Monday, August 8, 2011

Ben Franklin's Dog (Sorta)

No one really knows if Benjamin Franklin had a dog, which is really an important matter when you consider all the attention that Owney is getting these days.

Franklin's son William apparently owned a Newfoundland dog, name unknown.

There are two references in the Papers of Benjamin Franklin to William's dog. The first appears in a footnote on page 435 of Volume 26. Someone writing to Franklin adds the comment that "nothing shall tempt me to forget your Newfoundland dog."

The second reference, three years later and to the same dog, is on page 179 of Volume 36. The letter is in French, and indicates that a Madame De Boulainvillers returned the dog to Franklin; it seems as if the dog had strayed. These letters, dated 1778 and 1781, are both from Franklin's time in Paris.

And the ever-quotable Frankline has some dog-worthy quotes:

"There are three faithful friends--an old wife, an old dog and ready money." - Benjamin Franklin
"He who lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." - Benjamin Franklin


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight? Ben Franklin, you are the blogger of this site and YOU don't know if you ever owned a dog? Sad, really. They say the mind is the first to go. But Owney and his adventures are pretty cool!

Anonymous said...

Five blogs about a dog....I think we have covered this subject very well. :)

Anonymous said...

I second that! Let's discuss more pertinent topics now!

Grannybunny said...

I disagree; I like the "dog stories," especially regarding Owney. And, give Ben Franklin a break; he's got to be around 300 years old! :)