The history of Clarus the dogcow: The dogcow (actually it was just a dog at this point) first appeared in the font called Cario which was part of the original verson of the Macintosh Operating System. It was drawn by Susan Kare who, among other things, also drew the trash can and the watch pictures used in the original OS.

About the time that the Cairo font was being phased out and after Ms. Kare had left for NeXT the Apple team needed a picture for their Page Setup dialog box that would illustrate how the page was going to be oriented when it was printed. The dog from the Cairo font fit the bill. It was blown up and put in the dialog. However, the dog didn't survive the translation well. As a matter of fact, a debate arose as to whether the picture in the dialog was a dog or a cow. Eventually, to settle the matter, it was branded (no pun intended) a dogcow.

At least that's one version of the story. As is true with much of Apple lore, there's more than one way the story gets told.
dodgy = D = dogfood

dogcow /dog'kow/ n.

See Moof. The dogcow is a semi-legendary creature that lurks in the depths of the Macintosh Technical Notes Hypercard stack V3.1. The full story of the dogcow is told in technical note #31 (the particular dogcow illustrated is properly named `Clarus'). Option-shift-click will cause it to emit a characteristic `Moof!' or `!fooM' sound. Getting to tech note 31 is the hard part; to discover how to do that, one must needs examine the stack script with a hackerly eye. Clue: rot13 is involved. A dogcow also appears if you choose `Page Setup...' with a LaserWriter selected and click on the `Options' button. It also lurks in other Mac printer drivers, notably those for the now-discontinued Style Writers. See

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

The Dogcow is a now-infamous creature created by Apple's Developer Technical Support engineers. These creatures, as the name implies, are part dog and part cow, a genetic hybrid of the two. The dogcow's characteristic sound is the "Moof!" (or the "!fooM"). The particular dogcow you will see the most in Apple software and websites has a name - Clarus (no, not Claris, as in the company formerly associated with apple... I said Clarus, with a u).

Many dogcows are two dimensional and stand edgewise to avoid being seen. Not a creature of the wild, you will often find the dogcow in your very own lawn (but being a stupid creature, it will usually get mowed by you). However, there ARE known reports of "psychic" dogcows brainwashing humans, but those are unconfirmed. Dogcows look like dogs with solid legs and a flat, cow-like face, and spots all over, also like cows, resembling both and neither at the same time.

The dogcow first appeared in the Cairo font (designed by Susan Kare) but as that font was eventually dropped, it moved to other places in the Macintosh. The term "dogcow" was coined by Scott "ZZ" Zimmerman on October 15, 1987 (though some say Ginger Jernigan created the term a few days before). Two years later, the infamous Tech Note #31 was circulated, showing off the dogcow to everyone (it was intended as an April's Fool dare, though it really wasn't on quite the right day). In the months that followed, the Dogcow caught on and appeared on t-shirts and pins and other paraphernalia.

Dogcows have been known to appear in AppleDTS Tech Note #31, Develop Issues 17 and 18, and Tech Notes PR 510, PT 35, and TN 1019. Oh, yeah, the dogcow and "Moof!" are trademarks of Apple.

A dogcow is what I want to be.

Pictured in dialogs,
Running through the weeds,
In and out of advertisements,
Loving my naughty deeds.

Feeling in black and white.

Over the edge of cliffs,
Out with the tide in the sea.
Living life to the fullest,
Sweet survival in 2 D.

Nearly everything in this writeup, including the poem above, has the AppleDTS Dogcow site as its source. The URL is: - read it; there's a lot more on the site that isn't here

It should be noted that when a dogcow is particularly excited or happy, it has also been known to say "boo-woo" as well as "moof." However, no one has ever managed to capture this in a sound file.

Also the official mascot of Mac developers everywhere. I was always kinda hoping that they'd update this for Mac OS X, with good old Clarus settling down with a nice dogbull, maybe with a couple of cute puppycalves by now.

Moved from dog cow, at Klaproth's request...

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