That Maltese You Love? Shock Dog

One of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries is also home to two very different, but exceptional breeds. The Pharaoh Hound, of course, is one, but the other is the Maltese which likely descended from “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta.” Some historians believe that Maltese were first known as the “beautiful dogs named Canis Melitei” (Melitei being an ancient name for Malta), but in eighteenth-century Britain, the Maltese was known as the “shock dog” for its “shock” of long hair.

Image: “Shock Dog” made of Carrara marble by Anne Seymour Damer (1748–1828) celebrated as Britain’s first woman sculptor. At her death, Damer asked to be buried with her sculptor’s tools and the bones of her favorite dog.


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