Dogs were very much a part of the California gold rush. While it is easy to see how dogs would be brought along by hopeful miners traveling west on horseback or by prairie schooner, dogs were also brought on board the ships that were sailing from the eastern seaboard to San Francisco via Cape Horn. This route took five to eight months, a very long time for both people and dogs to be at sea.
Here are two first-person accounts of separate shipboard trips, both of which happened to include Newfoundland dogs:
Rover to the Gold Rush
Fanny Foley, the daughter of the medical officer on board the ship, The Wildfire, wrote a book about her experiences. In Romance of the Ocean: A Narrative of the Voyage of the Wildfire to California (1850), Foley wrote of her observations of Captain Black’s dog, Rover: Continue reading