A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH TOY SPANIEL

Historians continue to debate many facts about the Titanic, but it does appear that three dogs survived the shocking tragedy. Evidence recorded in the confusion following the disaster indicates that two Pomeranians and certainly one Pekingese survived. Some historians assert that a Newfoundland was rescued from the frigid water. Miss Margaret Hays, aged 24 of New York, traveling with friends, was rescued with her Pomeranian from lifeboat # 7. Mrs. Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild, aged 54 was rescued from lifeboat #6 with her Pomeranian. Her husband Martin Rothschild went down with the ship. Incidentally, also rescued from lifeboat #6 was Mrs. James Joseph ["Unsinkable Molly"] Brown of Denver, Colorado. There is no argument whatsoever that a Pekingese named Sun Yat Sen, acquired in Paris, embarking from Cherbourg and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sleeper Harper, of Harper & Brothers Publishing [Harper's Weekly, Harper's Bazaar, etc.], survived the sinking of the Titanic, carried without objection onto lifeboat #3 by his owners.

There is a believable legend that John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest passenger on the Titanic, had acted humanely by releasing the dogs left behind and caged in the ship's kennels so that they might not helplessly drown while being trapped. Mrs. Madeleine Astor, aged 18 and expecting a child, escaped in lifeboat #4. Her husband, aged 47, and their Airedale Terrier, Kitty, perished at sea. The Astors were returning from an extended honeymoon tour. Madeleine Astor would never speak of the disaster except to say that her last memory of the tragic sinking was looking back and seeing Kitty, pacing on the deck.
There is another interesting connection with the breed and the Titanic. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel L. Goldenberg were first class passengers and were very successful breeders of English Toy Spaniels and French Bulldogs, their kennel name being "Nellcote". Mrs. {Nella} Goldenberg was active in the Toy Spaniel Club of America and had served as Club Secretary. In February of 1904, a tri-color Toy Spaniel bitch they had imported from England, Ch. Darnall Kitty [by Victor Wild x Darnall May; breeder: H. Taylor; whelped Oct. 18, 1897] was Best Tri-Color at the Westminster Kennel Club show under Judge Mr. Raper, also winning the “Ashton Cup”, which was presented by Mrs. A. M. Raymond-Mallock, for Best Toy Spaniel Exhibited by a Member of the Ladies' Kennel Association. [We will discuss Mrs. Raymond-Mallock in greater detail later in this essay]. Darnall Kitty enjoyed an amazing show career, winning over three hundred first and special prizes, and was reportedly undefeated at shows in Britain and in the U.S.

Originally from Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York, the Goldenbergs lived in Paris and were traveling to New York for the French Bulldog Club of America show in New York, held April 20th, 1912, where incredibly, Mr. Goldenberg kept a commitment to judge only 5 days after the sinking of the Titanic. The Goldenbergs were rescued in lifeboat #5.
THE TOY SPANIEL CLUB OF AMERICA
Returning to the history of the English Toy Spaniel, safely on American shores, we find that originally its fanciers were members of high society, concentrated along the eastern seaboard around Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. A New York Times article printed January 28, 1911 states that the Toy Spaniel Club of America had been incorporated in 1907. Another article from The New York Times, November 27, 1913, states that the Toy Spaniel Club of America was holding its eleventh annual show, so the club must have been organized to some extent by 1903, the year of its first annual show. Meetings and shows were held at New York's elegant Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and each of the four color varieties competed separately for trophy cups. Early fanciers were frequently mentioned in society columns as well as show reports, which commented as much about the fashionable attire of the ladies as the characteristics of their winning show dogs! The names of gentlemen also appear as exhibitors and early club members. Entries were numerous enough, and kennel advertisements with photos of beribboned toy spaniels appear boastful enough to suggest an air of keen competition from the earliest decades.
The opening paragraphs from the Nov. 27, 1913 New York Times article provide a descriptive account of the 11th annual club show: