From the evidence gathered, George Washington was a dog lover, partial to Staghounds, a hunting breed similar to what we call Greyhounds today. Sweet Lips, Vulcan and Scentwell were some of their names. He also had several Black and Tan Coonhounds, including rascals Drunkard, Taster, Tippler and Tipsy. Could it be that their owner was a bit of a Boozehound himself? After all, Washington did own the largest distillery in America and enjoyed a fine imported Madeira every now-and-then. However, he was no drunkard. The man was a model of moderation and self-control.
There's a rumor among dog breeders that Washington bred the Black and Tan Coonhounds with his Staghounds, which resulted in America's first Foxhounds. After studying the comparison, what do you think?
Hmm . . . maybe.
Now back to the commercial. The scene takes place in Pennsylvania, October 1777, during the Battle of Germantown. Cornwallis had previously marched into Philadelphia and claimed it for the British, so spirits were low. Of course, as the video captures so well, Washington never lost his sense of integrity.
If you want to know more about the incident, there's a really cute children's book called George Washington and the General's Dog by Frank Murphy that summarizes it quite nicely. If you prefer an adult version, check out General Howe's Dog, by Caroline Tiger.
The original letter Washington wrote to Howe has been preserved for history. To see it, click here.
I wasn't planning on doing a blog entry today, especially not about dog food, but after I watched the commercial I couldn't stop myself. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Happy 4th of July!