Pets Down the Centuries
·Pets and their people through history
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"Blind and deaf since the age of 19 months, Helen Keller was an inspirational writer and speaker, and one of the most admired figures in the 20th century. She was an avid animal lover and had many canine companions throughout her long life, including her beloved pit bull, Sir Thomas."
Dash was the name of Queen Victoria’s beloved spaniel. Dash’s tombstone is inscribed with the following message written by the Queen herself: "Here lies Dash, the favorite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, by whose command this memorial was erected. He died on the 20th December 1840 in his ninth year. His attachment was without selfishness, his playfulness without malice, his fidelity without deceit. Reader, if you would live beloved and die regretted, profit by the example of Dash.”
Nero This Roman emperor was said to only care about one creature: his pet tigress Phoebe. Nero apparently discovered her during a Colosseum game, where he noted she had the ferocity of three tigers. Unwilling to let such a fearsome beast be killed, he had her spared and took her in as his own. He is said to have dined with the tigress at his feet, even when guests were over.
Josephine Bonaparte Napoleon’s first wife, Josephine Bonaparte, had quite the collection of bizarre pets. The most famous is probably her orangutan, which she would dress up in a gorgeous white chemise. She would even allow the orangutan to sit at the dinner table with them, and her guests all agreed it was very well-behaved.
Lord Byron, one of the 19th-century Romantic Movement’s most famous poets, played owner to a number of unusual species in his lifetime. The strangest, however, served as his roommate at Cambridge’s Trinity College. When the university forbade pet dogs on its premises, Byron stuck it to The Man, made sure that only canines were prohibited by the school’s laws, and found himself a pet bear.
Tycho Brahe’s moose Aside from having a stellar mustache, 16th century astronomer Tycho Brahe had a pet moose. But this wasn’t just any old moose — it was known to roam free during parties and consume more alcohol than its human counterparts. One evening, the animal allegedly drank too much beer with dinner, fell down the stairs, and died.