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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A fox terrier named August had been moping for months in his kennel at the Spokane Humane Society barns.

Was it because he missed “the gay life of the stage”?

Possibly. For years, August had been a member of a German 30-canine touring theater act, “Dog Town,” in which every role was played by a dog. August, who was trained to walk on his hind legs, played a policeman.

However, during the Spokane run, a local veterinarian inspected the dogs and took three dogs, including August, out of the show. He treated August for an almost complete paralysis of his legs, probably from walking upright.

August recovered use of his legs, but his spirits languished in the kennel. He moped, refused to play with other dogs and cowered whenever spoken to.

One day, dog-catcher Joe Rudersdorf had a brainstorm. He took August out for a walk and talked to him in German. August “perked up wonderfully” and clearly understood the German commands. Apparently, August missed his native tongue and had been hopelessly confused when his keepers talked to him in English.

August was now in the “pink of condition,” and Rudersdorf was seeking a German-speaking owner for him.

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