Jackie and Bob

Lately I seem to be writing a lot about murder so it’s time for a little light relief of the doggie variety

Jackie was a black-and-white spotted dog, a Dalmatian mix, that became known for the political incident he caused between its owner, Tor Borg, his company, and Nazi Germany.

image of Jackie O and her dog found here

At some point in time, Jackie was trained to raise a single paw whenever the name “Hitler” was mentioned, appearing to emulate the Nazi salute. In 1941, shortly before the invasion of the Soviet Union provoked the Continuation War, an anonymous source notified Nazi authorities of Borg and Jackie.

Jackie and Borg found here

The report of Jackie’s actions set into motion a series of documents and diplomatic cables between the German Foreign Office, Economy Ministry, Nazi Party Chancellery and German diplomats in Finland. Borg was summoned to the German Embassy in Helsinki where he admitted that on a few occasions his wife called the dog “Hitler” and that on a few occasions it did respond with a raised paw.

Hitler and his dog found here

The Foreign Office spent three months investigating ways of bringing Borg to trial for insulting Hitler, but no witnesses would come forward. Finally, in March 1941, the Chancellory decided that “considering that the circumstances could not be solved completely, it is not necessary to press charges.”

 Historian Klaus Hillenbrand had this to say on the absurdity of the Nazi effort regarding Jackie. The dog affair tells us the Nazis were not only criminals and mass murderers, they were silly as hell. There are very few things you can laugh about because what they did was so monstrous. But there were two or three dozen people discussing the affair of the dog rather than preparing for the invasion of the Soviet Union. They were crazy.”

image found here

Bob the Railway Dog was part of South Australian Railways folklore.

Bob first experienced the railway life, when, as a young dog, he took a fancy to the workers building the railway near Strathalbyn and followed them to the line. His true railway career appeared to commence later when he was obtained as a runaway by William Seth Ferry, Assistant Station Master at Petersburg.

image found here

Bob was known to travel on trains to and from Petersburg often sitting in the front of the coal space in the locomotive tender, travelling many thousands of miles. He didn’t like suburban engines because of their cramped cabs, but was known to clear out third class compartments for his sole use by “vigorously barking at all stations, usually succeeding in convincing intending passengers that the coach had been reserved for his special benefit”.

Petersburg Post Office found here

In his early career, he had a number of falls, after which he refined his skills jumping up onto, or from one locomotive to another, including when they were moving. On one occasion he is reported to have fallen from an engine travelling between Manoora and Saddleworth. He managed to walk with an injured leg, two miles to Saddleworth.

image found here

In Port Pirie, his tail became jammed – just where is not known. In another incident, he is reported as losing an inch off his tail after slipping off, and on another journey, his coat caught fire.

image found here

During a stay in Adelaide, he is reported to have spent time at Goodwood Cabin, and, after tripping down the cabin’s stairs, rolling under and out the other side of a passing train.

During one of his visits to Port Augusta, he is reported as catching a steamship to Port Pirie, after he apparently confused the ships whistle with that of a locomotive.

image found here

The Petersburg Times records that “only during one winter did he look miserable, when some employee on probation cut off all his hair except that of his neck and tip of his tail. He was supposed to look like a diminutive lion, but his voice betrayed him”.

image found here

The Advertiser reports he retired to Adelaide where he was known to dine regularly at a butcher’s shop, run by a Mr Evans, in Hindley Street, until his death at the age of 17.

If readers have any interesting or funny dog stories of their own, please tell me about them in the comments. Thanks to Coyote for pointing me in the direction of Bob the Railway Dog

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