Old seadogs

There are lots of stories about brave ship’s cats, but that doesn’t mean that dogs weren’t taken to sea, or that dogs, once aboard ship, didn’t do their duty as bravely as the rest of the crew.  Cats of course are better at public relations than dogs.  Dogs are less sophisticated than their feline counterparts and too simple to blow their own trumpets without seeming foolish.  Even so, most of the buccaneers had dogs.  William Dampier, the noted English buccaneer, tells of the great affection that the crew had for a particular sea-dog that went with their ship around the world, and later, when Dampier led a naval expedition to Australia, he took a water spaniel with him and exercised by swimming daily six times around the vessel with the spaniel alongside him.


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