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The Day of the Dogs And Queen Victoria's Childhood Joy

Queen Victoria’s Dogs

Queen Victoria described her childhood as “melancholy,” but one of her greatest joys as a child, and throughout her life, was derived from her pets. Dogs were by far her favorite friends.
In our post, “Did Cranky Queen Victory Bring Joy Into Your Home?” you can see a clipping from a newspaper article published in The Toronto Daily Mail on Nov. 3, 1894. The author says that the Queen “loves every species of dog, from the largest St. Bernard to the tiny King Charles spaniel, which can be put into a coat pocket. “
Queen Victoria kept 55 dogs in her kennel which was paved with red and blue tiles. The compartments were warmed with hot water. All of the dogs were acquainted with the Queen, who visited them often while she was at the castle.

The following story was taken from a comment posted by John. C. Heglin in response to the post on Queen Victoria and her dogs. It seems that Mr. Heglin found solace from the companionship of  animals as a child, as did Queen Victoria.  We welcome your comments!
Victorian Secrets From Footnotes In History
Day of the Dogs
by John Heglin
This is a true story that has stayed vividly in my mind till this day. When I was a young person between the ages of 4 and 12, I lived on a rural acre in the San Fernando Valley on a dirt road in Northridge, California.
I believe the layout of the property may have had something to do with the day of the dogs. But of course, the landscaping alone can’t explain this one time phenomenon.

The acre was fenced. The back, or north, portion was an orange grove with more than 75 orange trees. The house was in the center of the property with scores of various fruit trees on the west side and front part of the property including some large landscaping trees.
The long driveway along the east side was lined from the gate to the back of the house with a boxwood hedge about 2 feet tall on either side. It is this feature to which I attribute some connection to the dog activity as once someone or some animal entered the gate, it was conducted directly to the hub of home activity.

This on many occasions led many animals into my life from monkeys to Brahma bulls to even a black panther on one occasion that had escaped from a circus that visited the fairgrounds at the end of our block.

I had been born an unwanted child. And I grew up with cycles of abuse and neglect. Such that leads to a type of loneliness and longing that few who have experienced it can understand.
Perhaps these feelings were particularly acute on this day, but for reasons I could not explain then or now, I was visited by a succession of dogs. It was a summer day when I was 8, so I was home the whole day and the dogs would come all day long.

Sometimes one dog, sometimes two dogs, sometimes even three at a time. They came in all breeds. From Basset Hounds to German Shepherds, from Chihuahuas to large dogs whose breed I could not identify, the dogs would come and in friendly fashion greet me. They would sit down and stay with me for a short time, very politely, like a visiting aunt.

They did not come for food, although some of them partook of the water I had available for them, once I realized this was a day of visitations. They seemed merely to come for the sole purpose of making a social call on me. And they would politely bid me adieu and head back down the long driveway.
In all 28 dogs visited me that day! Almost all of them never to be seen by me again.
I always had an affinity for animals and as is common in the very young, felt an innate ability to communicate with them on their level. This all made for a delightfully (and abnormally for me) pleasant day.
As the twilight fell and the last of my canine visitors departed, I felt satisfied that this had been a good day. There has never been one like it before or since.
Racing Nellie Bly 
Victorian Secrets From Footnotes In History

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