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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46 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think Adolf missed a point here – the dog could have been a “party animal.” Should have handed it over to Goebbels!

    A friend of mine had a dog, which I wrote about here


  2. haha… missed opportunity indeed

  3. my dog only paints Pollock-style in feces. he has yet to create an international political incident. he needs to step up his game…

    • don’t get me started on Pollock-style faeces. Or projectile vomiting. My cat has mastered both.

  4. In our smaller island there’s a famous cat in Chester or North Wales I think, who queues up at bus stops and sits regally on the front seat reserved for the disabled, riding around all day before returning home.

    • Yes I’ve seen a documentary on him, wonderful animal and popular with the locals.

      The King

    • That’s the difference between cats and dogs — a cat has the sense to find a safe, comfy spot and stay there for the entire trip.

      • I had to wiki him. Poor Caspar, he was hit by a taxi and died last year

  5. Surely the Nazi authorities should have been pleased that even dogs were giving the Nazi salute? They should have awarded him a lifetime supply of dog biscuits.

    • One would have thought so

  6. No stories as interesting or as funny as these but trying to come up with one brought back all sorts of wonderful memories of my old dog. So, thanks…

    • What kind of dog was he Beth?

      • A huge black mutt – mostly lab – a gentle, loving giant!

  7. This isn’t a dog story, but when I read it back in 2007 I couldn’t get it out of my head, and I think it suits the general tone of The Gimcrack.



    The King

    • Oh I remember you telling me this tale…. a fabulous story!!

  8. I’d have thought that the door raising a paw in recognition of Hitler’s name would have been more of an honour than an insult, actually…

    • dog, not door

      • A door raising a paw would be truly miraculous.

      • I’d like to see that!!

  9. The Nazis were indeed nuts, but they still have their followers. Consider this news story from four years ago here in Germany. Some neo-Nazi taught his dog to give the Hitler salute. In the meantime, giving the Hitler salute, displaying Nazi flags, saying SIEG HEIL! etc is streng verboten – and will land you with a fine or in jail.
    For his doggie Hitler salute the guy got jail time: http://www.shortnews.de/id/692292/Berlin-Haft-fuer-Mann-der-seinem-Hund-Adolf-den-Hitlergruss-beibrachte

    Short translation: A right-wing radical who named his dog Adolf has received 5 months in prison for teaching his nine-year-old German Shepard cross to give the Nazi salute. He had to give his dog to an animal shelter.
    It goes on to say that the guy was off his nut because of a blow to the head, had repeatedly come up before the judge for wearing Nazi clothing, screaming out Sieg Heil, etc etc.

    Ya gotta love it here.

  10. Those Nazis sure attract the curs, don’t they?

    :: snare drum ::

  11. Strange that no cat was ever trained to do the same as Jackie!

    • Cats are far too sensible!One of my cats raises a paw, but it’s a signal for me to get the cat biscuits. 😉

  12. I blogged about dogging a while ago….does that count?


    • No

      • yes 😉

  13. Can we have funny cat escapades next, Nurse Myra?

    • I’ll add it to the list

  14. I would think it much more appropriate if the dog defecated whenever he heard the H word.

  15. Bob has seen more of the world than some of my friends.

    • Including me! If I act cute around a train yard, I wonder if I could get free rides to everywhere.

      • Me, too!
        There should be a ‘Bob discount’ for guys like us, Binky.

  16. “The dog affair tells us the Nazis were not only criminals and mass murderers, they were silly as hell.”

    I have no problem believing that contagious evil, fatuousness and asininity go hand-in-hand. Now why is that?

  17. Thank you, ma’am! We coyotes love a good shaggy dog story. Or two…

  18. You know, I’ve been meaning to tell you, you tell the BEST stories. You really do your research, and of course your writing is snappy and ever so funny. I’m glad you write.

    • Anything in italics is not my writing Marvin, it comes directly from the website I’ve linked to

  19. The look in Bob’s eyes is almost human

    • Coyote thinks the eyes may have been touched up a little

  20. Ha, ha, I love your blog. My dog used to sleep on the table…mind you, his ancestors used to sleep in the sleeves of Mandarin’s robes.

    • Is your dog a Pekingese?

  21. No real dog stories to speak of, but my mom’s two little chihuahua’s look little gremlins at time, with big eyes and huge ears.

    A little unsettling at times.

    As always, your blog is always a cool read.

    • I think Devon Rex cats look like cute little gremlins too

  22. I read about the Nazi saluting dog, and the Nazi’s lack of any humour. That’s dictators for you

  23. jackie should’ve projectile shit every
    time adolph’s name got mentioned.

  24. “Heel” is only one letter away from “heil.” Hmm.

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