Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Who Is the Man? Who is the Dog?

Who is this Man? Who is this dog?

And what does any of it have to do with hunting and fishing?

Answer: That's Teddy Roosevelt, one of three honorary terriermen on Mount Rushmore (Who are the other two?)

The dog is Skip, a mutt terrier cross (or feist) owned by legendary bear hunter John Goff. Goff gave Teddy the dog after Skip charged a bear, much to Teddy's delight.

As I note in a previous post entitled Rat Terrier Origins:

In 1905 Goff was hired as a bear hunting guide by President Theodore Roosevelt. During the trip Roosevelt was enchanted by the boisterous bravery of a small black and tan terrier that joined the bear-hunting fray. The dog was named "Skip," and for the remainder of the trip he managed to find himself in Roosevelt's lap or on his saddle.

Goff gave the terrier to Roosevelt at the end of his stay, and Roosevelt brought the dog back to the White House where it found work chasing rats in the basement and served as progenitor of the breed we know today as the American Rat Terrier.

Skip died the year before Roosevelt left the White House and was buried on the back lawn. The dog was so loved, however, that when Roosevelt left he had the dog exhumed and the body reinterred at Sagamore Hill, the family's New York estate.

I give a more detailed accounting of Skip and another terrier called Jack, noting the differences between the two and showing pictures of them each at the White House, in a longer post on Teddie Roosevelt's Terriers. Links are also given in this post to contemporaneous Roosevelt correspondence which showed that Skip was Archie's dog just as Jack Was Kermit's.

The importance of Teddy Roosevelt in the history of American hunting and fishing is not due to his legendary prowess in the field, or the fact that that this man left the Presidency to go on a year-long hunting trip in Africa. No, the importance of Roosevelt is in the fact that he helped establish America's land ethic (one later strengthened by Aldo Leopold) and did it by simply drawing boundaries on a map in order to create 150 new national forest areas in 21 states, four national game preserves, 51 federal bird sanctuaries, and 18 national monuments. No other President, before or since, has done as much to protect the heart and soul of America as Teddy Roosevelt did. For the back story here, read the post entitled Shooting Out the Land.

So who are the other honorary terriermen on Mount Rushmore? Read about one of them here >> Feists: From Washington to Lincoln to Faulkner. Yes, here at Terrierman, we give a hat tip to Old Abe if for no other reason than he wrote a long poem about bear hunting with terriers.

The other honorary terrierman on Mount Rushmore, of course, is George Washington, who helped win a war and forge a nation by a small kindness to a dog and its owner. I write a bit about that in the post entitled America's Founding Terrier.

Bottom Line: All that is great and good about this nation is connected to hunting with terriers. Let us never forget that!


Gina said...

I'm going to guess Teddy Roosevelt. If so, is that Jack?

By the way, I NEVER HEARD OF a "Teddy Roosevelt Terrier" until I used Teh Googles today.


Sean said...

Roosevelt and maybe skip?

3Laiki said...

My guess is Teddy Roosevelt and the wee dog is 'Skip'. The story I remember is that Skip was amongst a pack of hunting dogs that accompanied Roosevelt and others on a bear hunting trip. Roosevelt liked the little chap so much, that he took him back to the White House with him!

sassanik said...

Is it Teddi Roosevelt and his dog? Totally random guess here.

Doug said...

Looks like Teddy and I'm guessing some little dog - not sure that it is a terrier though - Maybe.


Gina said...

Patrick, if you really want to make things tougher, you might want to change the name of your image file before you post:



Don said...

It's always fun to see old pictures like with people and their dogs.