When we think of Titanic we tend to concentrate on people but to our suprise on the ship there was also a lot of animals! A less well known statistic is that of the twelve dogs known to have been on board, only 3 survived. Sadly, the one French Bulldog passenger went down with the ship. Most of the dogs belonged to wealthy Americans travelling in first class, since the fare for a dog was the equivalent of a person taveling. One of those owners was Robert Daniel, a 27 year old banker, who was bringing back with him a brindle French bulldog named Gamin de Pycombe. Gamin was born in January 1910 and was just two years old when he died. His breeder was Gwendoline Romilly of what would later be the “Taplow” kennel.
He was sired by CH Charlemagne of Amersham, a French import to Britain who became Britain’s first pied champion Frenchie, and who later was the first Frenchie to be a champion in both the UK and the
USA.Mr.Daniel had bought the dog in England for a very high price of £150
(about £11,000 or $17,000 in today’s prices).
Stories told later by survivors indicated that Mr. Daniel’s Frenchie was staying in his
cabin, rather than in the well-appointed kennel on board. When the ship was going
down, it was reported that someone released the kenneled dogs, though this was of
little help to them except for the three small dogs who were secretly taken aboard
lifeboats by their owners.
Another passenger, Edith Russell, later said that Gamin de Pycombe was in his
master’s cabin, which was near hers. She recalled hearing him whimpering as
she walked along the hall on her way to the upper deck after the ship had hit the iceberg. She said she went in to calm him and put him to bed. In an interview in 1966 she said: “The dog was scared so I petted him and laid him down in his bed. He was very obedient and sat there and looked at me sweetly as I closed the door. I did not know then that we were in any great danger or else I would have taken him with me.” Another surviving passenger later reported having seen a French Bulldog swimming in the ocean, so apparently someone did let Gamin de Pycombe out of his owner’s cabin.
Frenchies and the Titanic