Milo

Milo was a Newfoundland/St Bernard mix who moved to Egg Rock Lighthouse with the first keeper, George B Taylor, and his family in 1855. In foggy weather Milo served as a kind of fog signal, barking at vessels as they approached Egg Rock. Taylor claimed his dog was as useful as the light.

The Taylor family with Milo on Egg Rock

Often he swam the mile wide channel back to Nahant to visit and carouse with the mainland dogs. On one occasion keeper Taylor saw Milo dive into the sea after a duck and swim out of sight. When Milo didn't return by sundown the family feared he had drowned. The next afternoon, a weary Milo was seen swimming toward Egg Rock. The ecstatic children launched a boat when they saw Milo, rowed out to meet him and nearly capsized when they pulled the giant dog into the boat.

Milo achieved international fame and admiration when he rescued one of the Taylor children from drowning. After word of Milo's heroic act spread across the Atlantic Ocean, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer painted Milo’s portrait depicting a small child nestled between the noble animal's enormous paws.

Many know Sir Edwin Henry Landseer as the sculptor of the four magnificent bronze lions in Trafalgar Square, London. However, he was also Britain's foremost animal painter - Queen Victoria selected him to paint her pets over the years. So popular and influential were Landseer's paintings of dogs that the name "Landseer" came to be the official name for a variety of Newfoundland dog. It was this variety that Landseer popularised in his paintings celebrating Newfoundlands as water rescue dogs, most notably Milo in "Saved" (1856).

 

December 13, 1922