While in Europe visiting with Lafayette, Thomas Jefferson collected French sheepdogs or chiens de plaine. He bred them and gave them to friend as gifts.
The TV show Empty Nest featured a dog called Dreyfuss, a 110-pound St. Bernard/golden retriever cross. The dog’s real name was Bear. His mother, Molly, appeared in the film Steel Magnolias, and his father, Boomer, was in the TV show Father Murphy and the film Summer Rental.
Taiwan dogs are Kyrgyz cousins of the Afghan hound.
The word “terrier” comes from the Middle French chien terrier or “dog of the earth.” The dogs were originally bred to kill vermin. By the Victorian era, they were the dog of choice in the United Kingdom, and in the late 1800s, George Thomas imported hundreds of wire fox terriers to the United States.
Nationwide Insurance is the largest pet insurer in the United States with more than 550,000 covered animals.
Mr. Smarty Pants (by R.U. Steinberg) read the above information in a book, magazine, newspaper, or website; heard it on the radio; saw it on television; or overheard it at a party. Got any facts? Email them to Mr. Smarty Pants for possible inclusion in the column at MrPants@AustinChronicle.com.