Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To Those Brave Men

Dad was real quiet this morning on our walk. He looked to the northeast deep in thought. He does that every 15 April morning. When we got home, he brewed some Kona coffee, poured a cup, looked to the northeast and made a toast “To those brave men.” He gave us some cheese and we remembered those brave dogs. Maybe you are one of those that have forgotten what happened the on 14-15 April. We forgive you, not many remember. Dad thinks of them, even though his father was just a glimmer in his Grand Paw’s eye. Who are those brave men and the significance of 15 April? Let’s take a trip back in the WABAC machine. The year is 1912.

You are aboard a huge ship in the North Atlantic Ocean sailing south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. At 1140 PM on 14 April the ship’s bell sounds three times and you hear the lookout exclaim “Iceberg, right ahead!” You feel the ship shudder as it brushes the iceberg on the ship’s starboard side. At 1240 AM the first lifeboat is lowered. Among them is Margaret Hay’s Pomeranian. Two other dogs get on two different life boats. They are Elizabeth Rothchild’s pooch and Henry Sleeper Harper’s Pekinese, Sun Yat Sen. Six other dogs are left behind, among them champion bulldog, Gamon de Pycombe and a St. Bernard.

The stern of the great boat rises out of the water around 2:10 AM exposing the propellers. By 2:20 Am the last of the great ship disappears, sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Of the total of 2,223 people only 706 survive. Three out of nine dogs aboard survive. Roughly 20% of the men, 33% of the dogs, 55% of the children and 74% of the women survive. Most of the deaths were caused by hypothermia in the cold 28 F (-2 C) water.

The great ship was the RMS Titanic. Dad remembers those who sacrificed their lives on April 15. Those brave men were both rich and poor. Dad visited the Titanic Memorial in Washington D.C. many dog moons before we came to live with him. The Women of America erected that memorial in 1931. The inscription reads….
“To The Brave Men Who Perished In The Wreck of The Titanic, April 15, 1912. They Gave Their Lives That Women and Children Might Be Saved.”

We wonder how many remember those brave men. Dad please toast again and pass us another piece of cheese so we can toast along with you.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon

The RMS Titanic at dock at Southampton

The last lifeboat
The RMS Titanic Memorial in Washington D.C.


Gunner said...

Wow you guys, I'm putting down my chewy and having a moment of silence while my mom lets thoughts of remembrance float through her mind.

Cool blog today.....


Orable & Charlie said...

I am surprised that all of the dogs were even accounted for - humans can become dreadfully remiss when adversity strikes them!

licks & slobbers

Jake of Florida said...


Thank you for reminding us. Folks get caught up in Tax Day and tend to forget the brave people and dogs who lost their lives when the Titanic went down.

You guys are way cool!! And so is your Dad.

Woofs, pals.

Jake and Just Harry

Pee ess: We're trying to talk Mom and Dogdad into a few days in Key West later this year. Do you know of any dog friendly motels/ B&B's???

Orable & Charlie said...

A beautiful memorial, too, but I still think that those dogs should be on it too.

licks & slobbers