Lascaux Cave: 4 Boys & A Dog

robot the dog found the lascaux cave

In September 1940, four boys and a dog set out on an adventure in Dordogne. The boys – Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel and Simon Coencas – where intrigued by an old legend about a tunnel running under the Vezere River linking the old Castel of Montignac to the Manor of Lascaux. According to the legend, this tunnel would lead to a second tunnel and a treasure hidden deep in the woods of Montignac.

As they walked through the woods the little dog, Robot, ran ahead toward a deep depression in the ground covered with overgrowth and began sniffing the sunken hole. The depression had originally been created by an uprooted tree. The boys hurried to catch up with Robot. When they saw the deep hole, they immediately thought it might lead them to the legendary tunnel and the hidden treasure.

They enlarged the opening by removing a few stones around the edges with their penknives. Once big enough they all climbed down into the hole and once inside used their oil lantern to look around. Marsal remembers this first encounter describing what they saw as a “cavalcade of animals larger than life painted on the walls and ceiling of the cave; each animal seemed to be moving.” The ceiling was pure white, covered with calcite. And the paintings were brilliantly multicolored in reds, blacks, browns and ochres.

Lascaux_painting dog found

The discovery was sensational and once substantiated by the highest authority. News spread throughout France, Europe and the world. The cave of Lascaux became known as the Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art. 

The cave was located on private property owned by the Count of LaRochefoucault whose family began the commercial exploitation of the cave. By 1948 daily tours brought as many as one thousand people a day through Lascaux. It was not long before the impact of so many visitors was felt.


The opening of the Lascaux cave after World War II changed the cave environment. The breathing of 1,200 visitors per day, presence of lighting and changes in air circulation have created a number of problems. In the late 1950s appearance of lichens and crystals on the walls led to closure of the caves in 1963. This led to restriction of access to the real caves to a few visitors every week and the creation of a replica cave for visitors to Lascaux.

In 2001, the authorities in charge of Lascaux changed the air conditioning system which resulted in regulation of the temperature and humidity. When the system had been established, an infestation of a white mold, began spreading rapidly across the cave ceiling and walls. The mold is considered to have been present in the cave soil and exposed by the working of tradesmen, leading to the spread of the fungus which was treated with quicklime. Since 2007, a new fungus, which has created grey and black blemishes, has begun spreading in the real cave.

A Dog’s Prayer

dog-prayer ark animal centre love animals care rescue

Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps falls upon my waiting ear.

When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest–and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands. 

By Beth Norman Harris

Easy to make dog treats!

dog treat handmade ark animal centre

Mix together:
2 cups of plain flour with
2 cups of whole wheat flour and
1 cup of rolled oats.
Add one cup of rice milk powder
Add two tablespoons of beef or chicken stock powder
Add one teaspoon of yeast

When you add the water add it cup by cup until you get a kneadable dough. Knead it well and then roll out on a floured surface until about 1 cm thick.

Cut out your shapes depending on the size of your dog’s mouth. Choose round cutters rather than ones that have sharp edges as when baked hard these edges can hurt your pooches mouth.

Bake them at 180 deg Celsius for about 20 minutes then turn down the oven to it’s lowest until they are dry.

When cooled store in an airtight container. Let your pet enjoy!

A guide to understanding vaccinations for your dog


Vaccinations are one of the most important preventive measures you can take for the health of your dog. Vaccinations help protect your dog from viral and bacterial diseases. At sometime in its life, your dog may be exposed to a serious or even fatal infectious disease. Without proper vaccination, it is left unprotected.

Whether your dog spends more time indoors than outdoors, he may be at risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Fortunately for your dog, vaccination to prevent many of these diseases is available through your veterinarian. Vaccinating your dog is the best and least costly way of preventing infectious disease. Prevention helps assure the best quality of life for your dog and is much less costly than treating your dog for a serious illness that could have been prevented.


The number and frequency of vaccinations your dog needs can be determined during a routine examination by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian takes several factors into consideration when making the decision, such as your dog’s lifestyle, lifestage and risk of exposure.

A general rule is puppies are to be vaccinated 3 times. First vaccination is between 4 -6 weeks of age, and thereafter another 2, one month apart.  Rabies vaccine is administered at 3 months of age. Thereafter, all dogs should be vaccinated yearly.

Adult rescue dogs are vaccinated twice, this is normally sufficient to prevent your dog contracting any diseases.


Severe reactions to vaccinations are very uncommon. Your dog is at a higher risk of contracting an infectious disease than of experiencing side effects from a vaccination.


ark animal centre food drive feb 2012 food shortage poster

We Need Your HELP Please!

We have 75 dogs in total. In the last 2 weeks we have rescued over 30 dogs and puppies and have 18 new born puppies needing puppy milk and puppy pellets. This is the most dogs we have ever had – and will need to stock up on food ASAP! Please could you spare even R10 for our beloved animals. ♥ EVERY BIT HELPS!

Our banking details are: Ark Animal Centre FNB Cheque Acc: 62335841301 Branch: Broadacres Code: 204809

Our Address is: 122 Summit Road, Midrand.

Fourway’s Drop off point address is: 55 Trust Avenue, (Cnr Granite road) Lonehill.


Miss Olive Wigglesworth’s 1st Birthday Party

Well this is a first for Ark! Miss Olive Wigglesworth has asked if she could host her 1st Birthday Celebration at Ark Animal Centre! Everyone is welcome to attend, bring your babies on Saturday, 11 February 2012 for a day of fun with some of the less fortunate rescued puppies in this world 🙂 What a lovely idea! ♥ ♥ ♥

ark animal centre rescue donate charity doggy birthday party

Miss Olive's Birthday Invite


Cesars Way Mag Launch, 3rd March 2012

Join ARK ANIMAL CENTRE at our stand on the 3rd March 2012 for the launch of  Cesar’s Way Magazine!


A day of fun filled activities for the whole family including the following:

– A Pack walk led by Whackhead Simpson starting at 9:30am
– A doggie fashion show
– Dog demonstrations
– Competitions and prizes
– Fun stuff for the kids and a guest appearance by Buddy the Boxer

AND loads more to keep you and your pack entertained!


Date: 3 March 2012

Time:  9am till 4pm at Walkhaven Dog Park, Muldersdrift Click here for directions!

Price: Day Pass Entry R25.00, Children under 18 Entry R15.00, Pack walk Entry R50.00

Please note pre-registration by the 29th of February 2012 to join the Pack walk 

ark animal centre logo rescue work charity welfare donate

Look forward to seeing you there!!

Ark Staff and Animals