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Turnspit Dogs

Observe the scene above depicting the inside of an inn at Newcastle, Wales, in the late 19th century. Men and women are sitting around the tables gossiping over drinks and smoke, waiting for the meat to get done. A woman is sitting by the fire tending the rotisserie, but the actual work is being done by a small dog furiously running inside a small hamster wheel hanging from the ceiling. He is the turnspit dog—a short-legged, long-bodied dog breed with a heavy head and drooping ears. Famed zoologist Carl Linnaeus named them Canis vertigus, Latin for "dizzy dog," because the dogs were turning all the time.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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