The lozenge is unique and highly desirable, though not an essential, characteristic of the Blenheim. The story of the spot is told that when the Duke of Marlborough was fighting abroad in the Battle of Blenheim, his wife Sarah the Duchess is reported to have been in a very anxious state at home waiting for news. For comfort, she stroked one of their Blenheim Spaniels that was soon to have puppies. She repeatedly pressed her thumb on the dog's head. When news of the great battle victory arrived, five puppies were born bearing red thumbprints on their foreheads. This mark became known as the Blenheim or lozenge spot.