George Washington, our first president was a dog lover. As a hunter he kept foxhounds and as a farmer, he knew basics of animal breeding and husbandry. He even managed to create a unique breed of foxhound called “Virginia Hounds.”
A really interesting article by dog-writer Stanley Coren in Psychology Today describes an incident that tells a great deal about George Washington. It describes the first president as a great man and lover of dogs.
During the Revolutionary War, American forces, led by George Washington were fighting the British forces, led by British General William Howe. The British had occupied Philadelphia and during the Battle of Germantown, George Washington and his troops were camping at Pennibecker’s Mill. The British were winning the battle and the American troop was trying to contain it.
Suddenly, on October 6, 1777, little terrier was found wandering between the area that both armies were fighting. The American troop captured the little dog and, through his collar, they identified the pooch as belonging to the British general. The little dog has somehow gotten loose and got lost in the line of fire.
Washington’s officers suggested to keep the dog as a sort of trophy, hoping that it might weaken the morale of the British general. But, George Washington had other ideas. He took the dog into his tent, fed him, and had the dog brushed and cleaned. Then he ordered a cease fire. Once the firing stopped, Washington ordered one of his aides to return the dog to the British general under a flag of truce.
Happy President’s day!