Turnspit Dogs

Drugs, Everyday Life, Food

Have you ever heard of Turnspit dogs? 🐶 If not, don’t worry, it might be because this breed used to be so common that people actually didn’t give it any second thought. 😔 Now extinct, these small creatures were described as “long-bodied, crooked-legged and ugly dogs, with a suspicious, unhappy look about them.” They were bred in order to run on a wheel (called a ‘turnspit) which in turn spun a cooking spit. 🔥

While it is said the dogs enjoyed running, their job was very taxing and dangerous due to the closeness of the fire. 😱 Because of that, at least two dogs would work in a kitchen, taking shifts on the wheel as needed. Some dogs could find “employment” elsewhere, for example in a progressive pharmacy, where the turnspit could be used as a giant, canine-powered pestle and mortar. 💊

Several lucky Turnspit dogs spent their last years as Queen Victoria’s pets. 🐕

“Whiskey’ is the last surviving specimen of a turnspit dog, albeit stuffed. “

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