One-hundred years ago, companion dogs were among the victims and survivors of the Titanic.

With the passing of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s voyage, a new focus has been put on the other passengers of the historic ship: pet dogs. While stories of dogs on the Titanic have been largely unheard until now, it is reported that at least twelve were brought on board, three of which survived the ship’s sinking. All of the surviving dogs were small enough to be brought alongside their owners in lifeboats, one of which was reportedly wrapped in a blanket to remain hidden from possible objectors.

The dogs’ presence on board, and the consequent survival of some further suggests the importance of including companion dogs in human endeavors, and the powerful relationship between pets and people that compelled owners to include their dog when exiting the ship.

The focus on the Titanic’s canine passengers is being highlighted in a new historical exhibit. The curator, J. Joseph Edgette, described his interest in the exhibit’s unique focus when stating, “There is such a special bond between people and their pets,” and, “I don’t think any Titanic exhibit has examined that relationship and recognized those loyal family pets that also lost their lives on the cruise.”

[Prepared in part from an report and a post by Widener University].