My new book, The Columbus Dog Show Fire, is now available in both paperback and e-book formats. It represents a year’s worth of research into the worst tragedy that ever occurred at a dog show. Amazingly, the story was almost lost to time but when I read about it, I was moved to make sure that didn’t happen. I worked my tail off researching this book and I am so happy to share it with you. I believe it will interest anyone who loves dogs.
Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
The annual show put on by the Ohio Poultry, Pigeon, Kennel and Pet Stock Association was set to open its third and final day on Thursday, January 12, 1888. The site, the 14th Regiment Armory in Columbus, held roughly 300 dogs, 2500 birds and other animals, very nearly all that were entered in the show. Among them were the best Irish terrier ever exhibited in the U. S. at the time, the finest living St. Bernard in the country, numerous show champions, field trial winners and several dogs imported from overseas.
The head of the night watchmen on duty entered the dog show area of the building around 5:00 am and found one of the St. Bernards running loose. He fastened the dog back to his stall and went downstairs to tend the coal furnace fires used to heat the building. Upon returning, he found the same dog loose again. As the night watchman was securing the dog to the bench for the second time, he noticed a picture in flames. He attempted to extinguish the fire but quickly saw it was impossible so ran to get help.
As the watchmen and attendants joined in the effort to put out the fire, it rapidly burned out of control. The decorations adorning the walls and ceiling spread the flames everywhere, including to the crates of ammunition stored in the armory. Bullets began flying and the watchmen abandoned their battle against the flames, turning to the dogs in a frantic attempt to save at least some of them. But the dogs were leaping wildly in the air and the men feared being bitten. The few dogs they were able to unchain before being forced to flee themselves shrank back into their stalls with fear. As owners began arriving for the day’s show, they were met with the horrifying sounds of their dogs being burned to death. No one could enter the structure and expect to survive. Within minutes, all was lost – though even this overwhelming tragedy held at least one miracle.
The book is about so much more than how the dogs died – it’s about how they lived. They went to dogs shows and field trials, they had puppies, some sailed across the Atlantic and all were loved by their people. Their lives deserve to be celebrated and that was my motivation in telling this story. Follow them, and their people, on their journey through life and remember them as the vibrant individuals they were.
Buy the Kindle version of the book on Amazon.
If you prefer paperbacks, and the beloved smell of books, buy it on Amazon:
If you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon. It’s very helpful and appreciated.
Finally, if you want to read the book but are unable to afford to buy it, just send me an email and I’ll send you the PDF. Absolutely no explanation of your financial situation is needed. I got you.