Pet lovers rejoice!
At a session of the Mormon History Association Conference on June 2, scholar Alexander L. Baugh from BYU presented sources that tell more about Joseph’s dog, including documents recently discovered in Iowa.
R. Scott Lloyd from the Deseret News was there to share a summary (READ IT HERE) . . .
“Old Major was a large, white, English mastiff. There is evidence old Major was given to Joseph Smith by Samuel Baker while en route to Missouri with Zions Camp in June 1834. Mastiffs are characteristically loyal, courageous and protective. And it appears that old Major served to protect Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith was permitted to have Old Major with him in Liberty Jail. The dog did not remain with him during the entire incarceration.
“At some point the dog was probably taken back to Far West, possibly by Emma during her last visit to the jail on Jan. 21, 1839, and the fact that the Liberty prisoners made an attempt to escape the jail on Feb. 7 suggests that Old Major was no longer there. While in Liberty Jail, Joseph clearly missed Old Major as evidenced by the fact that Joseph inquired about him in his March 21 and April 4 letters to Emma. Old Major was still alive by the time Joseph was murdered and would have been about 10 years old if he was a young dog at the time he got him in 1834.”