CLOSE
Original image

5 Not-So-Famous Firsts, Doggy Style

Original image

1. The First Leader Dogs

The first modern attempt at training dogs to help the visually impaired occurred just after World War I in Germany. Many soldiers were returning from the Front blinded from the effects of poison gas. That's when Dr. Gerhard Stalling got the idea to train German Shepherds to assist the country's visually impaired veterans. His successful results inspired the founding of a specialized training school for guide dogs  in Potsdam, where an average of 12 fully-trained dogs graduated each month and were then matched with blind people from all walks of life (not just military veterans). The concept spread stateside when Dorothy Harrison Eustis, an American living in Switzerland, wrote an article for the Saturday Evening Post. Upon hearing of the article, Morris Frank, a young blind man living in Tennessee, wrote to Mrs. Eustis and asked for help in obtaining a dog. Soon after, he traveled to Switzerland and trained with Buddy, a German Shepherd, who became the first American Guide Dog when the duo returned to the States.

2. The First Royal Corgi

Queen Elizabeth II owns the world's most pampered pack of Welsh corgis. Her Majesty personally scoops the royal dog chow into sterling silver dishes for her favorite pets and when recently shopping for a new car turned down a sporty Jaguar in favor of a Daimler Super Eight limousine so that her pups had room to stretch out. The four corgis currently residing at Buckingham Palace are all descendants of Susan, the dog that was given to then-Princess Elizabeth by her father, King George VI, in 1944 as an 18th birthday present. The Queen is also credited with introducing a new hybrid to dogdom, the dorgi, after one of her corgis had an illicit affair with Princess Margaret's dachshund, Pipkin. Her Majesty now has four dorgis in her inner circle of favored pets as well.

3. First Postage Pup

The first animal to be pictured on a postage stamp anywhere in the world was a Newfoundland. The half-cent stamp was issued in 1887 by the government of Newfoundland, which was not yet a province of Canada. The Newf also has the honor of being the first dog to be pictured on a postage stamp alongside a reigning monarch. The hardy, sturdy, hard-working Newfoundland was truly a service dog in its native land; during harsh winters, the dogs could pull carts loaded with Royal Mail over treacherous terrain inaccessible to horses or motor vehicles. In acknowledgement of their service, King George VI commissioned a postage stamp in 1937 on which he shared face space with the gentle giant.

4. First Top Dog

The Westminster Dog show is older than the American Kennel Club, the governing body that determines the standards for each breed today. (Actually, since the first Westminster show was held in 1877, it is also older than the electric light bulb, the Brooklyn Bridge and the ballpoint pen.) Since there was no established set of breed standards at the time, the first Westminster show was not limited to purebreds. And there were no "Champion Chin-Up White Tie for Dinner"-type names on the roster; most of the entrants had refreshingly simple names like Duke and Nellie. Westminster introduced the coveted Best in Show prize in 1907. The winner that year was a smooth fox terrier named Warren Remedy. The Blue Ribbon bitch (I mean that in the doggie sense) went on to win Best in Show in the next two Westminster shows, making her the only three-time winner in the history of the competition.

5. First Matinee Idol

Rin Tin Tin owes his career to Etzel von Oeringen, who, despite the impressive-sounding name, was not a human of royal lineage but a fellow German Shepherd. Etzel was born in Germany in 1917 and was the offspring of an undefeated champion work, police, and attack dog sire. Etzel earned many dog show championships in Europe before he was sold to an American kennel owner at the age of three. His impressive size and regal carriage caught the attention of Hollywood animal trainer/film director Larry Trimble, who hired the pooch after he demonstrated extraordinary agility (despite his size) as well as the ability to follow commands. Etzel was re-christened "Strongheart" and ultimately starred in five films during the 1920s. Strongheart became so popular that he was photographed dining on steak at New York's finest restaurants and also had a brand of dog food (still available today) named after him.

Original image
Little Baby's Ice Cream
arrow
Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
Original image
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

Original image
Warby Parker
arrow
Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
Original image
Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

SECTIONS

More from mental floss studios