n. a lighthouse
n. the act of biting
n. salutation on meeting
In 1900, a collie on Wood Island in Saco Bay, Maine, gained international fame for ringing the lighthouse’s fog bell to greet passing ships. “When ‘Sailor,’ for that is what he is called, sees a vessel passing the lighthouse he runs to the bell, and with a quick, sharp bark seizes the short rope between his teeth and rings several times,” wrote a correspondent to the Strand.
“As the years have passed ‘Sailor’ has kept on ringing salutes to passing vessels and steamers,” observed the Boston Herald. “Indeed, he feels hurt if not permitted to give the customary salute to passing craft, while skippers whose course takes them often past Wood Island are accustomed to see ‘Sailor’ tugging viciously at the bell rope. They reply with a will on their ship’s bell or horn, and in case of steamers a hearty triple blast is sent back to the watcher of Wood Island, who gives a new meaning to the good old sea term of ‘dog watch.'”