Monday, October 31, 2016

John Muir's Terrier

In 1880, John Muir made his second trip to Alaska, and on this trip he explored Brady Glacier which empties into Taylor Bay in what is now Glacier Bay National Park.

Acompanying him was little cross-bred terrier dog by the name of "Stickeen" which Muir fell in love with.

Muir wrote of Stickeen:

"Nobody could hope to unravel the lines of his ancestry. In all the wonderfully mixed and varied dog-tribe I never saw any creature very much like him, though in some of his sly, soft, gliding motions and gestures he brought the fox to mind. He was short-legged and bunch-bodied, and his hair, though smooth, was long and silky and slightly waved, so that when the wind was at his back it ruffled, making him look shaggy.
At first sight his only noticeable feature was his fine tail, which was about as airy and shady as a squirrel's , and was carried curling forward almost to his nose. On closer inspection you might notice his thin sensitive ears, and sharp eyes with cunning tan-spots above them. Mr. Young told me that when the little fellow was a pup about the size of a woodrat he was presented to his wife by an Irish prospector at Sitka, and that on his arrival at Fort Wrangell he was adopted with enthusiasm by the Stickeen Indians as a sort of new good-luck totem, was named "Stickeen" for the tribe, and became a universal favorite; petted, protected, and admired wherever he went, and regarded as a mysterious fountain of wisdom."
To read the rest of the story of Stickeen >> click here.

John Muir on the left, John Burroughs on the right."John of the Woods meets John of the Birds."To read more about John Burroughs and groundhogs >> click here
Originally posted to this blog in September of 2004

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