Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 15,000 Web Pages in Archive
Volume 7442

Dogs in the Life and Fiction of 
Edgar Rice Burroughs 
Part 2: ERB's Canine Characters
by Alan Hanson 

Dogs in the Life and Fiction of ERB
Part 2: ERB's Canine Characters
by Alan Hanson

In his fiction, Edgar Rice Burroughs created literally hundreds of dogs of many breeds, both wild and domestic. However, he only gave names to nine of those dogs, each of which played a role in the story in which it appeared. Some of those roles were small, such as those played by Tige and Za, well others were major characters, like Woola and Raja. Below are profiles of ERB’s nine named canine characters, in the order in which the author created them.

Owner/Caretaker – John Carter

A Princess of Mars -The Warlord of Mars

Technically, Woola was neither by appearance nor species a “dog,” as we know it on Earth. On Mars, Woola was a “calot,” which John Carter likened to a “watch dog” during their first encounter in A Princess of Mars. Woola certainly didn’t look like a dog. “The thing was about the size of a Shetland pony,” Carter noted. “Its head bore a slight resemblance to that of a frog, except that the jaws were equipped with three rows of long, sharp tusks.” Carter first saw Woola when the calot “waddled” into a room on its ten short legs and sat down “like an obedient puppy” by the Green Martian female Sola.

When John Carter tried to escape the Tharks, he realized that Woola had been tasked with keeping him from leaving the ancient city ruins. During his escape attempt, the earthman learned about some of the amazing abilities of these Martian dogs.

I had thought his short legs a bar to swiftness, but had he been coursing with greyhounds the latter would have appeared as though asleep on a door mat. As I was to learn, this is the fleetest animal on Mars, and owing to its intelligence, loyalty, and ferocity is used in hunting, in war, and as the protector of the Martian man.”

Originally, Carter could not bring himself to call such a “hideous creature” as Woola a dog, but after the beast nearly died saving him from a great white ape, the earthman and the calot developed a relationship parallel to a man and his dog on Earth. The injured creature “lay grasping upon the floor of the chamber, his great eyes fastened upon me in what seemed a pitiful appeal for protection. I would not withstand that look, nor could I have deserted my rescuer without giving as good an account of myself in his behalf as he had in mine.” After Carter stopped a green Martian from killing the injured Woola, the earthman received all the “love,” “gratitude,” and “compassion” the beast had to offer.

I had never petted nor fondled him, but now I sat upon the ground and putting my arms around his heavy neck I stroked and coaxed him, talking in my newly acquired Martian tongue as I would have to my hound at home, as I would have talked to any other friend among the lower animals. His response to my manifestation of affection was remarkable to a degree; he stretched his great mouth to its full width, baring the entire expanse of his upper rows of tusks and wrinkling his snout until his great eyes were almost hidden by the folds of flesh. If you have ever seen a collie smile you have some idea of Woola’s facial distortion. He threw himself upon his back and fairly wallowed at my feet; jumped up and sprang upon me, rolling me upon the ground by his great weight; then wriggling and squirming around me like a playful puppy presenting its back for the petting it craves.”

Carter noted, “There was no further question of authority between us; Woola was my devoted slave from that moment hence; and I his only and undisputed master.” Indeed, from that day, John Carter’s “Martian hound” never voluntarily left his side during the first 10 years he spent on Barsoom, as recorded in A Princess of Mars.

John Carter was never reunited with Woola during his exploits recounted in The Gods of Mars. However, the Martian hound accompanied Carter to the Valley Dor in the opening pages of The Warlord of Mars. As the two searched for Dejah Thoris in the waterways under the valley cliffs, Burroughs revealed John Carter could communicate his thoughts to Woola. “I let him know partially by the weird and uncanny telepathy of Barsoom and partly by word of mouth that we were upon the trail of those who had recently occupied the boat through which we had just passed. A soft purr, like that of a great cat, indicated that Woola understood.”

Woola was at John Carter’s side throughout The Warlord of Mars. Like a bloodhound, he guided his master through the mazes beneath the Valley Dor and its Golden Cliffs to the edges of the Otz Mountains. From the Kaolian Road to Barsoom’s frozen north, Woola, “true to the instincts and training of a Martian war-dog,” fought savagely at John Carter’s side. At the battle at Okar, Carter referred to Woola as a “huge Martian war-hound.

Woola last appeared in The Warlord of Mars at the heels of his master and Dejah Thoris as they walked in “the gorgeous garden of the jeddaks that graces the inner courtyard of the palace of Kadabra.

Owner/Caretaker – Mr. and Mrs. Shorter

The Mucker

Tige was the first fictional Earth dog with a name created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. A mongrel hound-dog, Tige lived on a farm owned by the Shorters near Shawnee, Kansas, a short drive south of Kansas City. One morning in early 1916, Billy Burne approached the farmhouse and purchased some food from Mrs. Shorter. Her husband was not at home at the time. After Billy and his travelling companion, Bridge, had finished their breakfast nearby, they heard a gunshot and a woman scream from the direction of the Shorter farmhouse.

Earlier, two tramps had come to the farmhouse and asked to use the telephone. When she had first seen them coming, Mrs. Shorter grabbed a shotgun and called Tige, who had been sleeping in the kitchen, to come to her side. The tramps finally convinced the woman to let them in the house to use the phone, but she kept Tige by her side just in case. When it appeared the two men weren’t a threat to his master’s wife, Tige wandered back into the kitchen.

When the tramps discovered the Shorters had over a thousand dollars in cash hidden in a Bible, one grabbed the woman while the other gathered up the money. The commotion roused the dog.

At the first cry of the woman, the dog rose, growling and bounded into the room. The tramp leaning against the wall saw the brute coming, bristling and savage. The shotgun stood almost within the man’s reach — a step and it was in his hands. As though sensing the fellow’s intentions the dog wheeled from the tramp upon the floor, toward whom he had leaped, and sprang for the other ragged scoundrel. The muzzle of the gun met him halfway. There was a deafening roar. The dog collapsed to the floor, his chest torn out.”

Billy Burne arrived just in time to save Mrs. Shorter from being killed by the tramps, but Tige was dead where he hit the floor. The dog’s name was not revealed until much later in the story, when it came up in a conversation in Mexico between Billy and the Shorters’ son, Eddie. Tige was the only one among the nine named dogs in ERB’s fiction that died during the story in which he appeared.

Owner/Caretaker – Tarzan

The Eternal Lover

Lord Greystoke must have been a great lover of dogs, as evidenced by the number of them that lived on his African estate. When Tarzan brought Meriem out of the wild to live with him and Jane in The Son of Tarzan, the Greystoke dogs were the first to receive her. As Tarzan and Meriem approached the bungalow, “a dozen dogs ran barking toward them — gaunt wolf hounds, a huge great Dane, a nimble-footed collie and a number of yapping, quarrelsome fox terriers.”

At first their appearance was savage and unfriendly in the extreme; but once they recognized the foremost black warriors, and the white men behind him their attitude underwent a remarkable change. The collie and the fox terriers became frantic and delirious with joy, and while the wolf hounds and the great Dane were not a whit less delighted at the return of their master their greetings were of a more dignified nature. Each in turn sniffed at Meriem who displayed not the slightest fear of any of them.”

The wolf hounds were still wary of Meriem, but her soft touch upon their heads and her gentle voice soon brought canine smiles to these fiercest of Tarzan dogs. “It was as though in some subtle way the girl had breathed a message of kindred savagery to their savage ears. With her slim fingers grasping the collar of a wolf hound upon either side of her, Meriem walked on toward the bungalow.

One of the wolf hounds at Meriem’s side that day may have been Terkoz, although his name is not specifically mentioned in The Son of Tarzan. If Terkoz was there to greet Meriem that day, he would have been one of Tarzan’s senior dogs. Nearly 14 years of narrative time had passed since Terkoz, then already a mature wolfhound at the height of his physical powers, had played a key role in events recorded in The Eternal Lover.

In the fall of 1916, Barney Custer and his sister Victoria came to visit the Greystokes at their African estate. Frightened by the tremors of an earthquake, Victoria swooned, regaining consciousness three minutes later. All that is known of Tarzan’s wolfhound, Terkoz, revolves around his appearance in a dream that Victoria Custer experienced during those three minutes. We know that Terkoz was real, however, because Victoria mentioned his name after she recovered from her swoon. Clearly, Burroughs intended that the reader infer that Terkoz’s image and actions in the girl’s dream reflected those of the real life wolfhound she had come to know during her time at the Greystoke estate before the earthquake.

Victoria’s dream started with Terkoz, “one of Lord Greystoke’s great wolfhounds,” standing at her side. “He had taken a great fancy to Victoria Custer from the first,” Burroughs noted, “and whenever permitted to do so remained close beside her.” Like Meriem many years later, Victoria must have won Terkoz’s affection with her gentle touch and voice. Clearly, Terkoz was a fierce dog when aroused. Barney Custer observed that Terkoz was “as savage as a lion when aroused, and almost as formidable.” Brown, apparently an employee at the ranch, warned one of the Greystoke guests to keep away from the wolfhound.

He always has had a strange way with him in his likes and dislikes, and he’s a might ugly customer to deal with when he’s crossed. He’s killed one man already — a big Wamboli spearman who was stalking Greystoke up in the north country last fall.

When (in her dream) Victoria decided to search for Nu, the primeval man of her dreams, she took Terkoz along as her tracker and protector. After letting the dog smell Nu’s blood in the bushes near the bungalow, she followed Terkoz’s lead toward the mountains across the plain. The dog led her through the night, halting, “bristling and growling,” before the entrance to a cave, where Victoria found the injured Nu. “With difficulty she kept the growling wolfhound from his throat. Terkoz had found the prey that he had tracked, and he could not understand why he should not now be allowed to make the kill; but he was a well-trained beast, and at last at the girl’s command he took up a position at the cave’s mouth on guard.

The next day (still in Victoria’s dream), Terkoz tried to protect the girl when a half dozen Arabs cornered her. When the dog leapt at the nearest Arab, a clubbed rifle came down on Terkoz’s skull, leaving the wolfhound “a silent heap” on the ground. Later, after the Arabs had made off with Victoria, a rescue party led by Barney Custer found the “half-dead” Terkoz. Believing them the key to finding Victoria, Barney had both Terkoz and the still unconscious Nu taken back to Lord Greystoke’s home.

A few weeks later, after both dog and troglodyte recovered, they joined forces to search for Victoria. “The man depended almost solely upon the upon the tell-tale evidences which his eyes could apprehend, leaving the scent-spoor to the beast, for thus it had been his custom to hunt with the savage wolfish progenitors of Terkoz a hundred thousand years before.” Together they found and rescued Victoria.

However, Terkoz had a savage task to complete before Victoria’s dream ended. William Curtiss, another Greystoke guest, had asked Victoria to marry him. When Curtiss came upon the scene just after Nu and Terkoz had rescued Victoria, he aimed his gun at Nu. Moments later, Victoria’s brother discovered what happened next. 

Barney Custer broke through the tangled wall of verdure upon a sight that took his breath away — the stretched dead body of William Curtiss, his breast and throat torn by savage fangs. Across the clearing a great wolfhound halted in its retreat at the sound of Barney’s approach. It bared its bloody fangs in an ominous growl of warning, and then turned and disappeared into the jungle.

After waking from her swoon, Victoria Custer spoke to her brother of Curtiss. “I could never love him now. I cannot tell you why, but it may be that what I have lived through in those three minutes revealed more then the dim and distant past. Terkoz has never liked him, you know.

Owner/Caretaker – David Innes


Raja made his first appearance in Pellucidar in a pack of “twenty huge wolf-dogs,” who were about to attack David Innes. After his return to Pellucidar sometime in mid-1913, David’s travels and adventures consumed an undetermined, but obviously lengthy, amount of time before his first encounter with Raja. Awaking from sleep, David noticed the wolf-dog pack a hundred yards away preparing to attack.

David had seen such beasts before. In Pellucidar they were called jaloks. Abner Perry called them hyaenodons, the extinct creatures of the outer world that “hunted in savage packs the great elk across the snows of southern France, in the days when the mastodon roamed at will over the broad continent.”

Fleeing in the direction of a cliff edge falling off to the sea below, David was overtaken by the swiftest dog. “He leaped and closed his massive jaws upon my shoulder,” David recalled. “The momentum of his flying body, added to that of my own, carried the two of us over the cliff. It was a hideous fall. The cliff was almost perpendicular. At its foot broke the sea against a solid wall of rock. We struck the cliff-face once in our descent and then plunged into the salt sea. With the impact with the water the hyaenodon released his hold upon my shoulder.

David was able to swim to a narrow beach, but the wolf-dog suffered a broken leg in the fall and would have drowned had David not rescued it. “The look of dumb misery in his eyes struck a chord in my breast, for I love dogs,” David explained. “I forgot that he was a vicious, primordial wolf-thing — a man-eater, a scourge, and a terror. I saw only the sad eyes that looked like the eyes of Raja, my dead collie of the outer world.” David swam out and pulled the dog to shore, where he set the dog’s leg, bound it in splints, and bandaged it with torn remnants from his own shirt. “Then I sat stroking the savage head and talking to the beast in the man-dog talk with which you are familiar, if you ever owned and loved a dog.”

When the hyaenodon was able to move around on three feet, David was a bit unsure that his mercy had been a wise choice. However, the wounded dog soon showed its gratitude when four men attacked David while the man and the beast slept on the shore. The unseen dog awoke and hurled itself like a “mass of demonical rage” upon the attackers. He broke the neck of one with a “single-shake, terrier like” and crushed the skull of another with a bite of its “fearsome” jaws. The battle cemented the tie between the man and the wolf-dog.

The hyaenodon walked around me a few times, and then lay down at my side, his body touching mine. I laid my hand upon his head. He did not move. Slowly I scratched about his ears and neck and down beneath the fierce jaws. The only sign he gave was to raise his chin a trifle that I might better caress him. That was enough! From that moment I have never again felt suspicion of Raja, as I immediately named him. Somehow all sense of loneliness vanished, too — I had a dog!

In later adventures, David and Raja walked side by side through Pellucidar’s lonesome landscape, enjoying each other’s company. The man was concerned, though, about Raja’s reaction when they encountered other men. When they came upon a solitary man, who fled as they approached, David saw it as a perfect opportunity to test the dog’s loyalty to him. He grabbed Raja by the neck to keep him from pursuing the man.

One of us must be master, and logically I was the one. He growled at me. I cuffed him sharply across the nose. He looked at me for a moment in surprised bewilderment, and then he growled again. I made another feint at him, expecting that it would bring him to my throat; but instead he winced and crouched down. Raja was subdued! I stooped and patted him. Then I took a piece of rope that constituted a part of my equipment and made a leash for him. Thus we resumed our journey.

When David felt the need for sleep, he did so with a sense of security provided by Raja at his side. Eventually, though, he awoke to see Raja’s eyes fixed on him. The dog them immediately arose and ran into the jungle nearby. Although disappointed by Raja’s departure, David realized that the hound was bound to leave him sooner or later.

Owner/Caretaker – David Innes


As time in Pellucidar can only be measured in pages, 66 of them later in Pellucidar, David came upon two large jaloks — a male and a female. When he noticed the remnants of a rope about the neck of the male, he walked toward them.

As I did so the female crouched with bared fangs. The male, however, leaped forward to meet me, not in deadly charge, but with every expression of delight and joy, which the poor animal could exhibit. It was Raja … There was no doubt that he was glad to see me. I now think that his seeming desertion of me had been but due to a desire to search out his ferocious mate and bring her, too, to live with me.

At first, David had difficulty making friends with the female. Raja helped by “growling savagely” at her when she bared her fangs at David. As the trio walked along, the female trailed behind David and Raja. “After a while she closed upon us,” David noticed, “until she ran quite close to me and at Raja’s side. It was not long before she seemed as easy in my company as did her lord and master.

With Raja leading the way, the trio tracked down the Thurian man who held Dian captive. After the two wolf-hounds attacked and killed the Thurian, David had a difficult time making the two jaloks understand that Dian was not to be harmed.

I had an arm about Dian now. As Raja came close I caught him by the neck and pulled him up to me. There I stroked him and talked to him, bidding Dian do the same, until I think he pretty well understood that if I was his friend, so was Dian. For a long time he was inclined to be shy of her, often baring his teeth at her approach, and it was a much longer time before the female made friends with us. But by careful kindness by never eating without sharing our meat with them, and by feeding them from our hands, we finally won the confidence of both animals.

David named the female Ranee. He explained to Dian that “Raja” was a title for a ruler on the outer Earth, and as “Ranee” was the feminine form of that title, it was a natural name for the jalok’s mate. 

Eventually, the two humans and their two wolf-dogs came upon and boarded the Amoz, a ship manned by Mezops aligned with David’s inner earth empire. During a ceremony aboard the ship, Raja and Ranee made their final appearances in the Pellucidar saga.

Raja and Ranee had stood beside Dian and me. Their bellies had been well filled, but still they had difficulty in permitting so much edible humanity to pass unchallenged. It was a good education for them though, and never after did they find it difficult to associate with the human race without arousing their appetites.

Owner/Caretaker – Bowen Tyler/Tom Billings

The Land That Time Forgot

His full name was “Crown Prince Nobbler,” but Bowen Tyler just called his Airedale “Nobs.” The dog made his first appearance asleep at the feet of his master on the deck of a ship headed for France, when a torpedo from a German submarine altered forever the domestic life of the man and his dog. Both abandoned ship and climbed into a lifeboat. When Bowen pulled a woman, Lys La Rue, out of the water to the safety of the lifeboat, the seemingly gentle nature of the dog was revealed.

Nobs had come over and nosed his muzzle into her lap, and she stroked his ugly face, and at last she leaned over and put her cheek against his forehead. I have always admired Nobs; but this was the first time it had ever occurred to me that I might wish to be Nobs. I wondered how he would take it, for he is as unused to women as I. But he took to it as a duck takes to water. What I lack of being a ladies’ man Nobs certainly makes up for as a ladies’ dog. The old scalawag just closed his eyes and put on one of the softest “sugar-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth” expressions you ever saw and stood there taking it and asking for more.

Nobs had a fiercely violent side to his nature, however, and it was first put on display when Bowen and the crewmen of an English tug tried to take control of a German submarine. As Bowen fought with a German sailor on the sub’s deck, Nobs’ great jaws ripped open the German’s throat. 

The Airedale shared Bowen and Lys’ adventures aboard the commandeered sub until it made its way through a subterranean passage into Caspak. When sea creatures swarmed the sub’s deck, Tyler thought that the barking Nobs must have felt fear “for the first time since his littlest puppyhood.” Later the crew killed one of the monsters, providing them with fresh meat for the first time in weeks. Nobs was at the table for his share.

Nobs sat between the girl and me and was fed with morsels of the Plesiosaurus steak, at the risk of forever contaminating his manners. He looked at me sheepishly all the time, for he knew that no well-bred dog should eat at table; but the poor fellow was so wasted from improper food that I couldn’t enjoy my own meal had he been denied an immediate share in it; and anyway Lys wanted to feed him.

Nobs adapted to Caspak’s dangerous environment while accompanying his master on hunting expeditions. He learned to eat raw meat and to be wary of attacking powerful creatures they encountered. Eventually, Bowen tasked Nobs with protecting Lys. When she fled to avoid capture by a native man, Nobs protected her for a time. Then one day, he just disappeared.

Nobs would not appear again until almost a year later, when Tom Billings entered Caspak in search of his friend, Bowen Tyler, and Lys La Rue. When he entered a native village, Billings felt a dog sniffing at his feet.

Of a sudden a great brute leaped upon my back. As I turned to thrust it aside before its fangs found a hold upon me, I beheld a huge Airedale leaping frantically about me. The grinning jaws, the half-closed eyes, the back-laid ears spoke to me louder than might the words of man that here was no savage enemy but a joyous friend, and then I recognized him, and fell to one knee and put my arms about his neck while he whined and cried with joy. It was Nobs, dear old Nobs, Bowen Tyler’s Nobs, who had loved me next to his master.”

The native owner of the dog spoke up. “He is unlike any dog in Caspak, being kind and docile and yet a killer when aroused. I would not part with him.” When Nobs would have followed Billings, the native grabbed the dog by the scruff of the neck. Nobs would have killed the man had not Billings called him to heel. “For just an instant he hesitated,” Billings noted, “standing there trembling and with bared fangs, glaring at his foe; but he was well trained and had been out with me quite as much as he had with Bowen — in fact, I had had most to do with his early training; then he walked slowly and very stiff-legged to his place behind me.” Nobs followed Billings to his village hut, where they were attacked.

As the six men leaped upon me, an angry growl burst from behind them. I had forgotten Nobs. Like a demon of hate he sprang among those Kro-lu fighting-men, tearing, rending, ripping with his long tusks and his mighty jaws. They had me down in an instant, and it goes without saying that the six of them could have kept there had it not been for Nobs; but while I was struggling to throw them off, Nobs was springing first upon one and then upon another of them until they were so put to it to preserve their hides and their lives from him that they could give me only a small part of their attention.

After they escaped the village, Nobs protected the man as they made their way northward through Caspak’s perilous terrain. “He always was on the alert for dangerous foes, invariably warning me by low growls of the approach of a large carnivorous animal long before I could 
either see or hear it, and then when the thing appeared, he would run snapping at its heels, drawing the charge away from me until I found safety in some tree; yet never did the wily Nobs take an unnecessary chance of a mauling. He would dart in and away so quickly that not even the lightning like movements of the great cats could reach him.”

Billings’ search for Bowen Tyler eventually brought him to a line of cliffs reaching 200 feet high and stretching out of sight both to the east and the west without a visible break. “Nobs,” he asked, “how the devil are we going to cross those cliffs?” He didn’t expect an answer, of course, but he got one.

I do not say that he understood me, even though I realize that an Airedale is a mighty intelligent dog; but I do swear that he seemed to understand me, for he wheeled about, barking joyously, and trotted off toward the west; and when I didn’t follow him, he ran back to me, barking furiously, and at last taking hold of the calf of my leg in an effort to pull me along in the direction he wished me to go. Now, as my legs were naked and Nobs’ jaws are much more powerful than he realizes, I gave in and followed him.

After Nobs located a pass through the cliffs, the man and the dog continued their search northward. As they traveled, the two hunted together. When Billings’ arrow lodged in a red deer, Nobs chased down the stricken animal. The next day, the two came upon a herd of “magnificent” horses. The man saw an opportunity for faster and more comfortable travel, but was uncertain about how to capture one of the horses.

How I wished for the collies from the ranch! At a word they would have circled this little bunch and driven it straight down to me; and then it flashed into my mind that Nobs had run with those collies all one summer, that he had gone down to the pasture with them after the cows every evening and done his part in driving them back to the milking-barn, and had done it intelligently; but Nobs had never done the thing alone, and it had been a year since he had done it at all. However, the chances were more in favor of my foozling the long throw than that Nobs would fall down in his part if I gave him the chance.

Pointing the animals out to Nobs I whispered: ‘Fetch ‘em, boy!’ In an instant he was gone, circling wide toward the rear of the quarry. They caught sight of him almost immediately and broke into a trot away from him; but when they saw that he was apparently giving them a wide berth they stopped again, though they stood watching him, with high-held heads and quivering nostrils. It was a beautiful sight. And then Nobs turned in behind them and trotted slowly back toward me. He did not bark, nor come rushing down upon them, and when he had come closer to them, he proceeded at a walk. The splendid creatures seemed more curious than fearful, making no effort to escape until Nobs was quite close to them.

Intelligent enough to know he couldn’t drive the entire herd back toward the man, Nobs selected out a stallion and through a long and tiring process, finally directed it back toward Billings, who was able to rope the horse. “Rearing and struggling, he fought for his liberty, while Nobs, panting and with lolling tongue, came and threw himself down near me. He seemed to know that his work was done and that he had earned his rest.” After taming the stallion, Billings named him Ace. “I think he soon learned to love me,” the man noted, “and I know that I loved him; while he and Nobs were the best of pals.

Eventually they found Bowen Tyler, who was reunited with his dog. “The reunion between Bowen and Nobs was marked by a frantic display upon Nobs’ part, which almost stripped Bowen of the scanty attire that the Galu custom had vouchsafed him.” In their last scene in Caspak, Bowen and Nobs marched southward toward a rendezvous with the Toreador, the ship that brought Tom Billings to the island and would take Tyler and his Airedale back to civilization.

Owner/Caretaker – Tarzan

Tarzan and the Golden Lion

During Tarzan, Jane, and their son’s long journey home from Pal-ul-don in the opening pages of Tarzan and the Golden Lion, they came upon and adopted an orphaned lion cub that Tarzan named Jad-bal-ja. That same day, the Greystokes entered a village of friendly natives. As Tarzan palavered with the chief, his eyes “alighted upon a large bitch among the numerous curs that overran the huts and the street. Her udder was swollen with milk and the sight of it suggested a plan to Tarzan.

He offered to buy the dog, but the chief demurred. “She is yours, Bwana, without payment,” he replied. “She whelped two days since and last night her pups were all stolen from her nest, doubtless by a great snake; but if you will accept them I will give you instead as many young and fatter dogs as you wish, for I am sure that this one would prove poor eating.” 

Tarzan explained he did not wish to eat the dog but rather intended to have her provide milk for the lion cub he had adopted. The dog was caught and dragged to Tarzan by a thong around its neck. At first the strange scent of the white man caused the dog to “snarl and snap at its new master.” The ape-man’s strange influence over animals soon calmed the dog. “At length he won the animal’s confidence so that it lay quietly beside him while he stroked its head.” Getting the lion and the dog to accept each other, though, was a much more difficult process, as each was terrified by the scent of the other.

It required patience — infinite patience—but at last the thing was an accomplished fact and the cur bitch suckled the son of Numa. Hunger had succeeded in overcoming the natural suspicion of the lion, while the firm yet kindly attitude of the ape-man had won the confidence of the canine, which had been accustomed through life to more of cuffs and kicks than kindness.

The next morning, the Greystokes continued their homeward journey with the dog trotting beside them on a leash. “The bitch they called Za, meaning girl,” Burroughs noted. “The second day they removed her leash and she followed them willingly through the jungle, nor ever after did she seek to leave them, nor was happy unless she was near one of them.

When they arrived home, “the golden lion and his foster mother occupied a corner of the ape-man’s bedroom.” That was the final mention of Za in the Tarzan stories. When he was weaned off of the dog’s milk, Jad-bal-ja was moved to a cage behind the bungalow, while Za probably joined the menagerie of dogs that were allowed to live and run free on the Greystoke estate.

Owner/Caretaker – The Vulture
The Moon Maid
In the 25th century, the clans of Julian the 20th were desert people. For a hundred years, the Americans had lived in the arid country, gazing down on the fertile land to the west which remained the last stronghold of the enemy they had driven across the continent after the invaders had conquered the Earth 400 years earlier. As the Americans readied themselves for the final assault on the invaders’ descendants, an overview revealed that dogs played an important role in their social and military life. They first appeared when Julian 20th led some of his warriors in an spirited ride into their own camp.

Presently, in a wild charge, whooping and brandishing our spears, we charged down among the tents. Dogs, children, and slaves scampered for safety, the dogs barking, the children and the slaves yelling and laughing. As we swung ourselves from our mounts before our tents, slaves rushed out to seize our bridle reins, the dogs leaped, growling, upon us in exuberant welcome.
Later, while Julian and his mother and two sisters lay talking in their tent, “two or three of our great shaggy hounds came in and sprawled among us.” These large hounds were “bred to protect our flocks from coyote and wolf, hellhound and lion,” Julian explained, “and quite capable of doing it, too.

Each of the Americans’ 50 clans had its own hounds to protect its herds from attack. When in camp, the hounds futilely chased rabbits or fought among themselves, but when on the march they worked with “tireless efficiency and a minimum of wasted effort.” Fully 2,000 of them were in base camp when all the clans gathered together for the coming march against the Kalkars. The hound-chief of each clan had a pack leader of his hounds. Usually the pack leader was an experienced hound owned by the hound-chief. The pack leader was trained to direct the hounds in his pack with little guidance from the hound-chief.

The Vulture was the hound-chief of Julian’s clan and “old Lonay” was his pack-leader. When the clan was on the move, The Vulture deployed half of his 50 hounds at intervals around the herds of cattle and sheep, while Lonay led the other 25 at the end of the column. When there was an attack on the herd, a high-pitched yelp from one of the sentry hounds brought Lonay and his reserve pack to the point of attack. During a massive assault, Lonay’s leadership was critical.

Sometimes there will be a sudden rush of coyotes, wolves and hellhounds simultaneously from two or three points, and then the discipline and intelligence of old Lonay and his pack merit the affection and regard in which we hold these great, shaggy beasts. Whirling rapidly two or three times, Lonay emits a series of deep-throated growls and barks, and instantly the pack splits into two or three or more units, each of which races to a different point of trouble. If at any point they are outnumbered and the safety of the herd imperiled, they set up a great wailing which is the signal that they need the help of warriors, a signal that never goes unheeded. In similar cases, or in the hunt, the hounds of other packs will come to the rescue, and all will work together harmoniously.”

Owner/Caretaker – O-aa
Savage Pellucidar
In the last part of his last Pellucidar book, Edgar Rice Burroughs created his last named dog. Like Raja and Ranee in the author’s second Pellucidar book years before, Rahna was a jalok, a fierce wolfdog of the inner world. In Savage Pellucidar, Burroughs provided a detailed description of a jalok.

The jalok is a big, shaggy hyaenodon, with a body as large as a leopard’s but with longer legs. Jaloks usually hunt in packs, and not even the largest and fiercest of animals is safe from attack. They are without fear, and they are always hungry … Sometimes jaloks were tamed, but they were never domesticated.”

Young O-aa, the daughter of a primitive king, was alone on an island when she came face-to-face with a jalok. She expected it to charge, but instead it lay down and lowered its head on its front legs and watched her. When O-aa decided to try walking away, the jalok followed her a half-mile down toward the sea. Finally, O-aa decided to turn and have it out with the beast. She drew her knife, only to see the jalok move toward her, wagging his tail. “That has meant the same thing in the dog family from the Cretaceous age to the present day,” Burroughs observed, “on the outer crust or in the Inner World at the earth’s core.” 

O-aa sheathed her knife and waited. The jalok came close and looked up into her face, and O-aa placed a hand upon its head and scratched it behind an ear. The great beast licked her hand, and when O-aa started down toward the sea again, it walked at her side, brushing against her. Not since she had lost Hodon had O-aa felt so safe. She tangled her fingers in the shaggy collar that ringed the jalok’s neck, as though she would never let him go again … now she had both a friend and a protector.

Down on the shore, O-aa found a canoe left by the wolf dog’s former master. “The jalok lay at her feet. She ruffled his shaggy mane with a sandaled foot, and he looked up at her and bared his fangs in a canine grin—terrible fangs set in mighty jaws that could tear her to pieces in a moment … she dropped to her knees and put both arms around his shaggy collar and hugged him. Doubtless, this was something new in the jalok’s life; but he seemed to understand and like it, for he bared his fangs in a grin and licked the girl’s face.”

After the jalok killed a deer and helped O-aa drag it to the canoe, she realized that the dog was a well trained hunting animal that had worked with and for his dead master.” After the girl and the jalok sailed to the mainland, O-aa decided to give the beast a name. “Rahna,” she finally said. “That is a good name for you, Rahna.” (“Killer”)

Rahna remained at O-aa’s side, protecting her from men and other beasts who would have done her harm until the girl was reunited with her mate, Ho-don the Fleet One. The hyaenodon accompanied them to a rendezvous with David Innes, and then on a nearly 2,500-mile march across the face of Pellucidar to their home in Sari.

—the end—

From Our ERBzine ARCHIVE
and Online Bibliography: C.H.A.S.E.R.
A Collector's Hypertexted and Annotated Storehouse of Encyclopedic Resources
A Princess of Mars
The Gods of Mars
The Warlord of Mars
The Son of Tarzan
The Eternal Lover
The Land That Time Forgot
Tarzan and the Golden Lion
The Moon Maid
Savage Pellucidar

. .
Click for full size images

Guide to the Alan Hanson Appearances in ERBzine

Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2021 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.