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Bob and doctor Alling

Gustaf Alling was born in Halmstad in 1878 as the youngest of eight siblings.

His father was a shipbuilder and the family lived in poor conditions. Gustaf had a good head for studying and got the possibility to study medicine in Lund.
Eighteen years old he took berth on the steamship “Falken” during the summer. As a student in Lund, he continued to go to sea on summer holidays. As an established doctor in Höganäs he bought in 1924 a private schooner, the cargo ship “Nabben”, which he owned for five years.
Perhaps his innermost dreams dealed with the seven seas? About adventures in the wilderness? In all his life Dr. Alling loved the sea and he took every chance to go on board a ship to see more of the world and its inhabitants.
Experiences of the oddities in flora and fauna attracted him, as well as foreign culture. “I stroll around so pretty in the jungle” he writes to a good friend from the rainforest in Angola around 1930.

Also in his capacity as a doctor Gustaf Alling made study trips to Germany, England, USA and South America. He was very interested in health conditions and how they were organized in mines and ports in other countries.

In his adulthood Gustaf Alling worked as a ship doctor to finance his many and long journeys around the world. As a pensioner he traveled around the world twice. One of his goals was to travel “In the footsteps of Marco Polo.” In the magazine “Around the World”, he became a prolific writer.

Bob was born wild in 1927 and would have lived a normal cougar life in Argentina unless doctor Alling from Höganas had crossed her path one day. On a hunt together with an indigenous man they shot a female cougar and soon found her four-month-old cub. Doctor Alling brought it home to Höganäs. Sailing back across the Atlantic little Bob broke her leg. After having dressed the cougar’s wounds, the doctor and Bob became friends for life.

Doctor Alling loved living close to nature and animals. In his home, the family had many pets. The first Bob was a domestic cat brought home from a field trip in New York. They had several dogs, a parrot, turtles, peacocks, monkeys and chickens gathered together in the large enclosed garden.

“There’s only one wild animal in nature and it is man … Bob is a wonderful friend and playmate, a trusting, loving and pleasant chap who never caused me any concern … He understands everything you say to him …” Dr. Alling 1938 told a newspaper reporter.

Bob, who actually was female, walked freely in the house. Each morning she was served a few kilos of raw meat. Sometimes she ran away, and the residents of Höganäs paniced. In 1941, Bob died after having eaten an overshoe and was stuffed at the Museum of Natural History in Stockholm.

Down here you'll find our exhibition of local potters, 20th century pottery and contemporary ceramic art.

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