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The World according to Hulk

Turnspit Dogs

August 2nd 2011 11:19 am
[ Leave A Comment | 1 person already has ]

I would like to bark about Turnspit Dogs: Happily, Dogs don't have to do that kind of work any more. Prior to and possibly into the early 1800s, Dogs were used to turn a spit on which was skewered meat to be roasted over an open fire. The spit was turned via a wheel, inside of which a dog had to run---something like a hamster wheel. The meat would have to cook for several hours, during which time the poor dog wasn't allowed to stop even long enough to catch his breath, lest the meat burn. Sometimes, as in restaurants or inns where large portions of meat were roasted, there would be two dogs who would work on alternate days.

The dogs' "pay" would be a bite of the meat after it was done. I am happy that I don't share those dogs' fate! What a boring and tiresome job that would be!

Dad and I read about this in the book: "Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities" from Cornell University Press.

Another job that dogs used to be given was to collect money for charities. Dogs were fitted with a harness on which was fitted a lock box with a coin slot. They would carry signs indicating what charity they were collecting for. The dogs would walk around wherever people congregated and beg for contributions. I wouldn't mind having that job.

All in all, it is a very interesting book.


Leave A Comment | 1 person already has

Barked by: Wesley (Dogster Member)

January 26th 2012 at 6:59 am

Thanks for sharing. Dad must really check out that book!

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