by Kathy Dannel Vitcak 2 min read

The Pekingese from the Imperial Palace To Buckingham Palace

Pekingese are one of those dog breeds that people are either smitten with or...not. Personally, I adore them and can't believe I haven't had a Peke share our home...but I'm not done living yet, either.

Pekes look like someone ready to guffaw out loud and like they have a secret that is a wee bit naughty. My favorite part of watching The Garen aka Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show every February is to enjoy the crowd's reaction as the Peke struts/waddles/rolls around the ring. The saying, "The crowd went wild," was made for the Pekingese in the spotlight.

Celebrity Sighting - Betty White, Shirley Temple Black, Joan Rivers, Elizabeth Taylor and Jennifer Gray are a few of the celebrities who've succumbed to the Pekingese dog's charms

The Pekingese Always In Favor Amongst Royalty

The Pekingese was supposedly bred to have short, bowed legs to keep them from wandering away from the courts and palaces where they lived a life of guarded luxury.

British troops entered the imperial palace after invading Peking during the Opium War in 1860 and found five Pekingese dogs guarding the body of their mistress. rather than be taken prisoner, she committed suicide.

The five Pekingese were taken to England where two were presented to the Duchess of Wellington, two to the Duke and Duchess of Richmond and Gordon, and one to Queen Victoria,. They were claimed as spoils of war and Queen Victoria named hers “Looty.”

This opened the doors to the Pekingese becoming as admired in the West as they had been in the East. Every single Pekingese in the western world is descended from those five dogs.

pekingese marmoset lion

 

One more Pekingese Factoid…

According to Chinese legend, a lion once fell in love with a marmoset, a little monkey. The lion begged Buddha to make him smaller, but keep his heart of a lion and courage, so he could woo the marmoset. Buddha agreed and the offspring of the “Honey, I Shrunk the Lion” and marmoset were the Pekingese or the dogs of Fu Lin, the lion dogs of China.

While probably not exactly a true story which could be proven scientifically with facts and data, DNA evidence does show the Peke to be a very old breed. For over 2000 years the Pekingese has been around in much the same size and look as they are today.



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