mike); Shirley Jones (Skoshie); Lainie Kazan (Sheltie); Grace Kelly (Oliver and others); Jack LaLanne (Gnathy); Gypsy Rose Lee (Bootsie); John Lehmann (Chico); Vivian Leigh (Sebastian); Jack Lemmon (Chloe and others); Liberace (Coco and many others); Walter Lippmann; Louis XIV (see above); Louis XVI (see above); Allen Ludden (Emma and others); Jerre Mangione (Pushkin); Jayne Mansfield; Debi Mazar (Dolores); John Mitchell (Buttons); Robert Mondavi (Fume Blanc); Marilyn Monroe (Maf); Mary Tyler Moore (Diswilliam and others); Mike Nichols; Julie Nixon (Vicky); Oribe (Pierre); Dorothy Parker (Misty); Pablo Picasso; Vincent Price (Pablo and many others); Sally Jessy Raphael (Fame); Debbie Reynolds (Killer and several others); Don Rickles (Joker); Robin Riker (Woody); Dan Rowan; Prince Rupert of the Rhine (see above); George Sand (see above); Diane Sawyer; Jaclyn Smith (Albert and others); Elke Sommer (Hasi); Aaron Spelling (Angel); Gertrude Stein (see above); John Steinbeck (see above); Barbra Streisand (Sadie); Jacqueline Susann (see Poodle Lit. 101; Joseph, Josephine); Patrick Swayze (Derek); James Thurber (see above); Ivana Trump; Janine Turner (Eclair); Robert Vaughn (Beans); Albertina Walker (Pierre); Barbara Walters; Betty White (Dancer); Michael Wilding (Gee Gee); Andrew Wyeth (Eloise).

    The Story of Hector, Son of an Emperor's Dog

    Hector was a white male Standard Poodle born shortly after the turn of the century, and owned by Hugh Fortesque Locke-King, a wealthy landowner in Surrey, England (see Brooklands Stories, Brooklands, Amphitheatre, Racetrack and Aviation Centre). Hugh was the son of Peter King, who purchased the 700-acre estate from the Duke of York in 1830 for £ 28,000. In the 16th century, Henry VIII had used the estate as a hunting ground, using Oatlands Palace as his residence. The estate also included the Brooklands and Byfleet Park farms. Hugh was also a fan of early auto racing, and in 1906 decided to build a 2.75 mile concrete banked oval racing track at Brooklands - the world's first "purpose-built" race track. Hugh is also on record as an owner and breeder of Poodles, though we strongly suspect he employed someone to actually look after the dogs.

    Hector's dam was also white and originally named Duchess, later changed to Dinah. She was owned by Francis of Teck. Prince Francis (1870-1910) was the younger brother of Queen Mary, wife of King George V of England. He is also listed as a major in the Dragoons--probably a ceremonial appointment, as the Royals loved to dress up in uniform, but seldom saw battle. Duchess was bred by a Captain Johnson, presumably of the Dragoons. Hector's sire is listed as a brown & white parti, with no name indicated but that of the owner--the Emperor of Germany (Kaiser Wilhelm II).

    Another of Hugh's dogs was Byfleet Molenka ("Daisy"). Different records show her as brown or white, but if the name is any indication, she was probably brown (as "mole" seemed often to have been used for a brown). Her parents were the brown Byfleet Josephine (b. Sept, 1902) and The Red Indian, a son of a brother-sister mating between two reds.

    Daisy and Hector had a litter in September 1905. One of the puppies was named Brooklands King John. According to one authority, he was sold to Mrs. Crouch of the Orchard kennel and was renamed Orchard Whiteboy, soon to become Eng. Ch. Orchard Whiteboy. (See "Champion Orchard Whiteboy, late Brooklands King John 10/1905", pedigree contained in "A Special White Standard Poodle Issue", a section of Poodle Champions, researched, compiled, and produced authentically by Mrs. Connie Crews, "Wyngarth", Wheal Leisure, Perranporth, Cornwall, TR6 0EY, tel. 087-257-2363. Undated 6-generation conformation champion pedigrees, photographs, notes, etc.) If it is true that Orchard Whiteboy and Brooklands King John are the same dog, then Hector is a particularly significant Poodle because his descendants include nearly 75% of all the Standard Poodles in a database of 25,000 (as of 21 August '97).

    However, registration listings in The Kennel Club Gazette, 9/'02, 3/'03, 2/'05, 10/'05, 6/'06, 7/'06, 7/'07, 4/'08; 10/'08, and 2/'09 prove that Orchard Whiteboy (pedigree unknown) and Brooklands King John were different dogs. Alas, this evidence greatly decreases our likelihood of owning a Standard Poodle descended from an Emperor's dog, but provides an excellent introduction to the knotty problems of Poodle geneaology! (JA, 21 August '97; LB 22 August '97).

    Memorials

    "Around the turn of the century, Morton and Elizabeth Mitchell bought a plot of land on S St. NW [in Kalorama, at 23rd and S Streets NW, Washington, D.C.]. The property, which had passed through many hands since the early 1600s, was to be the site of their new house. Their Poodle, Bock, aged 14, died soon after. He was buried on their new property, where the back yard would be, under a small stone. Before construction could begin, Morton Mitchell died. He is interred elsewhere. His widow lost interest in the new house, and, on her death in 1918, deeded the land to the city for use as a park with the stipulation that Bock's grave not be disturbed. Today, the land is called Mitchell Park. Bock's grave, marked by the small stone and a slack chain, lies in the middle of the sandbox." Washington Post Magazine, 12 June 1998, pp. 16-17.

    The head-piece for this section: final bars of Chopin's "La valse du petit chien" (also known as "The Minute Waltz"), Opus 64, #1 (1847); see Sand, Georges (above).

    Go back to Main Menu