In 344 BC a horse named Bucephalus was offered to King Philip of Macedonia for purchase. After dismissing the horse as unmanageable and impossible to tame, his ten-year-old son Alexander (who would later become Alexander the Great) offered to pay for it if he failed to tame it. According to Plutarch, Alexander spoke soothingly to the horse and turned it away from its shadow, and so tamed the horse. The horse accompanied Alexander into many battles. It died at the Battle of the Hydaspes between the ages of 28 and 30, a long life even by today’s standards. After its death, Alexander founded a city, Bucephela in the horse’s name
The Ancient Egyptian city of Bubastis is built as a city of worship for the feline goddess Bastet. Large parts of the city are dedicated to tombs for cats. In 1888, an Egyptian farmer accidentally discovered a large tomb hosting tens of thousands of mummified cats.
William Randolph Hearst was an avid lover of dachshunds. He had as many as 70 of them in kennels at his castle in San Simeon. When his own dachshund Helena died, he eulogized her in his “In the News” column.
During the 1500’s, Englishman created a breed of dogs to do household work, specifically to turn meat on a spit. These Turnspit Dogs ran in a wheel, powering a rotisserie loaded with slow roasting meat and which spun over an open flame. Now extinct, a few stuffed, preserved specimens remain.