About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Sunday, January 03, 2010

looty, the lapdog spoil of war

Once upon a time five Pekingese dogs were minding their own business in the Imperial City of Peking (now Beijing). They had attendants, fine beds and the best food, befitting creatures who were beloved pets of royalty and often given Imperial court titles.

These five, however, happened to be in the Summer Palace in October of 1860, when Anglo-French military forces were looting Peking. Their attendants committed suicide so as not to be captured, but the dogs were, and one ended up as a present to Queen Victoria.

He lived out his life in comfort, joined by his mate six months later. He had special food, at least for a while until Victoria's kennel master wasn't having any:
"(the dog) is very dainty about its food and won't generally take bread and milk, but it will take boiled rice and a little chopped chicken and gravy mixed up in it, wrote Captain Dunne, Lootie's savior. Not only unimpressed but unsympathetic, the man retorted that this "Imperial" Pekingese would get the same "nice cooked meat with breadcrumbs and powdered biscuit" as the other dogs, and "after a little fasting and coaxing, will probably come to like the food that is good for it."
Victoria named him Looty.
Not very subtle where it counted, the Victorians. The Royal Family still has his photo, though.

The quote is from this fine article on The History of Canine Nutrition.


Cliff and Olivia said...

Interesting piece of history. Even if it's about a woofie.

Cat with a Garden said...

Great find. Thank you for visiting us so we could find your cool blog. And a happy New Year to all of you!
Purrs, Siena & Chilli

curator said...

Thanks so much Siena and Chilli! And it's nice to see you again, Cliff and Olivia!