1903: Mastiff dog Mac sensation of flower day parade in Macon, Mo.
In 1904 Mary Alby Anderson Matthews would find herself in the national spotlight.
Her dog, Mac, a 150-pound English mastiff, pulled a float in the flower day parade at Macon, a picture of which was featured in the Cleveland Leader on Jan. 17, 1904:
“Mac never forgets either his friends of his enemies. He always remembers a trick of any kind when once it is taught him. He brings in wood, carries baskets and packages, and speaks for a favor. In the picture Mac is drawing Miss Jessie Gollett, whose white costume with the red decorations for the wagon and harness, made a very beautiful effect. The turnout was considered one of the handsomest and most unique in the entire parade.
“Mac has drawn as many as a dozen children at one time. Although so large a dog, he is fond of romping, and in this connection one of his chief characteristics is his consideration for the size of the child with which he is playing. A stout boy he will give as rough a tussle as he desires, but when with a baby or small child he seems to realize their helplessness and will always protect them from danger. Mrs. Matthews values this dog very highly, and has refused large sums of money for him.”
Photo accessed from a digital edition of the Cleveland Leader, Jan. 17, 1904.