This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Dogs in the old west

Just because you don't see dogs very often in movie westerns doesn't mean they weren't there. It just means that it's difficult to gets dogs to cooperate on a movie set. You need a well-trained dog, and a handler, or they will be, well, just dogs.

This photo is of my grandfather Lorenzo Scinto from 1915 with a dog. Kodak cameras were becoming popular then, and photos like this didn't need to be taken in a studio. And out in the old west, in this case Michigan, there were a lot of dogs.

Dogs worked on farms, which is where most people lived in the old west. Dogs wandered around towns, sometimes causing problems. Just like today, dogs know who should be there and who shouldn't. If you have ever seen the bad guys sneaking up on the lonely ranch in a movie, consider the fact that they couldn't have gotten anywhere close without the dogs barking their heads off.

So, the next time you see a western movie, use your imagination - and add dogs!
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