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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

Here's to the Dogs (and a few cats)

I love looking at old photos. My definition of "old" is "before my own lifetime" because I am definitely not old. I think that's also my personal cut-off because that's about the time that color photography became more affordable and therefore more prevalent. So the black-and-white or sepia tone underscores that something is before me and therefore old. And if it's an "old," non-color photo, I want to see it.

I want to look through photos of a trip to Yellowstone in 1952. The trip to the state fair in 1960, a picnic on the river in 1932, men threshing oats in 1925, a women hanging laundry in 1940: it all interests me. But if there is one subject matter that trumps them all, it's a photo of a pet.

Seeing a sweet little cat or dog from long ago evokes thoughts of my own pets over the years. It also reminds me that our ancestors had everyday lives--chores and routines--that punctuated the days between the censuses and major life events that are normally the anchors on the timeline of one's life.

In honor of the pets who have enlivened families for ages, here are some of our favorites:

Man on a bicycle with a dog
Great-grandfather Kimber Smith and Mitzi

Dogs on 1924 automobile
Don't miss the second dog in this photo. The car is from 1924.

Farm boy with dog

girl with kittens
Kittens - July 1930

Baby with dog
A boy and his dog, 1948

Dog in a car

And finally:

We know the dog's name, but not the kids' names. He must have been a nice Jiggsy indeed.


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