"Guess," The Iron Dog of Frederick, Maryland

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
The term “dogs of war” is a well-known figure of speech. But how about a war dog that was literally only a figure? In Frederick, Maryland, is “Guess”—a life-size greyhound statue—that nearly went to war for the Confederates.

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Guess, from Pinterest

For some years before the Civil War, Guess guarded the front door at the home of Frederick ophthalmologist Dr. John Tyler. Dr. Tyler, who died in 1841, was long gone by the time Confederate troops passed through the city, but Guess had remained there on his late master’s porch. The soldiers confiscated the statue, planning to melt it down to make bullets or cannonballs. But their heavy loot soon became burdensome, and they abandoned the statue at Antietam. Guess was eventually returned to Frederick, where you can still see him at the door of 108 W. Church Street today.

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Google image of 108 W. Church St., Frederick, Maryland

Another notable iron dog in nearby Gettysburg was nearly identical to Guess. That dog lay at the grave site of Gettysburg’s founder, James Gettys, in the town’s Evergreen Cemetery. Two privately-owned historical photographs of the cemetery that appear in the book "Beyond the Gatehouse," by cemetery caretaker Brian Kennell, show the white figure to have been the approximate size and lying in the same pose as Guess. Unfortunately, Gettys’s dog was stolen in 1974 and has never been recovered. I hope that perhaps the burden of conscience may one day lead to that dog’s return.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Location
Central Pennsylvania
Lasted into 1974? I hope more than conscience afflicts the jerk who took him- hope they're well and truly haunted. You hear stories about tourists who took home a rock from Gettysburg and mailed them back saying they hadn't had a day of good luck since taking it. I'd like to think Getty's dog is bugging someone to bring him back, too.
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Location
Gettysburg area
Lasted into 1974? I hope more than conscience afflicts the jerk who took him- hope they're well and truly haunted. You hear stories about tourists who took home a rock from Gettysburg and mailed them back saying they hadn't had a day of good luck since taking it. I'd like to think Getty's dog is bugging someone to bring him back, too.

That and the old saying, "Three people can't keep a secret" may one day prompt someone to return him. Considering how heavy the statue must be, I'd like to think that it took three or more people to steal him. Maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I think the more people who were involved, the greater the chance that someone will want to do the right thing.
 
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