Friday, April 01, 2016

The Bactrian Terrier

The Bactrian Terier
is descended from Alexander the Great's smallest dogs which hunted Tarvag and helped discover rich seams of gold along the Afghanistan and Tajikistan border
The Bactrian gold horde is named after this breed of dog as well as the region from which it originates.  

These two small Bactrian Terriers gave the Bactrian Gold Horde their name. Source.

Notice the small dog on the camel saddle. Small chest size was important to be able to squeeze down the narrow guartz and sand passages.Source

A dozen Bactrian Terriers were brought to Colorado during the gold and silver strikes of the mid- 19th Century, and were used to locate and dig out Rocky Mountain marmots which also had a fondness for gold dust (aka "Misto" in the Dari language of Afghanistan).

Around the turn of the 20th Century, however, black rats came to Colorado and brought with them Bubonic Plague, which is now endemic in the prairie dog colonies of the state.

The first few waves of plague that swept through Colorado prairie dog towns also hammered the few Bactrian Terriers that remained, while decades-long wars in Afghanistan, coupled with a rise of fundamentalist Islam, which proscribes dog ownership unless it is for herding, guarding, or hunting, wiped out the breed in their native country.

It was thought that the Bactrian Terrier was lost to history, but a few purebred dogs were recently discovered in the Catskill Mountains of New York. 

It seems a few of the Colorado dogs were quietly smuggled into the area at the turn of the 20th century in order to look for gold in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Shwangunk regions of the state. 

They were smuggled into New York for a peculiar reason -- in New York any gold found in the ground is deemed to be the property of the state, effectively making it illegal to pan profitably. The import of Bactrian Terriers to New York, therefore, was kept very hush-hush, and the local market in such dogs is still quite clandestine.

Pictures, above and below, is a very good example of this rare breed of working dog. This particular individual is used to hunt gold-seeking marmots (groundhogs) in the gold veins of Maryland and Virginia, near Washington, D.C.


David said...

Jez, thats a better story than the origins of the neo mastiff

So 12 dogs were imported in the 19th century and today we have same breed living in the mountains in New York.

Fanciful to say the least.

I guess if you say so it's ok.

Rick said...

And what do you do with the gold you find Patrick? I think you should donate the profits (if any) to the AKC Canine Rehabilitation Fund.

Jennifer said...

Did April 1 come late this year?

PBurns said...

All of the gold bullion we have recovered to date has been donated to treatment centers to help children hooked on phonics, except for an initial donation of $10,000 that was watered down to 1 penny and used to create a series of homeopathic veterinary medicines that this blog sells on line. You can save BIG by ordering our FREEZE DRIED HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINES IN BULK.

Order here >>

I am afraid that the initial capital outlay we made on this startup has not yet been recovered, but this business is still young, and there is always some risk with a startup. On the upside, we are doing better than the AKC.

Dog Man said...

Jeez,I half believed you for a moment, since I am an old gem and panning junkie.
You must lay awake at night dreaming up this STUFF.
Interestingly,however, the use of dogs to sniff out gold veins really is true, has been tried in various Nordic countries with some positive results. The gold ore is a sulphide ore and the dogs can smell it same as drugs or the ink in paper money and the nitrates in explosives.
SO while your post is tongue in cheek, in reality Dogs Can Find Gold.

Anonymous said...

What about the even rarer Bactrian Shepherd? I believe they were used to herd the sheep of the golden fleece.

jdlvtrn said...

Too bad the figure was not of a Bactrian camel instead of a Dromedary. That might have really nailed it:-)

PBurns said...

That's Bactrian camel. Rider between the humps. See link.

dp said...

Love it!