Let Slip The Sled Dogs of War

Shackleton's Shakespeare
Who’s a good boy?

Learn something new every day.  Perhaps you’ve heard of Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer?  Fine.  But did you know that one of his lead sled dogs was named Shakespeare? I don’t know why I would have known that, but I’m happy that I learned it.  Like a moon of Uranus, just something to bust out during games of trivia.

They had 69 dogs apparently, but for some reason the linked page only lists names for 66 of them.  I’m not exactly sure who was in charge of naming them. Shakespeare’s the only name from literature, except perhaps Hercules and maybe Mercury. Everything else is stuff like “Surly” or “Rufus” or “Fluff.”

Unfortunately the story does not end well for Shakespeare and the King’s Dogs.  They were running out of food and it was taking more to feed the dogs than to feed the men, so the necessary decision was made to put many of the dogs – including Shakespeare’s team – down, that the explorers wouldn’t starve.


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