When the internet throws unsolicited information at me, I do my best to ignore it. Yesterday I failed to duck at the right moment and Wikipedia suggested to me a “featured article” I found irresistible. It featured the earliest reference to a named dog—Abuwtiyuw—who died more than four thousand years ago and was buried in Giza in accordance with the wishes of the unknown pharaoh he guarded.
He was almost certainly a Tesem (“hunting dog”), an ancient breed resembling modern greyhounds. (Curiously, a 2004 DNA study found greyhounds are more closely related to herding breeds.)
We contemporary dog lovers understand how a pharaoh could love one of his canine companions enough to have him mummified and buried in an elaborate ceremony. In the image above, our border collie mix is juxtaposed to a hieroglyph tesem. If you’re interested in the subject, you might enjoy one of my February blogs entitled “Pets in Heaven.”
C.S. Lewis was also a dog lover. Pastor Bruce Johnson wrote a delightful article about eight of his dogs, entitled “All My Dogs Before Me.” You can read the brief but thorough article here.
Johnson walks us from Jacksie (who provided Lewis with his “adopted” name of Jack) to the friendly Ricky who was ever “anxious to be friendly.” In between, the author’s family included Tim, Pat, Mr. Papworth, Troddles, Bruce and Susie. Lewis spoke fondly of all of them, with the exception of Bruce, who possessed a predilection for barking through the night and was terribly spoiled by Mrs. Moore.
I also recommend a fine post about one of Lewis’ dogs which appeared on A Pilgrim in Narnia. It’s entitled “The Society of Tim.” The author of the blog is Brenton Dickieson, a Canadian professor and Lewisian scholar.