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Title: "The One" Dog and "the Others" - A Study of Canine Character
Author: Slaughter, Frances E. (Frances Elizabeth)
Language: English
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“THE ONE” DOG AND “THE OTHERS”


[Illustration: BANDY]


“THE ONE” DOG
AND
“THE OTHERS”

A Study of Canine Character

by

FRANCES SLAUGHTER


[Illustration]


Illustrations by Augusta Guest and G. Vernon Stokes
and From Photographs



Longmans, Green, and Co.
39 Paternoster Row, London
New York, Bombay, and Calcutta
1907

Copyright, 1907, by
Longmans, Green, and Co.

All Rights Reserved

The University Press, Cambridge, U.S.A.



TO THE MEMORY

OF

“THE ONE”


  A life so close to ours, and yet apart
  By all the wide and unsailed seas of race,
  But yet a faithful soul, a loving heart
  Can send a voice o’er that unbounded space.
  We knew thy wants, thy soft eyes told thy love,
  Thy joys and sorrows were to us as dear
  As though winged words were given thee from above,
  Nor any human soul could be more dear.
  No man more pure and single in his life,
  Thou lov’dst one only and to her wast true.
  Thy love was firm, thou seekedst naught that’s new,
  Affection’s chain kept out the rule of strife.
  So close thy little life twined round the heart,
  That of our life thou art henceforth a part.



FOREWORD


“My dog is perfection in character and disposition, and in intelligence
he cannot be beaten.”

These words give the attitude of mind of the large body of dog lovers,
whether in England or America, or in whatever remote corner of the
earth they may be found. For is not every human convinced in the inner
recesses of his mind of the immense superiority of his own canine
favourite to all others of his race? Yet some there are who only
cherish this delusion in the sanctity of their unspoken thoughts,
while with the unfettered license of a fine freedom they look out on
the world of dogs with what appears, at least to themselves, to be
an unbiassed and independent judgment. Thus while in confidential
parley with ourselves we play with our unshaken faith in the gifts and
performances of our own special dog friend, we present a bold front of
open-minded justice when we are asked to listen to the deeds of other
dogs.

Such an attitude is all that I can hope for from those who read these
simple studies of dog life. The interest of the unvarnished anecdotes,
that have been collected at first hand, will be intensified by the
thought of the very superior cleverness of “The One” dog in similar
circumstances, as against “The Others,” whose gifts must always seem
quite painfully mediocre in comparison.

But to all our dog friends we have duties in proportion to the response
they make to the influences of mind and affection we bring to bear
on them. While we cherish “The One,” may we never forget that every
instinct of humanity demands from us a careful discrimination of the
rights of “The Others” in the battle of life.



CONTENTS


                                              PAGE

  INTRODUCTION                                xiii


  BOOK I--LIFE HISTORIES
      THE CHILD OF THE HOUSE                     3
      THE DIPLOMATIST                           32
      THE PROFESSOR                             44
      THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE                    69
      THE ARTISTIC THIEF                        87

  BOOK II--STUDIES AND STORIES                 105

  INDEX                                        269



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


  Bandy                             _Frontispiece_

  The Child of the House           _Facing page_ 4

  The Diplomatist                      “    “   32

  The Professor                        “    “   46

  The Soldier of Fortune               “    “   70

  The Artistic Thief                   “    “   96

  Suspicion                            “    “  120

  Mr. Guest’s Hounds, 1900             “    “  134

  “Conscience Makes Cowards of us”     “    “  150

  The Invalid and his New Friend       “    “  166

  Bobbie                               “    “  180

  Billy                                “    “  188

  “Are they Coming?”                   “    “  198

  Bobbins                              “    “  204

  Boy                                  “    “  208

  Bettina Corona                       “    “  212

  A Sunday Morning’s Work              “    “  232

  Bosky                                “    “  244

  Jimmy                                “    “  248



INTRODUCTION


“That creature’s best that comes most near to man” may in truth be
spoken of the dog. Nearest to man in the daily experiences of domestic
life, he shares the joys and disappointments that are the lot of his
owner. Under man’s influence the dog’s intelligence has been trained
to meet the requirements of the environment that is now his. In what a
wonderful way he responds to the demands of the civilised conditions of
his life, those know who bring the light of their higher intelligence
to bear on the study of his character. The more we study the dog,
the better we shall understand his kinship to us in the realms of
mental and moral feeling, and the more clearly we shall appreciate the
barriers that cut him off from the experiences of our own higher life.

In the Life Histories of five dogs I have gathered facts that give the
distinctive characteristics that marked each one off from his fellows.
With these dogs I have had exceptional advantages of learning from
their owners the special marks of character that distinguished them.
The results of this study I have made the groundwork of my book. The
anecdotes of many other dogs, that are given to illustrate more fully
individual traits of character, have all been collected at first hand,
and, so far as I know, have never before appeared in print.

The only exceptions are those I have taken from Miss Serrell’s book
“With Hound and Terrier in the Field.” As editor of this book I am
able to vouch for the truth of the many and charming stories that are
scattered broadcast through it, and with the author’s permission I have
given a few that bear on the subject of my own work. Two other stories,
one of which is taken from the delightful study of the first Earl of
Lytton, written by his daughter, Lady Betty Balfour, and a quotation
from Mrs. Draycott’s interesting Sketches of Himalayan Folk Lore, are
the only ones that have been already given to the public.

We know that long ages of companionship with man have made the dog our
fellow in sympathy and intelligence in a way that is impossible to any
other member of the brute creation. Yet even he has not lost the marks
of the old wild life that was once his. But it is a long step back
from the inmate of our twentieth century home, where the surroundings
given by advancing civilisation and moral development have the marks
of ages of progress, to the primeval conditions of the life of our
favourite’s ancestors. Far be it from me to dogmatise as to what those
old conditions of life were. They are lost in the obscurity of the
past, and we listen with respect when men of science tell us of the
conditions that obtained in bygone ages, though not always with entire
acceptance of the inferences they draw.

Few, however, will dispute the probability that the ancestor of the
dog--wolf, jackal, or of whatever type he may have been--lived in a
pack and thus had the aids of community life to train his intelligence
and fit him for the struggle of existence among his fellows. It is
only the question of his mental development that concerns us here, and
we have authority for saying that a higher development of intelligence
obtains among the members of a community than among those who in
solitary freedom meet the dangers and fight the difficulties of life
without such help from others of their kind.

In the study of jackals, of wolves and of hounds that hunt in packs, we
see the clearest traces of the old life lived in the forests and the
plains, where man had not as yet entered into a struggle with nature on
his own account. We find now, as in the past, evidence of the sympathy
that is at the root of all social instincts, governing the life of the
community. Without the loyalty to a recognised code of conduct and
morals, that may be said to be the foundation of social life, no body
of animals living a common life could survive. Where there is community
of interests there must be a common working for the general good, or
the band will be scattered and fall a prey to its enemies. But the
sympathy that is quick to warn of coming trouble and give assistance
when misfortune has fallen, to help the weak and to encourage the
wavering, links the members of a society together in the strongest
possible bonds. It is this that will strengthen them collectively to
withstand attacks against which individually they will have no chance.
Such a tie must have enabled the ancestors of our domestic dogs to
preserve life and to hand on a position in the tribal company to their
offspring.

The training the dog had received as a member of the pack, when man
rough and uncivilised as he then was, became his companion in the
struggle for life, was the source of his value to the human. In
hunting, in the guarding of his master’s property, the dog found
his place in the life of his owner, and since those early days of
association in the wilds, the rise and progress of the human race
has marked the gradual amelioration of the condition of the dog. It
is sounding a high note, perhaps, to say that the history of the
development of canine intelligence has advanced step by step with the
history of the civilisation of the human race. Yet I venture to think
that the facts bear out the statement.

In the rude life of our forbears the dog was primarily valuable in the
daily quest for food, and as the conditions of life were rough and
uncertain for his master, so also were they for him. Yet the dog had
reached another stage of life from the days when in the primeval pack
he had roved the forests untouched by the influence of man. Obedience
to the customs of the canine clan had given place to the service and
companionship of the human master, and from this point his history is
closely woven with the fortunes of the human race.

Not only were his speed and scenting powers made use of in the chase,
but his courage and fidelity were recognised and valued in the
protection of his master’s home. A step further in the course of the
domestication of the dog, and we find that his mental development is
subject to varying influences as his powers are used primarily as a
guardian or as a hunter. The sheep dog and the guardian of the house
are brought more directly under the influence of their owner’s home
life, while the dog used chiefly for hunting remains more under the
conditions of his primeval state. Yet the hunting dogs, of which the
hounds of to-day are the representatives, were also subject to the will
and to a certain extent followed the rise in fortune of their masters.
It is among these members of the canine race that we must look for
the community life that is the modern rendering of their old tribal
conditions.

With the spread of civilisation, and above all with the rise of
Christianity, the dog came gradually to be recognised as having claims,
not only on his master’s forbearance, but as possessing rights of his
own in the common life of master and servant. The faithful creature
who showed such wonderful aptitude in guarding his master’s flock in
the field, and was such a sympathetic and intelligent companion in his
home, had a claim to be treated with the kindness and consideration
that was due from his owner to all--whether man or beast--who gave him
faithful service.

We have only to compare the position of the dog among Mohammedans or
Hindoos in the present day with the conditions of his life in England
and America to see what Christianity has done for him indirectly. He is
saved from needless suffering, tended in sickness, and housed and fed
so that his physical and mental powers can reach their highest point
of development. He thus attains a far higher level in the life history
of his race than is possible to his half-starved, cowed, and miserable
brothers in Eastern lands.

To the Mohammedan he is an unclean creature, and by him is treated with
a disregard of the amenities of intercourse between man and beast that
goes far to make him the outcast in mind and manners that he is in the
conditions of his outward life. The tumultuous troop of pariahs that
rush out from an Indian village, to the discomfort of the English rider
enjoying his morning gallop, show in appearance and disposition marks
of the neglect in which their life from its earliest day is passed.
With the Hindoo the dog is safe from active ill treatment, and while in
health and strength may share the conditions of his master’s life. But
when sickness, or accident, or old age overtakes him, not a hand will
be lifted in his service. Though some simple, timely aid might save
the poor brute nameless suffering, and even give him years in which to
serve his master in the future as he has done in the past, his Hindoo
owner will show the fatalistic indifference to his sufferings that is
one of the marks of the followers of his strange creed. The dog’s time
has come, and the man who will vex his soul if inadvertently he crush
the life from the tiniest of creeping insects, will show a perfect
disregard of the claims of the animal who has served him with all the
love and fidelity of his heart and the strength of the best years of
his life.

But in Western lands where Christian ethics have put the finishing
touch to the gentler influences of a progressive state of civilisation,
the dog’s rights as a living, sentient being are regarded as they
never have been in the course of the world’s history. True, there are
bright spots in the past as there are direful blemishes in the present,
that on the one hand bring discredit on the vaunted progress of human
development, and on the other throw the glamour of a strange acceptance
of moral responsibility to the dumb creation on the men of far-off
days, but these are the exceptions that go to prove the truth of the
general statement.

As man advances in civilisation and grows more restrained in the habits
and manners of his life, his mind develops, and one of the first
signs of his progress is his respect for life as such. The dog, as his
constant companion, feels most, in the realm of animal life, the change
in his masters outlook. He is treated with ever increasing gentleness
and comprehension. For as one sign of a mind of low type, or of a low
order of development is an incapacity for sympathy with an intelligence
either lower or higher than its own, so with the expanding powers of
man’s mind he is able more and more to enter into the workings of his
dog’s mind. As his own powers of sympathy and insight grow larger and
deeper, he awakens an ever increasing response from the answering
echoes in the dog’s mind. Here then we may bear in mind that if the dog
had not the inherent capacity to respond, there could be no channel of
communication with the larger outlook of the human mind as developed in
man.

But if the development of human and canine intelligence has each in its
degree and order followed the same line, the mental characteristics of
the two races must be akin. It is only, indeed, from the starting-point
of reading our own processes of mind into the mind of our humble
friend that we can form the slightest conception of the meaning of his
actions, which in their expression so closely resemble our own under
the same conditions. Surprise, anger, joy, grief, resentment, and the
emotions that go to make up the round of our own daily experience, find
their counterparts in the dog. It is from analogy with the states of
mind that in our own case evoke these expressions that we reason of
the feelings and impulses that stir the mind of the dog and give rise
to similar manifestations of feeling. On no other ground can we even
attempt to fathom the workings of his mind.

If then the dog be our kinsman in the realm of mind, though his
standing be on a lower level than our own, are we not bound, in
return for the unwavering devotion he shows us, to give him the best
guardianship and care that our own higher powers give us the means of
using for his benefit? It is to the realisation of this truth that I
hope my studies of the dog may help.

Having thus stated the views with which I approach the study of the
dog’s mind and character, I must turn for a moment to the sources from
which I have drawn the anecdotes that have given me the materials on
which I have worked.

Of the five Life Stories that form the First Book, “The Child of the
House” was my own devoted companion for over twelve years. Of the other
dogs that I have selected for fuller notice, Bruce, “The Diplomatist,”
was the property of Mr. T. F. Dale, whose writings on animals and sport
are well known both in England and America. Bandy, “The Professor,”
belonged to Mr. H. Richardson, who was senior master at Marlborough
School, where Bandy’s merry little life, though not untouched by
tragedy, was passed. Jack, “The Soldier of Fortune,” was owned by Miss
Serrell, whose life-long love of dogs and horses is shown in her book
“With Hound and Terrier in the Field.” Miss Helen Dale was the mistress
of Jet, “The Artistic Thief,” one of a long line of fascinating little
spaniels that have been among her home friends.

When I come to the subject of the many shorter anecdotes that have
been given me so freely, not only by my personal friends, but by many
whom I have never had the pleasure of meeting, I can only say that my
gratitude is very great for the kindly help afforded me from all sides.
Without the numberless stories told me by Miss Serrell, I could never
have hoped to collect enough for the purposes of the book. To her and
to Miss Helen Dale I also owe special thanks for reading the proofs for
me and making many valuable suggestions.

Miss Dale has also given me many shorter stories, and her brother,
Mr. T. F. Dale, has done the same. Others who have contributed to my
little store, and have most kindly lent me photographs of many of the
dogs mentioned, are Mrs. Arthur Dugdale, Miss Rose Southey, Mrs. Bruce
Steer, and Miss Edith Gilbertson, and through these friends I would
convey my thanks to the strangers who have helped me at their request.

                                                      FRANCES SLAUGHTER.

MARCH, 1907.



BOOK I

LIFE HISTORIES



THE “ONE DOG” AND “THE OTHERS”



THE CHILD OF THE HOUSE

  “_I have lost many a friend, but never one
  So patient, steadfast, and sincere as he--
  So unforgetful in his constancy._”


“The One” of all dogs for me was a long, low Skye of the old-fashioned
drop-eared kind. In breed and build he was just what I had always said
I would _not_ have as a house dog, yet I never regretted the weakness
that forbade me to send the forlorn little stranger away. He had no
eventful history, and though I am persuaded that no other of his kind
was ever quite so intelligently sympathetic and altogether lovable as
he, I have nothing to relate of him that “The Others” will not outdo at
every turn. Yet for me he is the one apart, and his memory has all the
fragrance of richest perfumes from friendship’s garden.

It is in his life, and in those of my friends’ dogs, whose life
histories I have written, that I have found the data for such thoughts
and fancies concerning our relations with the dog, and of the various
pleasures, pains, and obligations that result therefrom, which I hope
my readers may share with me.

The summer in which Mr. Gubbins came to me, I had a lady staying with
me, who was also a great lover of dogs. A brother of this friend it
was, who brought the little aristocrat with the strangely incongruous
name to ask a temporary shelter, while his owner looked out for a
suitable home for him. This man, another keen dog-lover, had seen
and admired the beautiful young Skye at a country house where he was
staying. He made friends with the timid, shy animal, who belonged to no
one in particular in the house, and when the visitor left, the terrier
was offered to him. He could not find it in his heart to refuse, so he
brought it to his sister to take care of. I may say that at the time
I had a Basset hound and a bulldog, both of which slept in my room at
night

When this friend came into my study, where his sister and I were
sitting, my astonishment was great to see a long, grey, hairy creature,
of which nothing could be distinguished but his magnificent coat, slip
in at the door behind the visitor. After a short pause, during which
the bright eyes hidden behind a cloud of hair were doubtless taking
in the bearings of the situation, the terrier made straight for the
long, low chair at the further end of the room, where I was sitting,
and curled himself up behind it. My other dogs were in the garden, and
there was no one to dispute the refuge with him. He submitted quietly
to caresses, but was evidently so frightened that he was soon left in
peace, while the reason of his advent was explained.

[Illustration: THE CHILD OF THE HOUSE

GUBBINS]

He had gone as a puppy to his late owners, from his breeder Mr.
Pratt, whose long-haired Skyes were at one time well known in Hyde
Park, where their master took them for their daily exercise. These dogs
were bred with the nicest care, and the strain that came from Lady
Aberdeen’s kennels had been preserved. Pratt, who was a butler, living
with a family on the Bayswater side of the Park, was devoted to his
dogs, but as he could not keep a great number of them, and doubtless
looked to making his hobby a profitable investment, the puppies were
sold at a remunerative price.

In the case of my own favourite, he had gone early to his country home,
and, not having been trained to the house, he was put in the charge
of a gamekeeper to have his education completed. This man, whose very
name I do not know, had little idea of the gentleness required for
successful training. He was harsh and ill-tempered, and the shy, wild
little creature, who all his life long was one of the most sensitive of
his kind, was years before he recovered from the experiences of those
early months. He was cowed and frightened, and, not having the bright
merry little ways of puppyhood, he won no favour from any member of the
family when he was sent up to the house with his first hard experience
of life behind him. He crawled about the grounds by himself, and only
asked to be left alone and unnoticed, so that he might escape the rough
usage that he associated with intercourse with the superior being. The
long grey form was creeping over a wide expanse of lawn, looking a
dejected enough specimen of his race, when the visitor saw him from his
bedroom window, and was struck by his great beauty. When Gubbins left
with his new owner he accepted the experiences of the journey by road
and rail with the dejected submission that only gradually gave place to
a real joy in living as he began to forget what harsh words and blows,
and the chilling guardianship of kindly but unloving owners, were like.

For the first weeks he was regarded as my visitor’s property, and for
a few nights he slept in her room. But in spite of this, and of the
constant presence of my own dogs with me, he attached himself to me
from the first. He spent long hours curled up behind my study chair,
or, if he could gain entrance to my bedroom, he would lie contentedly
under the bed. I took very little notice of him, as I did not wish to
become fond of him, and was only anxious that he should find a good
home before my visitor left me. But very soon Gubbins would follow the
other dogs when they rushed up or downstairs in front of me, and he and
the Basset being of unusual length of body and shortness of limb, my
friend always used to call the procession, “dog by the yard.” Gubbins
was so quiet and harmless that the others from the first seemed to
accept him as not worth disputing with. When I was busy in my study I
soon got into the habit of putting down my hand to pat the little hairy
ball that was sure to be within reach, for the garden gambols of the
other dogs had as yet no attraction for him. Then one night he got into
my room, and was so reluctant to be taken off to his usual quarters
that he was allowed to stay, and from that time to almost the end of
his long life he never slept away from me when I was at home.

By the time my friend’s visit came to an end I had begun to wonder
if I could ever give him up. As no suitable home offered, and the
weeks passed, Gubbins carried the citadel by assault by reason of an
illness he had at the very time I had a friend seriously ill in the
house. Between my duties in the sick-room I made hurried visits to
the suffering dog, who spent his time by the now deserted chair in my
study. He would eat nothing but what I gave him, and by his touching
trust in, and affection, for me he fairly won my heart.

It was not long after this that Gubbins had his first and only taste of
show life. I had been asked to support a dog show in the neighbourhood,
and consequently entered him and another of my dogs, Gubbins at that
time being about three years old. On the morning of the show, he was
taken and delivered over to the authorities, as I was not able to go
myself till later in the day. When I entered the show ground I made
my way at once to the place where the Skyes were benched, but could
see nothing of my dog. The attendants could give me no tidings of
him, and it was a kindly stranger who, overhearing my inquiries, at
last told me he had seen a Skye in the pet dog section of the show,
and he added, “the sooner he was taken away he thought the better.” I
hastened to act on the suggestion, and to my great annoyance found my
poor Gubbins, looking the picture of misery, benched in a place only
large enough for a dog half his length and size. He was, indeed, so
stiff and cramped when I took him out that he could hardly stand. The
man in charge of the benches was quite deaf to my assertion that it
was cruelty to put a dog in a place so obviously unfit for him, and in
spite of the absurd mistake that had been made he tried to refuse to
allow me to move him. To this, not unnaturally, I paid no heed, but
taking Gubbins with me I told the man I would see the secretary about
the matter. When I found this functionary, a much harassed individual,
who seemed far from being at home at his duties, I was told curtly
that he supposed the mistake was mine in entering the dog for a wrong
class! In any case it was against the rules of the show for a dog to be
taken from the benches until the judging was over. Nevertheless Gubbins
did not return to his martyrdom, and it took him many days to recover
from the effects of the combined foolish treatment, and the terror he
had suffered at finding himself among strangers. I decided that any
honours he might win would be dearly bought, as it was clear his early
experiences had made him unfit for show life, and I always refused to
let him try his fortune again.

My other dogs were sent to new homes when I gave up my house, but
Gubbins became a great traveller, and accompanied me everywhere in the
wanderings of the next few years. At first he was quiet as a mouse
when taken by carriage or train, and I had no anxiety as to his ever
wandering from me, even in the most crowded thoroughfares. But as
his nature recovered its tone, and a bright, joyous, and independent
outlook on life became habitual to him, he grew wilful and over
confident that my protection was sufficient to rescue him from any
trouble. Yet he was three months in my house before he lost the habit
of keeping himself hidden from view, and was, as I have said, always
concealed behind or under some article of furniture. The slightest
accidental touch of a foot, even the gentlest, was enough to make him
flee in terror, and for hours afterwards he would not come out from his
shelter, or respond to any caresses. Almost to the end of his life,
until sight and hearing were impaired, he always rushed into the most
secluded corner he could find whenever strangers came into the room,
and no blandishments would draw him out while they remained.

I thought at first that his spirit had been so utterly broken that
he would never recover, but would always need the care lavished on a
semi-invalid. But gradually and surely he began to show the natural
fearlessness of his disposition and the bright playfulness that
afterwards distinguished him. Little by little he gained courage, and
secured his place as first favourite in the house. I do not think,
however, that he was ever quite happy while the other dogs remained,
though he thoroughly enjoyed his daily scamper with them.

After his first illness he would never feed in the outhouse where the
dogs’ dinner was made ready for them. Daily complaints came to me that
Gubbins would not touch his food, and though if I went out and petted
and encouraged him he would begin to eat heartily, the instant I turned
away he stopped, and no one could induce him to take another mouthful.
I said sternly that he must be left till natural hunger forced him to
give up the fancy, and it was only when I found how thin and weak he
was getting that one day I ordered his previously rejected food to be
brought into the dining room. The bowl was put down on a newspaper,
spread out for a tablecloth. Gubbins watched the proceedings with
interest, and then with much tail wagging, fell on the food with a will
and quickly disposed of it. Never after this did he attempt to go near
the other dogs when they were feeding, but at breakfast time curled
himself up near the spot where his bowl had been placed, and waited
till it was brought to him. That I do not shine as a disciplinarian
with my pets must, I fear, after this be conceded, for there are
drawbacks to feeding a long-haired dog on your dining-room carpet. It
only needed a day or two to show Gubbins that manners in the house were
not quite on a level with those of the dogs’ feeding-place. As soon as
the last mouthful of food was disposed of, a kennel duster was brought
into play to remove the remains of the meal from the long hair about
the mouth and at the tips of the beautiful ears. After the first time
or two he showed his appreciation of the new régime by standing quietly
with his head over the dish where he had just finished eating, and if
he was not attended to immediately he would look round to see the cause
of the delay.

His enormously thick coat required the most careful daily grooming,
and the time spent on this was not an unmixed pleasure to Gubbins. For
some time he submitted quietly, as he did to everything else that was
asked of him, but by the time he had won his place in the dining room,
and the kitchen regions had become unknown ground to him, he sometimes
showed resentment at the treatment his tangled locks entailed on him.

The first serious difference of opinion I had with him came over his
refusing a piece of toast he had asked for at breakfast. As he had
asked for it, he must be made to eat it. But each time the usually
coveted dainty was put before him his tongue came out, and with a
contemptuous flick sent it rolling over the floor. He was told it must
be eaten, and a mutinous determination not to obey was shown in the
pose of his head, for one can hardly speak of expression where the
face, even to the eyes, was entirely covered with thick, falling hair.
But the whole contour of his form expressed a great refusal, and it was
felt that a lesson of obedience must be given.

When the meal came to an end the toast was again offered and rejected,
and before I left the room Gubbins was fastened to the leg of the
table, and I told him the toast must be eaten before he would be
released. While the maid was clearing away the breakfast things Gubbins
lay perfectly quiet, but as soon as he found himself shut in alone he
began to call and struggle. I went in more than once to see if the
dispute was at an end, but no, there lay the rejected morsel, and
Gubbins would have none of it. When the hour arrived for the daily
walk great sounds of unrest came from the room, and once more looking
in I found, to my astonishment, the dog had actually succeeded in
dragging the fairly large dining table quite out of its place, in the
direction of the door. A chorus of angry barks showed his displeasure,
but there still lay the uneaten toast. At this moment, while the door
was standing open, the other dogs came into the hall on their way out.
“Is Gubbins to come with us?” asked their guardian. “No,” I answered.
“If he will not eat the toast he must be left at home.”

Behind the bundle of hair I could just see two bright eyes fixed on my
face. The front door opened, and the other dogs rushed out. Gubbins
sat up, listening intently, and when he found the others were actually
going without him he looked round for the object of contention, flung
himself upon it, swallowed it, and then rushed barking to the end of
his tether, demanding to be set free. Needless to say this was done,
but the excited, quivering dog turned for one second to give my hand a
dainty, propitiatory lick before he rushed off wildly in pursuit of the
others.

The lesson was remembered, but all through life, from this
point, a wilful determination to have his own way was one of his
characteristics. This I attribute to the reaction from the harsh
treatment of his early days, and though it is probable that with
firmer discipline it might have been overcome, I found it impossible
to resort to harsh measures when he was only just coming out from the
shell of nervous dread that had seemed to wrap him round from all the
enjoyments of life. I fear I hailed the first exhibitions of will as
an indication of his recovery to a normal state. A sharp word from me,
if given at a sufficiently early stage, would always restrain him, but
to others he was not so obedient, and I fear soon learned to trade on
the fact that under no circumstances would he be beaten. A flick of a
handkerchief he took with stoicism from others, but from my hands it
had all the effect of a stronger punishment. He would crawl away, and
lie, a picture of dejection, for an hour or more. He was left to feel
himself in disgrace, until he would presently come creeping to my feet
for the pat of forgiveness that restored him to life and animation.

His devotion to me never wavered, and after each of his severe
illnesses I thought I saw a closer attachment show itself in many ways.
What, perhaps, was the greatest proof of his unwavering loyalty was
that during the last six months of his life, when he was sixteen years
of age, nearly blind and partially deaf, and in a state that required
him to be carried up and downstairs, and otherwise attended to, I was
not able to have him in my room at night, and his care passed greatly
into the hands of others. To his guardians he was very affectionate,
and especially to the friend who watched over him with the most devoted
care, and to whom Gubbins looked for the greatest enjoyment of his
life--his daily walk. But there could be no doubt in the mind of any
one who was with him, that no one was likely to displace his mistress
from the warmest corner of his heart.

He always showed the nicest appreciation of the capacity and duties of
those who took care of him. When he was already so feeble that he was
generally carried from one room to another, I was astounded to find
he realised that I was not strong enough to do this. His knowledge
was all the more extraordinary because when in stronger health, I had
been in the habit of lifting and carrying him on occasions. But one
night when the maid who always carried him into the dining room, and
for whom he waited as a matter of course if she was not there when I
went to dinner, was absent, Gubbins came out of his basket as soon as I
moved and crawled into the other room after me. The following night his
attendant was at home, so Gubbins stayed quietly in his basket as usual
till she came to fetch him. Often afterwards the same thing happened,
and during the whole of the time after his powers had failed he never
once appealed to me to lift him. He would make the most determined
efforts to mount the garden steps if I was with him, though he never
attempted to do so if he was with any one else, but would lie down and
wait to be fetched if he was not lifted at once.

At one time when I had him in lodgings, the maid who attended on him
was with me, and always carried him up and down the two flights of
stairs that led to my bedroom. When the maid was going home for a
month’s holiday I wondered what I should do with him. I did not think
he could get up by himself, and did not want to call a strange maid
to my assistance. At bed-time I went to the stairs as if I expected
him to follow me, and the little thing worked his way up with a
sideways motion after me, stopping on the landing for a rest, and then
finishing the journey. In the morning he followed me down, though this
was really a dangerous proceeding, and I had to prevent his taking a
roll to the bottom by holding him up with his lead fastened to his
collar. This performance was repeated as a matter of course every night
and morning for the month, and when the maid returned I told her that
Gubbins had learned to go upstairs by himself, and that while he could
do so I preferred him not to be carried. When she came to fetch him,
therefore, for the night, she told him to follow her, and he went out
of the room after her obediently. At the foot of the stairs, however,
he laid down, and turning a deaf ear to her calls he quietly waited for
her to come back and pick him up.

That under any circumstances Gubbins could refuse his walk I did not
believe, till one day I found him lying on the front doorstep, and
refusing to move at the entreaties of his prospective companion, the
reason being that he had discovered I was about to leave the house.
This was when he had been with me about a year, for up to that period
he had shown himself equally willing to go out with me or any other of
his friends. After this he would never go until he was sure that I was
not going out, and many a time he insisted on being let into my study
to see if I was there, before he would leave the house. If nothing in
my dress suggested a walk he would go off and immediately give himself
up to the joys of the coming expedition. When at one time I used to
go out in the early morning before breakfast, at a certain stage in
my dressing operations Gubbins would always come up to investigate
what boots and skirt I had on. If his sensitive little nose told him
those were in use that he connected with a walk, he began to bark and
jump round me, as if wild with joy, for he knew that he would go too.
But if he recognised the skirt in which I usually cycled he crept away
dejectedly, for on these occasions I always left him at home. Although
his speed would have enabled him to keep up easily with the bicycle, I
have always thought it mistaken kindness to allow a dog to go at the
stretch of his powers while he keeps in touch with carriage or bicycle,
as the prolonged tension is likely to injure the natural action of
heart and lungs.

One day, when there was illness in the house, the volley of barks and
wild gambols with which Gubbins showed his joy at an approaching walk
could not be allowed. I felt a little doubtful if the exuberance of
his joy could be kept within due limits, and in any case I knew I was
the only person likely to be able to restrain him. When the moment
arrived for putting this to the test I knelt down by him, and turning
his little head up I put my finger on my lips and in a low, hushed
voice told him he must be quiet. He saw I was dressed for walking and
knew what was in store. He was, however, evidently impressed, and
opening the room door quickly I cautioned him again, and to my great
relief only one little half strangled bark escaped before we were
safely outside the hall door. Yet he tore down the stairs in his usual
headlong manner when excited, and was quivering with eagerness for the
coming joy.

After this I was always able to make him go out quietly by the same
means, and in a house where he stayed with me for some weeks he
learned that under no circumstances was barking allowed indoors. He
consequently won golden opinions from the old lady whose feelings he
thus spared. But that he felt the long restraint irksome, he would show
by a petulant twist of his head from under my hand, when I made one
of my many appeals to him to remember the caution. His self control
happily lasted to the end of the visit, though I never felt inclined to
put it to the same test again.

It was one of the most interesting studies I have ever had, to watch
the gradual unfolding of Gubbins’s mind as he threw off the terrors of
the past. His strong affection was, as I have said, the first point
that showed itself. Then his intelligent appreciation of the ways of
the household, and his own place in it, was little by little made
plain, and with it came the manifest determination to stand on his
rights. It was not, however, till he had been with me for some four
years that he began the system of signs and sounds that stood to him in
the place of language.

There were certain biscuits kept for Gubbins as a treat when he had
behaved with decorum in the dining room, where he used to lie in a
corner during meals. These biscuits were known in the household as
“Peter Burrs,” owing to the correction given me in the matter of
pronunciation by a worthy country grocer, when I stated my wish for
“Petits Beurres.” The tin containing these dainties was generally
taken from the sideboard by one of ourselves, just before we left the
table. Gubbins was always all attention, and at the movement to fetch
the tin, he would come out of his corner and bark rapturously. But one
day a friend brought me the wrong tin by mistake, and Gubbins, who had
been all eagerness as usual to watch for its advent, sat down quietly
and did not attempt to come up for the usual offering. It was this
conduct that led me to notice the mistake that had been made, for the
tins were almost alike in size, though different in colour. The dog’s
appreciation of the mistake before we had recognised it, caused such
amusement that while this friend was staying with me she often tested
Gubbins’s discernment by bringing out the wrong tin purposely. Never
was he deceived, though one day he rushed up and barked once before he
noticed the tin, but as soon as he saw it he sat down and waited for
the mistake to be rectified.

It was when he stole to my side during luncheon, and made his presence
known by a delicious little low sound of entreaty, that his language
sounds began. I was so delighted with the effort that I took to making
him say it before he had one of his much loved biscuits given to him.
“Ask, Gubbins,” he was told, and the little entreating sound came as
a preliminary to business. Very soon he learned to use the signal to
draw attention to any want, such as the need for water, or the opening
of a door. Whenever his water dish was empty Gubbins would first call
attention to the fact by lying full length in front of it, with his
head touching the dish. If this did not succeed he would look round
to see why he was not being attended to, and if I was--or pretended
to be--wholly immersed at my writing table he would cry quietly to
himself,--a little complaining noise that could not be overlooked in
its gentle persistence. Once or twice I tested him further to see what
would happen, and when Gubbins found that my denseness was not to be
pierced by any ordinary means he came up to me and, resting his head
against me, “asked.” Then he walked back to his water dish and lay down
as before. That here there was a very intelligent adaptation of means
to end is evident.

The daily bone thrown to Gubbins was of course a great delight, and
once I tried the same experiment that Mr. Herbert Spencer made with
his Skye, and with the same result. A string was fastened to the bone
and Gubbins had his usual play with it, a necessary part of which
was for him to stand growling over it and dare any of his friends to
take it from him. This nearly always brought some one on to the lawn
to play the part of robber. It was enough for one of his friends to
advance gently towards him saying, “Is that for me, Gubbins?” for the
little thing to seize it in his mouth and run to a distant part of the
lawn, where the performance was repeated. If his friends did not go on
playing the game I have known Gubbins to leave his bone and come to ask
them to see it out, and only when his spirits had exhausted themselves
would he settle down to the enjoyment of the dainty, secure in the
knowledge that no one would be allowed to interfere with business.
But to return to the experiment. Gubbins was just settling down to the
serious part of the performance when I pulled the string and drew the
bone gently away. Gubbins gave a startled look at it as it receded
slowly, then as it lay still he approached with every sign of caution
and stretched out one fat paw. Still there was no movement, and relief
and confidence were now expressed in his bearing. Then I jerked the
bone to some distance. Gubbins fairly turned tail and fled to me for
protection. The sense of the unknown, conditions of which he had no
previous experience, terrified him, as did the growling of thunder or
the presence of strangers in his own home.

In matters where Gubbins was on known ground his courage was beyond
dispute and often brought him into peril. No dog was too large or
too strong to call forth hostile demonstrations, if he happened to
excite his ire. I well remember the horror with which, on hearing the
well-known rush and growl that signalised Gubbins’s dislike of another
dog, I turned to see the ridiculous little creature hanging on to the
nose of a huge St. Bernard. With one angry toss of his mighty head the
larger dog could have broken the spine of his tormentor. Happily the
monster seemed too astonished at the onslaught of the hairy mass to do
anything beyond give a very gentle swaying motion of the head, which
swung Gubbins’s long body from side to side; for even hanging as the
latter was at full length, his hind limbs were well off the ground,
and he must have made one of his marvellous springs to fasten on the
head as he did. Presently his teeth loosened and he dropped from his
perilous perch, and he certainly owed his life to the remarkable
gentleness of his victim.

Before Gubbins had walked off his excess of spirits in exercise he
often gave these mad rushes, sometimes, I grieve to say, at humans. Any
unsavoury specimen of the genus tramp always roused his mischief, and
so, alas! did any gentle, fragile looking old lady or gentleman who
could be depended on to receive his onslaught with a sufficient display
of terror to make it worth while. Many were the scrapes from which he
was not always rescued with the honours of war, and countless were the
apologies made on his behalf. But after his maddest exploit the absurd
little bundle of hair would come meekly to my feet, and generally by
his very appearance disarm the sufferers. At such a moment caresses
from the stranger’s hand were suffered with deceptive meekness, and
were evidently taken as the necessary consequence of the previous
joy. That the loud bark which would have fitted a dog ten times his
size, and the sudden rush at the heels of a passing stranger, were
sufficiently alarming, is clear, and a leather lead was soon fastened
promptly to his collar whenever a human approached who long experience
had taught me was one likely to be singled out by Gubbins as a vent for
his excitement. His teeth never came into play, and this showed it was
simply the fun of the thing that appealed to him, and not the hostile
feeling that often prompted his attacks on fellow dogs.

Gubbins was the most humanly intelligent of all the dogs I have ever
owned, and so far as his powers of mind went they appealed perfectly
to the same level of expression of our own. While his trust and love
were unwavering, his sympathy with anything in the shape of suffering
or sorrow was undoubted. He would never leave me of his own free will,
if he knew I was in trouble, though it could only have been by the tone
of my voice that he discovered there was anything amiss. In the case
of physical illness it was the same, and he would lie for hours on the
foot of my bed, to which on these occasions he always “asked” to be
permitted to jump.

The highest exercise of intelligence he ever showed was prompted by
his love, and the amount of reasoning power that led to the successful
carrying out of his stratagem shows what a narrow boundary there is
between the highest efforts of the animal mind and those where human
intelligence begins. I was suffering at the time from malaria, a
legacy from a fairly long sojourn in India, and it was decreed by the
friend who had taken charge of my sick-room that Gubbins was not to be
allowed to disturb me. This lady, who was herself one of Gubbins’s most
faithful friends, and was regarded by him with the warmest affection,
told him after breakfast that he was not to come to me. That he fully
understood what she said he showed by the dejected way in which he
turned from her and crawled into his basket. The dining-room door was
then shut on him, the back stairs were cut off by two heavy doors,
and the passage from the top of the front stairs led past my friend’s
bedroom before my own could be reached. From her bedroom, where the
visitor sat writing with her door open, she could hear if any of the
household should go into the dining room and set Gubbins at liberty.
Besides, the flop, flop with which he always jumped from step to step
of the stairs was clearly audible over all that part of the house, and
this gave her confidence that he could not, in any case, get up without
her hearing him.

But the dining-room door had not been fastened securely, and though it
was a heavy oak door Gubbins managed to work it open. He then crept
upstairs without a sound, and therefore in a very different way to that
in which he usually mounted, stole past the open bedroom door, without
betraying his presence, and putting his head close to the crack of my
door gave one of his tiniest “asks.” So low was it that the watcher in
the adjoining room heard nothing. At first I did not realise what had
happened, and thought the voice reached me from a distance. But when a
repetition came, the peculiar guarded sound of the faint call struck
me, and at the third time I knew that by some means Gubbins had found
his way to me. Entering into the spirit of the enterprise I opened the
door softly and let him in. Without any of the usual manifestations of
joy with which he was wont to greet me, he slipped past, and without
waiting for the permission he always asked he sprang on the bed and
curled himself round with a sigh of content. Then the drowsiness of
fever overcame me, and I dozed for some hours, Gubbins also sleeping
peacefully at my feet.

When at last my friend appeared, her relief at the sight of the hairy
bundle on the bed was great. She told me that a search had been made
for him all over the place, both indoors and out, as soon as it was
discovered that he had escaped from the dining room. My room had not
been thought of, as she felt certain he could not have come upstairs
without being heard by her.

The amount of thought and caution exercised by the dog in carrying
out his plan was remarkable. After making use of the great muscular
strength of his sturdy forepaws in getting open the door of his prison,
he had to get upstairs in a way that would not betray his presence.
How he managed this we could not understand at the time, but years
afterwards I saw him, when still weak from a severe illness, crawl
up with a sideways, crab-like motion that explained what he had done
to attain his ends in the heyday of his youth and strength. Placing
his forepaws on the step above him he hitched his hind quarters up
sideways, as his length could only thus be supported on the step, the
depth of the stairs not being more than half his length. In this way
there was no noise, but he still had to pass the watcher’s open door
and convey the fact of his presence to me without letting her know.
This accomplished successfully, he did not forget the need for caution
when he had made good his entrance, but with a silent caress to my
feet, and much wagging of the tail he left his usual mode of welcome
severely alone, and, secure of my understanding and abetting, even took
possession of one of his most prized rewards, only rarely accorded, by
jumping on to the bed without the preliminaries of permission asked and
granted that were always insisted on.

Here he showed a clear appreciation of the difficulties of carrying out
his plan, and who shall say what was passing in his brain as he stole
softly upstairs, passed his friend’s open door without disclosing his
presence, and then, with all the precautions a human could have used,
succeeded in communicating with me? Not less remarkably did he show his
appreciation of the dangers so far conquered, when he exercised needful
self-restraint in the expression of his greeting, and sank down at last
with a sigh of content as he realised that all was well.

We are told by an eminent writer on the psychology of animals that the
feeling of shame stands very high in the development of the emotional
powers. In Gubbins its manifestation was very apparent. A flick of
the handkerchief or a sharp word from me changed his whole aspect in
a second, unless, indeed, the excitement of some forbidden pleasure
had taken him in too firm a grip, and the enterprise on which he had
started had to be carried out at all costs. But once the excitement
passed, shame for his misdeed followed, and was shown in the same way
a child will do in the same circumstances, up to the verge of speech.
On one occasion, when I was from home all day, the maid in whose charge
he had been left neglected to attend to him. The shame-faced little dog
that met me on my return, and who put his head in my hand and cried
softly, told me that some trouble had happened for which he was not to
blame. In the same way when he was suffering from illness that caused
occasional attacks of sickness, if by chance he was shut in a room when
misfortune overtook him, although he knew he would not be punished
for what was not his fault, he could not have shown more shame at the
occurrence if he had dreaded chastisement.

Gubbins was a little gentleman in all his ways and feelings, his one
lapse from propriety of manners being the rushes by which he helped
to work off the excitement of his walks. He could always be depended
on to preserve a neutral attitude towards any stranger staying in the
house, if I performed a sort of introduction by putting my hand on my
visitor’s arm and telling Gubbins that he or she was my friend. The
same course had to be adopted with a new maid, and if a fearless pat
was then given him by the new-comer, I knew that as long as that person
was in the house there would be no trouble. But if, on the other hand,
the slightest fear of him was shown, it behoved me to be careful, for
if that maid came in his way when he was under the influence of any
excitement such as that of his daily walk, there would be the same
attempts to upset her equanimity by which he distinguished himself out
of doors. No use of the teeth, but just the communication of his own
excitement to one who his instincts told him could be relied on to
respond. To secure the clatter of a fallen tray, or the headlong rush
of a frightened maid downstairs, while he stood growling and barking at
the top, as if ready to tear her in pieces, gave him, I grieve to say,
under such circumstances, the liveliest enjoyment. But when he was
shut up to reflect on his misdemeanours, by whatever process these were
brought home to him, an unmistakable feeling of shame was displayed as
soon as he had recovered his normal state.

The abject depression with which he crept from view one very wet
autumn, the first time his long coat was clipped about his legs and
the under part of the body, took a long time to recover from. For days
a remark on his appearance, or a laugh at his expense by any visitor,
would cover him again with shame. His self-respect had been wounded,
and the same feeling was shown when he was taken out for a walk the
first time after a severe illness. The poor weak dog could only totter
along for a very short distance. But on the way he met another dog, and
as soon as Gubbins saw him approaching, the change in his demeanour was
instantaneous. With head and tail erect, and a general air of alertness
and strength, he passed his rival, walking on the tips of his toes, as
he was wont to do in better times. A few steps carried him triumphantly
past, and then, the excitement over, the poor little invalid collapsed
as suddenly as he had pulled himself together, and rolled over helpless
in the dust. Could any animal without a sense of the ego, the personal
I, show such a keen sense of the respect due to himself?

A quite marvellous knowledge of time was shown by my favourite. I am
not speaking of the hours of feeding, for such knowledge is doubtless
due to the promptings of the natural appetite. But how for some months
he always knew when the clock pointed to half-past nine I have never
been able to ascertain. A lady who was living with me as my secretary
at the time was a warm friend of Gubbins, and was accepted by him as
such. This lady was not in good health, and used to retire to bed
before the rest of the party. In about a week Gubbins constituted
himself the guardian of her health in this respect. If she did not
move promptly at the half hour he roused himself, came out of his
basket, and, sitting at her feet, barked until she got up and said
good-night. The performance was so much appreciated that after this
Gubbins’s reminder was waited for, and though there was no clock within
hearing that struck the half hour, nor so far as we knew any sound that
could tell the time, Gubbins was never more than a few minutes either
before or after. He would go and sit close at the lady’s feet, lift
his head and fix his brown eyes on her face, and bark his signal for
her to go. There seemed no reason for him to wish her to leave, as no
sooner had she gone from the room, than he went back to his basket and
curled himself up to wait for the dispersal of the other members of the
family. With no one else did he ever do anything of the same kind.

At one time when I was living in the country, the same inscrutable
knowledge of the hour of seven in the evening was shown by him. Once or
twice he was taken for a run across the valley below the house to the
post, just before the dinner hour at seven-thirty. After that he was
always on the look out at seven o’clock, and as soon as he associated
the little expedition with one member of the household, he found him
out and kept close to him as soon as the hour arrived. Once, when the
dinner hour had been advanced, the letters were taken earlier, and
Gubbins had not come in from his rambles in the garden and could not
be found. He was watching, however, when the messenger returned, and
showed that he understood what had happened by taking up his position
in good time the following day on a point in the drive where the two
ways from the house met, and without passing which no one could leave
the place. Often after this he would sit there watching, instead of
coming into the house, as he clearly understood that from that spot he
had a full command of the situation.

As the gradual unfolding of Gubbins’s mind had been an unfailing source
of interest, so was the preservation of his natural characteristics
when his powers began to fail. He enjoyed his life almost to the
end, and through the last long day of suffering found comfort in the
care and affection that were lavished on him. Although for some time
his eyesight had almost gone and his hearing was impaired, and other
disabilities of old age were upon him, he still went nearly mad with
joy at the prospect of a walk, still took a certain modified, though
always mischievous, pleasure in making others share his excitement, and
made his sense of smell serve for the loss of his other faculties in a
quite marvellous way. He always recognised his old friends, and it was
a characteristic of his throughout life that he never forgot a single
person whom he had once accepted as a friend. It might be months or
even years before he saw them again, but he never failed to recognise
them.

Various were the names bestowed on him by his many friends at different
times. From the absurd “Mr. Gubbins,” he was called by the still more
unsuitable title of “Scrub.” This led to a mild joke of a friend
of mine, who always inquired after him by the formula, “And how is
Ammonia?” A very dear old lady, the mother of the friend through whom
Gubbins came to me, spoke of him as “The caterpillar,” moved thereto by
the sight of the long dark form that used to steal across her drawing
room to find a hidden corner, when he was staying with me in her house.
In the inner circle of his home he became “The Hairy Angel” or “The
Fascinating Fiend,” according to the nature of his disposition at the
moment.

But these names belong to the time of his youth and strength; his
beauty he kept to a surprising degree up to the very day of his death.
It was touching to see him in his later years, and especially during
the last six months when he was all but blind, finding his way about
the house by the help of his nose. I have often watched him come into
my study when he was looking for me. The room is a double one, and he
used to feel for the side of the arch that forms the division, then
feel about for the couch that stands on one side of the inner room.
From there he touched my bureau, and thence worked about till he found
my chair, which was often at some little distance. No sooner did his
nose touch the chair than he hurried to the front of it to see if I
was sitting there, and feeling the full helplessness of continuing his
search if I was not in my usual place, he would curl himself up beside
it and cry quietly. I have watched him do this while I stood by the
bookshelves in the back room, though I had to be careful he did not
find me out, as he came in by the door in that room.

To the last the watchful little head would come up in his basket, and
a warning growl give notice of the presence of a stranger, and in his
feeble way he guarded his beloved mistress to the end. When the little
life went out from the suffering body it left a blank that for those
who loved him best can never be filled, but--

  “When at last my long day’s work is done,
  Shall I not find him waiting as of yore,
  Eager, expectant, glad, to meet me at the door?”



THE DIPLOMATIST

“_Ung Roy, ung Loy, ung Chien_”


Bruce, a beautiful black and tan collie, had the appearance of a
gentleman and the finished manners of one accustomed to the usages
of society. In the days of his prime he won many honours in the show
ring, though his points were not those required by modern fashion. His
head was too broad for present-day judges, but this gave space for the
brains that made Bruce the most charming of companions. He was light
in build, strong, and full of grace and activity, and his beauty he
retained almost to the end of his life. His colour, as I have said, was
black and tan, the latter a bright golden hue, that was very striking.
His eyes were clear and brown, and wonderfully expressive, and over
each was a bright tan spot. His ears were half prick, the points of
which almost met over his forehead, when he stood to attention. His
ruff was magnificent, and had it had the ring of white decreed by
fashion Bruce would have carried all before him on the show bench. As
it was, the only touch of white about his coat was at the tip of his
grand brush, for to speak of it as a tail seems almost an indignity.

[Illustration: THE DIPLOMATIST

BRUCE]

But it was the high-bred finish of his manners that won Bruce his many
friends. In his home circle he was always gentle and affectionate,
though he had the finest grades of distinction in his regard. Any
member of the family had a general place in his affections, but that
underneath this was a subtle difference in his feelings was shown by
his behaviour towards them. To the servants of the house he was always
polite, and to the older ones who were admitted to the confidence and
respect of their employers, he was even affectionate. But he never
gave them the outbursts of unrestrained affection that in moments of
excitement he would shower on his special friends in the family circle.
Being a great favourite with the servants, he was always something of a
tyrant with them, and clearly thought that one of their chief duties in
life was to wait on him.

His politeness to visitors was invariable. If he saw strangers coming
to the house he would accompany them to the drawing room, and as soon
as they were seated would gravely offer a beautiful silky paw. In the
same way he would be ready, when they took their leave, to escort them
to the front gate, and there once again offer a paw in farewell. This
was always a very taking performance of his, and if the departing
visitor, after duly accepting the offered salute, said to him, “That is
a very cold good-bye, Bruce,” he would instantly offer the other paw in
token of good-will. The strangest thing about his attention to visitors
was that no one had instructed him, and it was not till Bruce’s
hand-shaking was talked of as quite a feature of a call at the house
that his master taught him to offer the right paw in salutation. This
he learnt as quickly as any other lesson, and with its accomplishment
the last touch of polish had been given to Bruce’s society manners.

Bruce came from a large kennel when he was two years old. His pedigree
and former history were unknown, and Bruce started in life with only
his good looks, his intelligence, and his perfect manners to depend
on. When he came to his new home he responded instantly to individual
affection and attention, and showed a very strong sense of his personal
rights. His master at that time owned another collie, also a house dog,
who answered to the name of Lassie. From the day of Bruce’s advent the
two dogs took it in turns to pass the night in their master’s bedroom.
Bruce always respected the arrangement, and on the nights when it was
not his turn to have the place of honour he would curl himself up
contentedly on the mat put ready for him in the hall; but Lassie would
often try to steal a march on him. She would lay her plans in advance,
and creep upstairs before her master retired, and trust to possession
to bring her through. As soon as Bruce discovered her tactics he would
rush up after her, and do his best to pull her downstairs. Ejected with
ignominy from the bedroom, Lassie would still make a fight for it, and
entrenching herself on the landing do her best to stand her ground.
The commotion of course attracted their master, who would take Lassie
by the collar and lead her in disgrace down to her allotted sleeping
place in the hall. Bruce would sit smiling at the top of the stairs and
watch her down, wagging his tail and giving every sign of complacent
satisfaction at having won the day.

It was in his dealings with humans that Bruce showed his talent in
diplomacy. He often paid visits with his master, and never failed to
bestow the cream of his attention on the most important person present.
He singled out his host or hostess and made good his place with them
before he took the slightest heed of any one else. His greatest triumph
was during a visit to his master’s grandmother. For some reason his
owner felt obliged to take him, though the old lady was by no means
an indiscriminate dog-lover, and was wont to declare that she “liked
dogs in their proper place.” Many were the talks held in the family
before Bruce’s departure as to what his reception was likely to be.
Did he understand and take his measures accordingly? The result seemed
to justify the supposition. In any case, on arriving at the house he
settled the matter once for all. Without a word being said to him he
went straight to his hostess’s room, and arriving there before his
master he sat down in front of the old lady, and, with a grace that
instantly won her heart, offered first one silky paw and then the other
for her acceptance. By the time his owner arrived Bruce was reaping the
first fruits of his diplomacy in the petting and admiration of his new
friend. Bruce’s “proper place” after that was any spot he chose in the
house, and he was given a warm invitation to repeat his visit when he
left.

While he was still new to the show bench he exercised his tact, by
getting a man he knew to stay by him, as presumably he felt lonely
among so many strange faces. The man was the village schoolmaster
near Bruce’s home, and so far had always been treated with polite
indifference by him. As the schoolmaster was making a round of the
benches he felt a touch on his arm, and there was Bruce with a most
amiable expression of countenance holding out a paw to him. The man
responded to the advances made to him, and Bruce, all anxiety to
please, managed to make him stay by him till one of his own family
arrived. The reason of his amiability was then apparent, for Bruce
promptly relapsed into his former indifference, and his visitor was
allowed to depart without any further notice being taken of him.

When Bruce was more used to the show bench he manifested the most
lively appreciation of having been singled out for honours. If no card
fell to him he curled himself up on his bench, put his brush over his
head, and slept quietly till all was over. But when he had secured a
card his demeanour was very different. He sat up with an alert and
self-satisfied air, and though as a rule he did not make advances to
strangers outside his home, he now seemed possessed with a universal
benevolence. He always attracted attention, and to all who admired him
he instantly offered to shake a paw in the most affable manner. He used
indeed to hold a levée, and thoroughly enjoyed the unwonted importance
of his position. So long as he was in the show grounds his general
friendliness lasted, but once outside his show manner was dropped and
he became chary of notice by strangers.

He never, however, resented advances being made to him unless he was
startled. Being nervous and high strung, any sudden rough movement he
disliked, and under such circumstances would give a snap to mark his
displeasure. He never used his teeth, for he was by no means uncertain
in his temper. To other dogs he was usually gentle, but a collie he
would always go for. Many were the scrapes he got into in consequence,
and when his master had cured him of the trick of making the attack, he
would invariably pass a collie with such wanton provocation written in
his bearing that the other dog, stirred out of his self-control, always
made for him.

Bruce’s enjoyment of practical jokes was great. When a walk was in
prospect, his delight was to rush into the hall, and, snatching his
collar and lead from their place on the hat-stand, hastily throw them
into hiding. A glance at Bruce’s smiling face was enough to tell his
master what had happened. Intense enjoyment was displayed by the
watching dog, while a search for the missing collar was made. But
Bruce’s paws were long, and the place he had selected was not always
easy to find. Then his anxiety for the coming joy of the walk would
carry all before it, and moving suddenly to the place of concealment he
would seize the collar and fling it at his master’s feet. The superior
and slightly supercilious way in which he brought to light the hidden
thing said as plainly as any speech, “If you are so stupid that you
cannot find it, I suppose I must help you.” In the summer he would
sometimes change his tactics, and taking the collar and lead in his
mouth, would jump a fence or hedge, and lie just out of reach on the
other side. If the moment for a joke was not well chosen, and there
seemed any danger of his being left behind to enjoy it by himself, he
was speedily at his companion’s feet, asking, with an eloquence none
the less to be understood because it was mute, to be forgiven and taken
out.

His greatest joy was to have stick or umbrella confided to his care
during the walk. Solemnly, and with a great show of appreciating the
duties of his position, Bruce would walk decorously by the side of the
owner of his trophy. But not for long. There would be a sudden flash,
and Bruce would disappear over some obstacle where he could not be
followed, and after a race round the orchard or field into which he
had hurled himself, he would reappear with nothing in his mouth. With
expectancy written all over him he waited for the order to “Go, seek.”
Obediently he flew the hedge and proceeded to hunt for the missing
stick. But the result was always the same. He could not find it. Again
and again the same process would be gone through, and no one could
look more guileless than Bruce when he returned to tell of his want of
success. Sometimes the only way to stop the game was to walk on and
leave him to himself, on which he would go directly to the spot where
the stick was lying hidden, take it up, and go on decorously as before,
carrying it in his mouth.

Bruce acted as if the secrets of the family circle were an open book
to him, or at any rate those that concerned himself. As he and Lassie,
whatever their private differences, would always unite against a
common foe, their master found his walks disturbed by the frequent
altercations that arose in the course of them. He announced, therefore,
that for the future he would only take out one at a time, and as he
was going that day to a town about a mile off, he gave orders that
Bruce was to be shut up before he started. Bruce at the time was lying
quietly on the hearthrug, and in a short time he got up and went to the
door, and was let out into the garden. His master thought no more about
him, and later in the day started for his walk, taking Lassie with him.
When he had almost reached the town he was struck by the resemblance to
Bruce of a dog sitting in the middle of a patch of grass, where three
roads met. His own way lay past the spot, and he soon found that Bruce
was waiting there for him too far from the house to be taken back, and
thus securing his walk. One of his exploits seems almost beyond the
realm of the possible, but I can vouch for the truth of the facts as I
give them. His master was in the habit of going away on business, and
leaving his home on one day, he nearly always returned on the next. On
one occasion, however, he said that he should return the same night,
and in order to do this he would come by another railway line and
reach a station he very rarely used, at 10.30. Bruce as usual was with
him when he talked of his plans. That evening when Bruce was let out
for his evening run he disappeared, to the consternation of the other
members of his family. He was searched for in all directions, but no
tidings could be heard of him, and great was the rejoicing when at
eleven o’clock he returned. The household had been waiting up for the
master, but he did not arrive. The next day he came back by the way he
had intended to come the previous day, and he had no sooner alighted
from the train than one of the porters who knew him came up and said,
“Your dog was here looking for you last night, sir. He saw the train
in and seemed to expect you, and when he found you were not here he
went off. He would not let any of us touch him.” On arriving at home
his master heard of Bruce’s absence the night before, and the chain of
evidence seemed complete. Not so the explanation. Bruce’s presence at
the station was vouched for by a perfectly disinterested person, who
could not have known any of the circumstances attending his master’s
journey. The dog’s absence from home at the time was undoubted, so
also was his presence when his master stated his plans, but how it was
that Bruce was ready to welcome the expected traveller at the station
I cannot pretend to explain. It is quite one of the most inexplicable
efforts of a dog’s intelligence that I have ever met with.

Though for fifteen years Bruce lived with his family, his life was not
without vicissitudes. After a time his master took up an appointment in
India, and Bruce had to be left behind. He passed into the care of his
master’s brother and sister, with whom he was already on affectionate
terms. In his new home, however, he did not have the first place, as
a very remarkable spaniel was already in possession. Bruce, with his
usual ready tact, though with chastened feelings, took the second
place. The cook in his new home was an old servant, whom he had known
in his first days of acquaintance with the family. She had indeed
passed through various stages in the household, and from nursery maid
in “the old house” had risen to be cook to the “young master and
mistress.” For Bruce, Harriet had simply a passion. He could never do
wrong for her, and in return she was decidedly tyrannised over by him.

But in Nottingham, where Bruce’s lot was now cast, the townspeople
appreciate a good dog. So one day Bruce disappeared, and all inquiries
about him were unavailing. His guardians gave him up, but Harriet never
lost hope and always declared that he would come home. Every night this
devoted woman sat up till the small hours of the morning, watching and
listening, and with a saucepan of hot soup ready for the wanderer. On
the third or fourth night, she heard a feeble call at the front door,
and rushing up she found Bruce, with a fragment of dirty rope round
his neck. The dog seemed at almost the last stage of exhaustion, and
staggering in he was taken to the kitchen fire, and without moving
from his place he lapped up a little warm soup, and slept the sleep of
exhaustion for twenty-four hours.

Why he should have been so worn out was never explained, as from
“information received” it turned out that he had spent his time in a
street of small houses not a mile away from his home. His experiences,
whatever they may have been, were never forgotten by him, and from
that time he showed a disposition to bite every ill-dressed man who
approached him.

After five years’ absence Bruce’s master returned, and Bruce on hearing
his voice looked at him attentively and then gave him the modified form
of affectionate greeting that showed he recognised him as one of the
family. The dog seemed puzzled, and the dim memories that stirred in
the back of his mind led him to follow his old master to his bedroom at
night. There he lay down quietly, and it was not till his master was
in bed that the far-off echoes of past days became clear, and with a
cry Bruce suddenly hurled himself on the bed and covered his astonished
owner with caresses.

When the time came for another long parting Bruce took the matter
of his future guardianship into his own hands by attaching himself
so lovingly to his master’s father that his decision was accepted
without demur. Alas, Bruce never saw his master again, for old age and
infirmities were upon him, and before another return from India the old
dog had passed away.

It was characteristic of Bruce’s sense of the fitness of things that
when he was too old to run with the carriage he still kept up the
fiction of doing so. He would not give in to the disabilities entailed
by his failing strength. He always greeted the arrival of the carriage
at the front door with his old joyous excitement. When it started he
rushed off bounding and barking as he had always done, but at a certain
point in the road, not far from the end of the carriage drive, Bruce
was seen to slip quietly through the hedge and disappear. When this
point was reached on the return drive, out came Bruce, and trotted
quietly home as if he had run with the carriage all the way.

Bruce’s constant habit during this last period of his life was to
accompany his guardian, who was a clergyman, to the door of the church
where the latter went for a daily morning service. When he came out,
Bruce was waiting for him and trotted home in his company to breakfast.
At last one morning Bruce was so weak and feeble that his guardian put
him by his study fire before he left the house, and told the dog to
wait there for him. Did Bruce feel the end was coming? Who can say,
but in all his weakness he managed to crawl to his usual place by
the church door, and was ready with a feeble welcome when his friend
appeared. Carried back to the study fire, Bruce did not move again,
but in the course of a few hours gave up his life. We may hope that no
regrets for the absent master clouded the last moments of his waning
powers.



THE PROFESSOR

_In Memoriam_

  Lugete o pueri et genus togatum
  Et quaecumque canes amant puellae,
  Ille emortuus est canis fidelis,
  Huius deliciae scholae decusque,
  Qui vix inferior domus magistro
  Formabat pueros sagax Agelli.
  Ast omnes studio pari ciebat
  Praesens Marlburios favente cauda,
  Qui propellere vel manu volantem
  Vel saevis pedibus pilam studebant,
  Exemplo aut tacito coarguebat
  Si quem dedecuit piger veternus
  Nam raptas modo quattuor superbus
  Mala continuit pilas minore,
  Elatrans modo equum procax anhelum
  Morsu callidiore persecutus.
  At liberrimus usque sic vagari
  Per campum solitus viasque nostras,
  Indignans Anatis tulisse vincla
  Innexo laqueo miser peremptus
  Aeterno dominum obruit dolore.[1]

                                   M.


Bandy, the friend and hero of three generations of Marlborough boys,
was of the spirit of the age in which he lived. With a decorous respect
for the sober business of the classrooms, it was in the playing fields
that his prowess was displayed. Cricket was for him the absorbing
interest from the early days of his puppyhood to the closing hours of
his life. Football and hockey had a lesser place in his affections,
and the Racquet Court came in occasionally for patronage. Of the
School Rifle Corps he was an enthusiastic and exemplary member, and
even illness would not keep him from his place in the corps, when the
delights of a Field Day were in prospect.

In private life Bandy was a Dandie Dinmont, who came into the
possession of the master of Littlefield, one of the Marlborough
boarding houses, when he was only a few weeks old. As there were some
fifty boys at Littlefield, and no other dog was kept in the house,
Bandy was from the first thrown greatly into the society of humans,
and throughout his life he always showed a preference for their
companionship to that of those of his own kind.

Bandy made his first acquaintance with cricket in the summer term that
followed his arrival at the school. His master, who used to coach at
the cricket nets in the school playing field, was in the habit of
taking the puppy with him and tying him up in full view of all that
was going on. With growing interest Bandy watched the proceedings,
and so well did he respond to his early training that the love of the
game developed into a passion with him when he had come to years of
discretion. He grew to be one of the most enthusiastic and untiring
of fieldsmen, and for a long succession of summer terms he was seldom
absent, morning or afternoon, from the Littlefield practice net. He
generally stood in the long field, and would work himself to a state of
complete exhaustion in retrieving the balls.

[Illustration: THE PROFESSOR

BANDY]

In this, his chosen work, Bandy showed a nice discrimination. He only
worked for his own house. Balls hit from other nets might fly past him,
or even roll to his feet, but of these he took no heed. His fielding
was for those of his own house party, though he recognised the claims
of the school nets reserved for the XI and XXII, and professional
bowlers, and showed his recognition in a manner all his own. He himself
was always up to time, and if his house contingent were late he would
enter a protest against their slackness by taking his services for
that hour to the aristocrats of the cricket field. Yet here the nets
had drawbacks from Bandy’s point of view. Being longer and higher than
the ordinary house nets, the ball was seldom hit outside them, and in
consequence there was but little fielding to be done. But Bandy made
the best of things. Taking no notice for the time being of his usual
allies, he would stand behind the wicket of his chosen comrades, and
leap at the balls, not yet past the bat, or as they struck the net.
He would even venture inside and stand near in on the off, with eyes
fixed, as a fieldsman’s should be, not on the bowler but on the bat.

This habit nearly brought Bandy’s career to an untimely end. The
captain of the XI drove a ball low down on the off right, that came
straight at him. Bandy watched its course without flinching, and met
it full on his head. As he rolled over, the game was forgotten, and
the players rushed to his assistance. As his master was coming on to
the field he met the poor little sufferer being carried tenderly home.
He was apparently dying. In a few hours, however, he rallied a little,
and during the night so far recovered consciousness as to take some
nourishment from the hands of a devoted nurse. He was still alive when
his master went into school at 10 o’clock on the following morning, but
it seemed scarcely possible that he could recover. Soon after twelve,
when his owner went into the cricket field, an excited boy rushed up
to him with the question, “Have you heard about Bandy, sir?” As there
seemed only one possible reason for such a query, the master responded
sadly with the one word, “Dead?” “Not a bit of it,” was the astounding
answer, “he’s fielding inside the net.”

After this, life without a ball for Bandy was incomplete. Though a
cricket ball was his first love, it was not by any means the only one.
Any ball not in play he regarded as fair game. In the cricket season,
as he sometimes strolled with seeming innocence about the field, he
would search the pockets of any coat that had been thrown on the ground
in the hope of finding the thing he loved so well. Or from the Fives or
Racquet Court, he would carry off any spare balls he might come across,
and stoutly maintain his right to them. His master was not infrequently
met with a request from one of the suffering owners, “Please, sir,
would you speak to Bandy? He has bagged my Fives balls.”

Sunday, a day that never appealed to Bandy, was that in which he often
turned his attention to possible balls. In the summer he would spend
hours quartering the fringe of long grass that surrounds the cricket
grounds in which balls were often lost. If Bandy came across an old
one, a useless “pudding,” he would proceed to gnaw it to pieces then
and there, but if he found a new one he would straightway carry it to
his master’s study, which he always regarded as his treasure-house.

That in the opinion of his Marlborough friends Bandy was “more than
brute, if less than man,” the following school story will show. In this
case, I fear, I cannot go quite so far as those who knew him better and
whose faith in his powers was boundless. While Bandy was an interested
spectator of a cricket match he would gradually get nearer and nearer
to the scoring board, with the object, as his friends declared, of
seeing how they had acquitted themselves. If when the numbers went up
they showed that a boy had made a good innings, Bandy would sometimes
walk down the steps from the pavilion to meet him, and accompany him
back with applauding barks.

No wonder that with such belief in his powers Bandy was honoured by his
friends in a way surely no little dog has ever been before. The Latin
verse at the beginning of this chapter speaks for itself, it--and the
translation--was written by Mr. F. B. Malin. From the pen of another
friend, Mr. F. Bain, come the delightful lines:

IN MEMORY OF THE VALIANT LITTLE DOG, BANDY

  Alas! and art thou really dead,
  Quaint, semi-human quadruped?
  And dost thou sit on Pluto’s coast,
  A pallid little bandy ghost;
  Gone, little friend, away from us,
  Compatriot now of Cerberus,
  And shall we never see thee more
  Barking about the Rifle Corps?
  And wilt thou never now explain
  Thy base attack on Mr. Swain?
  Shall the old nag now munch his meals,
  Nor feel thee biting at his heels?
  At football shalt thou ne’er be found,
  Snuffing at every inch of ground
  Along those touch-lines, where we know
  Thou found’st a mouse long years ago?
  Never in court shall we now pass
  Thy sturdy figure on the grass,
  Fives balls protruding from its jaws,
  And racquet balls between its paws.
  Never again shall we now meet
  Thee, Bandy, trotting down the street;
  See thee turn over on thy back,
  And, deep down in thy throat, alack!
  Behold, defended by thy grin,
  Our cricket ball, thou dog of sin!
  Who can forget the solemn way
  Thou mapped’st out thy every day?
  Thy daily round, thy common task,
  Furnished far more than most dogs ask.
  The cricket net, the football match,
  The racquet court, those hours thou’dst snatch,
  When masters are in cap and gown,
  To do thy duty by the town.
  Yet was there one day, Bandy, one day,
  When life was dull, and that was Sunday.
  No interest, poor dog, for thee,
  Had sermons or Divinity:
  Thou’dst no delight in Scripture facts,
  No joy in Gospels or in Acts:
  Thou setted’st small store by such things,
  As Apostolic journeyings.
  Ah! Bandy, if the Apostle Paul
  Had only been a cricket ball!
  Queer little dog, I see thee yet,
  Panting behind the cricket net:
  Thy every fibre quivering
  To touch that flying leathery thing,
  That sometimes lives, sometimes is dead,
  So wonderful and round and red!
  Those wistful little yellow eyes
  Glaring at balls that round them rise:
  Those bandy legs, those big, broad paws,
  Those smiling, comprehensive jaws:
  That lolling, red, protruding tongue,
  That plaintive yelp to heaven up-flung,
  Attesting plain as human speech
  How fain thou art the ball to reach.
  Mid languid forms that lounge and sprawl,
  And hardly deign to stop the ball,
  A pattern fieldsman--sight to stir
  The heart of every cricketer.
  And down among the ghosts, who knows,
  May flit dim forms of ghostly Pros;
  (For such as throw on grass may well
  Be doomed to bowl on Asphodel,
  With Rhadamanthus standing there,
  To see that every ball is fair.)
  While ghosts of gentler birth strike at
  A ghostly ball with ghostly bat.
  If so, a little ghost has set
  Himself behind that ghostly net,
  And leaps into the air to clutch
  The thing he loved on earth so much.

                                    F. BAIN.

Some of the allusions in the above will unfold their meaning in the
later events of Bandy’s life. A more charming appreciation of a dog’s
life has, I think, never been written, for Matthew Arnold’s lines on
Geist’s Grave are conceived in a different vein.

On one occasion it seemed that Bandy must be absent from one of
his beloved cricket matches. He was in hospital, suffering from
what the veterinary surgeon said was eczema,--in an ordinary dog
it might perhaps have been called mange--but in any case Bandy was
_hors de combat_ and in confinement. But Bandy throughout life had a
well-grounded opinion that “stone walls do not a prison make,” and his
master’s astonishment was great to see a dilapidated little figure
strolling presently over the field to his accustomed place. His owner
called out to the medical attendant to know what Bandy’s presence
meant, and, to add to the quaintness of the incident, the reply came
promptly in all good faith, “I don’t know, sir. _I_ never told him
there was a match on.”

When health and strength were his, Bandy showed himself a rigid
disciplinarian. While a cricket match was in progress there were
various minor games going on in different parts of the field. Bandy’s
attention was of course given exclusively to the major court, until
a criminal proceeding on the part of a fox-terrier attracted him.
A big hit from one of the lesser players carried the ball near the
terrier, and before the out-field could get up the dog seized the ball
between his teeth and bolted with it. None of the spectators within
reach stopped him, but Bandy, who had seen the theft from his proud
position on the eleven bank, dashed to the rescue. With a growl of
mingled astonishment and indignation he flew after the culprit, whom he
soon reached and pinned by the throat. He then stood sentry over the
disgorged ball till the fieldsman came up and recovered it. Then Bandy,
still bristling with disgust, slowly returned to his master’s side.

Football and hockey matches Bandy seemed to attend more from a sense
of duty, than from any interest he felt in the play itself. He did
not watch the game but, satisfied that by his presence he had shown
a becoming respect for the occasion, he turned his attention to
more interesting matters. He generally spent the time in patrolling
touch-lines cut in the turf, for here he had once found and killed a
mouse. Though the joy never came to him again in the same way, he lived
in hope of further discoveries.

For the Racquet Court he had a modified affection, but for some time he
made a regular appearance there. It was the habit of one of the masters
who had retired, but still lived near at hand, to come to the school
every Monday and Friday morning at twelve o’clock, to play racquets
with the school pair. When he left his garden he always found Bandy
waiting to walk back with him to the court. Such a nice perception of
times and seasons had Bandy that he was never known to make a mistake
either in the day or hour of the visit. From the gallery no play was
visible for one of Bandy’s size, but he would stand there the hour
through, listening to the rattle of the balls he could not see, with
every nerve on stretch. There was, too, always the chance of a “skied”
ball, but the waiting was long, and from time to time he would give
relief to his pent-up feelings by a yell of approval or despair.

One of the many ways in which Bandy showed his appreciation of his
recognised position in the school life was by joining any party he
thought worthy of his company when they were being photographed. His
sense of loyalty to his house was shown in the selection he made, and
outside any gathering of his house members, nothing below Common Room
was good enough for him. But even then Bandy’s sense of justice did not
allow him to enjoy any honour that was refused to his friends. When
the masters were forming up on the Bowling Green to be photographed,
some one of the party drew attention to the fact that Bandy was not
present to complete their number. But it was the summer term, the hour
between twelve and one, when Bandy was busy fielding. This he could
not miss, and so it seemed that he had cut the photograph. But Bandy
was equal to the occasion. Just as the last arrangements had been
made, a movement was observed among the interested crowd that on these
occasions surrounds the door at the head of the garden steps. A small
form slipped through, and Bandy, still panting from his labours at the
nets, dashed over the grass and took up the most conspicuous place in
the group.

In accordance with custom, a second photograph was asked for, and
while the photographer was making his preparations and regrouping his
subjects, Bandy disappeared with the same speed that had characterised
his advent. But this time the calls of friendship were in his mind, and
when he returned he brought two curs of low degree to share his honours
with him. But while Bandy was an honoured associate, it was felt that
the dignity of Common Room would suffer if his friends were permitted
to join the group. The curs were consequently chased away with
ignominy, Bandy sitting up meanwhile and watching the treatment meted
out to them. He seemed to be considering the situation, and at the
moment the cap was taken off, he rose and moving rapidly down the line
left a blur on the plate that testified to his feelings on the subject.
He then walked off triumphantly to rejoin his rejected friends.

For the second time Bandy nearly met his death on the playing field.
A harmless horse, whose business in life it was to pull rollers and
mowing machines, spent his leisure hours in grazing at large in
the field. Whether it was that his stolid demeanour, or the placid
enjoyment that marked his performance, irritated Bandy, certain it is
that from one of these or some other equally sound causes he gave the
harmless quadruped no peace. His great delight was to dance about just
out of range, with short, sharp, most aggravating barks. This he would
keep up till the horse moved on, or if all else failed he would try a
snap at his heels. Such outrageous conduct was very properly resented,
and the day of reckoning came at last. With a thud that sounded far and
wide, the victim caught his tormentor full on the head and fairly laid
him out. Once more Bandy was carried home to die, and the horse had
peace for _one whole day_.

The great problem of Bandy’s life was how to carry three Fives balls in
his mouth at once. One cricket ball, two Fives balls, or three racquet
balls he could manage, but his ambition was to stow away three Fives
balls. Over the successful carrying out of this he would spend hours
when no more enticing occupation offered itself. As it was a serious
business, in the accomplishment of which he must not run the risk of
interruption, he would establish himself with his balls in a certain
grass plot in the court, which Bandy knew well was out of bounds for
all but him. Here his master has often watched him, with the three
balls laid out before him. He would begin by stowing away one ball
in either cheek, but with all his efforts he could not get the third
in between. Then he would eject them, and with the funniest air of
careful thought, turn the matter over in his mind. Starting again, he
would put the first ball well down his throat and make heroic efforts
to accommodate the other two. A less conscientious dog might have
substituted a smaller racquet ball for the third trophy, but such
was not Bandy’s way, and, alas, death overtook him before he found a
solution to the puzzle.

Fond, however, as Bandy was of balls and games, he put duty first.
It is almost a creed of Marlborough faith that Bandy never missed a
turn out of the School Rifle Corps after he had enrolled himself in
that body. As soon as the “Fall in” was sounded he would appear on
the scene, and, taking up his position just out of reach of the heels
and sword of the Commanding Officer, would do his best to emphasize
each word of command. Whether this was quite popular with the C.O.’s
is perhaps open to doubt, but here, as in all other details of school
life, Bandy was a privileged person. As the corps passed out of court
to the cricket field, he remained in attendance on the captain in case
his services should be required. It was a red-letter day for Bandy when
such an occasion presented itself.

As Bandy lived before the time of the South African War, more attention
was paid to the march past than is usual now. It was seldom that a
march past was not included in the afternoon’s drill. Here Bandy was at
his best. No sooner was the word given than he would dash forward to
the head of the band, and take up his post about ten paces in front.
His important duty was to lead, and with head and tail up, and eyes
front, he did it with becoming attention to details. When the band
wheeled left, to take post and play the corps by, Bandy would wheel
right, and, stationing himself in dignified manner at the feet of the
Captain, would take the salute with him.

Here again Bandy showed his stern ideas of discipline. It was before
the days of putties, and short leather gaiters were worn by the
volunteers. Mr. Swain, the bandmaster, was apt to be forgetful of
details, and one day as the corps, headed by the band, was marching
into the field, the captain, from halfway along the column, called the
attention of a sergeant to the fact that the bandmaster was without the
regulation gaiters. Bandy, who was in his usual place by the captain’s
side, showed his sense of outraged propriety by springing to the head
of the column and seizing Mr. Swain by the ankle, in the place where
the gaiters should have been. Whether he was not pleased with the
way in which his attentions were received, or did not consider the
punishment equal to the offence, Bandy did not let the matter rest here.

The band practices, held in the gymnasium, were gatherings that did
not appeal to Bandy, and he was never known to make one of them. But
on the practice that followed his disciplinary effort on the parade
ground, Bandy made his way to the gymnasium and demanded, and of course
received, admission. Without a second’s hesitation he made straight
for the astonished instructor, and repeated his warning against laxity.
The sufferer suddenly developed an agility on the horizontal bars that
no one had suspected him of possessing. The strangest thing perhaps
about the incident was that it is the only case in which the dog ever
attacked a human.

On the eve of one Field Day poor Bandy was in hospital. On the Monday
afternoon he had a tumour removed from his throat, and the corps
paraded early on Tuesday morning. One “turn out” then he was bound
to miss. But the corps had just fallen in when, as the first word of
command rang out, there was a gasp heard. The faithful soldier had
managed to escape, and had just enough strength to crawl to his usual
place. Is it wonder that such heroism was duly recorded in verse? “Exit
Bandy” testifies to the place he held in the affections of his friends.
These lines, like the others I have quoted, were written after the
dog’s death.

EXIT BANDY

  A truce to all your games to-day,
  Put football, racquet-ball away,
  Not now the hour for sport and play,
      But sorrow sore instead.
  A friend has vanished from our view
  Whom all of our six hundred knew.
  O sad Six Hundred when to you
      The news came--“Bandy’s dead.”

  Muffle your drums, O Volunteers;
  Your shrill notes soften to our ears,
  O Fifers; half a score of years
      He never missed a drill,
  But ever as your captain spoke
  “Fall in,” a bark the courtyard woke
  To tell to laggard human folk
      Their dog was punctual still.

  He loved us all--would favour none--
  The world his playmate; in the sun
  Or in the rain to romp and run
      His sole, his whole delight;
  Beneath his doleful brow was pent
  Indomitable merriment,
  To play with boy or man he meant
      All day with all his might.

  Was ever cricketer more keen
  On our field, or on any seen?
  Though summer’s labour made him lean
      To him ’twas labour sweet;
  You hit the ball, he watched its course,
  And fast as any Manton horse
  Outpaced it ere it spent its force
      And laid it at your feet.

  His voice would echo sharp and short
  From top tier of the Racquet Court
  As if he criticised the sort
      Of stroke you made or missed;
  So well he seemed to understand
  The tricks of every round he scanned
  You vowed him fit to take a hand
      (Or little paw) at whist.

  In Hockey, Football less he found
  Of dog’s delight, though on the ground
  He oft would watch with gaze profound
      The fortunes of the game.
  And, maybe, mused, “My legs for kicks
  Were not devised or holding sticks,
  Else in the fray what fun to mix!
      This looking on is tame.”

  Self-constituted sentinel
  Our school domain he guarded well;
  And woe to cur on whom he fell,
      Though twice his weight and size.
  Or, if too strong and big the brute,
  For timely aid of stone or boot,
  He begged us with petition mute,
      As due from sworn allies.

  A blithe life--free from pain or ache
  Save when he made some quaint mistake;
  Once heedless how a ball would break
      It half beat out his brains.
  And once a-hunting he would go,
  And sliced by ploughshare ’neath the snow
  Samaritans had work to sew
      His outside in again.

  Well, every dog must have his day,
  Even you, whose gaiety made gay
  Two generations, passed away
      Ere ours, whom Marlborough bred:
  And when was dog so mourned as you?
  Half sighs, half smiles, the wide world through
  Will blend in thousand-fold adieu
      When news comes--“Bandy’s dead.”

                                    A. H. BEESLY.

Anything of the nature of a spectacle always had attractions for Bandy.
Sunday was, as I have said, a dull time to him, for he was never
allowed to follow his friends when they went into chapel. One day,
when there was to be a confirmation in the school chapel, the sight of
visitors and an unusual stir about the place attracted his attention.
Soberly, as befitted the occasion, Bandy watched the crowd slowly pass
into the chapel, and then retired to the Bradleian arches, to be ready
for what might yet be in store. Scarcely had he settled down before
there issued from the old house the Bishop and the Head Master, side by
side, with crozier bearer in front. Bandy was instantly all attention.
Was this a procession, within the meaning of the Act? Three was a small
quorum, but then there were the robes. It _was_ a procession, and with
a yell of joy that to his master’s ears told only too well what was
happening outside, he flew to take part in it. A series of short, sharp
barks that sounded like pistol shots in the quiet stillness of the
chapel made the watchers inside sharers of the scene that disturbed the
serenity of the embarrassed dignitaries. But one of the sufferers was a
Bishop, and Bandy’s master’s diocesan, so we will draw a veil over the
sequel.

It was on a Sunday that yet another great disaster nearly ended Bandy’s
life. To relieve the tedium of the dull hours he went off in the
afternoon to do a little ratting on his own account. What followed can
only be surmised, but that night Bandy did not return. The next morning
a blood-stained track was found leading from a rick on Granham Hill,
and on a harrow at the foot of the rick were blood and hair. Bandy must
have leaped or fallen from the rick, though how he reached the top must
ever be a mystery. That day two boys saw him making a desperate effort
to reach home. He was in a terrible condition, and without assistance
must have died before he could find his friends. The boys, however,
did what they could for him. They took him to a friendly saddler,
who washed his wounds and sewed him up, and again he was carried home
apparently in extremis. Once more he was tenderly nursed back to life,
and within forty-eight hours he crept from his master’s house to the
school gates, where his owner found him waiting for him, too feeble to
travel further.

Though Bandy was no fighter in the sense that he sought an encounter,
he never refused a good offer. He returned sometimes from his little
private excursions more than a trifle mauled, but he never made any
fuss about his wounds. Rats were ever a joy to him, mice came in for a
lesser share of his attentions, and he would spend hours in desperate
efforts to dig out a rabbit. There was no mistaking the language with
which he would resent any intervention, even from his best friends,
at such times. On the other hand he was always ready to acknowledge a
really well-timed service.

As the Downs round Marlborough abound in hares, they were ever an
attraction to Bandy, and he lived in hope of some day accounting for
one. He had a good nose, and would sometimes stick to a stale line
till the hare jumped up within a few feet of him. Then away he would
go again, always running by scent and not by view. When nearly beat he
would sometimes start another hare. “Good,” he seemed to say, “I knew I
was getting up to her,” and with desperate determination he would carry
on the chase. His master was often obliged to ride up at last and call
him off, “faint, yet pursuing.”

Bandy once had a rude shock. He had gone out with one of her late
Majesty’s judges, to dig out a badger in the Pewsey Vale, some seven
miles off. The holt was in a sand-pit, and had two entrances or pipes.
A dog was sent up one of them to mark the badger, and behind the dog
a man worked with a short pick, passing the sand out behind him. At
the same time another man was told off to crawl up the other pipe and
report progress. It was a pouring wet day, and just as Bandy’s master
arrived on the scene the second man emerged backwards from his pipe. In
a moment the judge’s coat was off, and in spite of all remonstrances
he insisted on taking his turn, and slowly disappeared. The whole
proceedings were a mystery to Bandy, and he watched attentively. No
sooner did the judge reappear from the bowels of the earth than Bandy
dashed in to solve the mystery for himself. His curiosity was quickly
satisfied. Instead of a rabbit he found a badger at bay, and in this
case he decided that discretion was the better part of valour.

It was only comparatively late in life that Bandy turned his thoughts
seriously to education. Then for some time he attended his master’s
lessons regularly, and never was there a more attentive pupil. When the
blackboard was being used he would come out and sit in full view of it,
and never take his eyes off till the chalk was laid down. For two terms
he took up science, but he had the sense to limit his range of study,
and only attended a class that was held twice a week. He never mistook
the day and hour, and always made a point of escorting the master who
was to give the lesson from his rooms to the laboratory.

Occupied as he was, Bandy yet found time for social duties. For some
years he always paid one visit every term with unfailing precision. The
master who was thus honoured was not conscious of any special claim
to such distinction. He lived in rooms at the top of two flights of
uncarpeted stairs, and regularly once a term he would hear what sounded
like a human step coming slowly up, so self-repressed was Bandy when
occasion required. Then would come a tap low down on the door, and in
would walk the courteous visitor. The call would pass with no more
incident than other visits of ceremony, and after a stroll round the
room and a lounge before the fire Bandy would rise, make his bow, and
walk downstairs with the same dignified restraint that had marked his
approach.

It is as a public character that Bandy’s memory lives. The incidents
of his private life were few. Though devoted to his master, and with
a full sense of the claims of his house fellows upon his time and
affections, he was not a demonstrative dog. The only times in which he
was wont to display an exuberance of joy, was when his master returned
home after the holidays. Then he would go nearly mad with joy, and
testify to his delight with no thought for the restraining hand of
decorum. If his master was laid aside by illness or accident, Bandy,
who at other times did not frequent his bedroom, would always go up,
and jumping on the bed, give the special mark of sympathy that the
occasion demanded. But Bandy’s powers did not lie in the direction
of sick-room nursing. His was only a visit of condolence. He was
satisfied that others could look after his master better than he could,
and he would go off to one of his many school duties, safe in the
confidence that the invalid would be well cared for.

It seems almost sacrilege to speak of such a dog as Bandy being
thrashed, but such ill luck has been the portion of other and greater
lights of Marlborough, so I may take courage to say that twice such
ignominy fell on Bandy. The first time his master felt called on to
administer condign punishment was for the crime of chasing sheep on the
Downs. The lesson was remembered, and the offence was never repeated.

On the second occasion Bandy resented the treatment meted out to him
and took his means of retaliation. It was a prize day, and he wished
to share in the unwonted stir and movement that promised untold joys.
But his master decided otherwise, and sent him sternly home. From the
order there was no appeal. Sadly Bandy turned from promised joys, and
meditated vengeance in his heart. Going straight back to the dining
room he forthwith jumped on the table, and finding there among other
dainties a cold duck, he determined to relieve the tedium of his
banishment by a feast. So he devoured the duck in comfort on the floor,
and then waited on the doorstep for his master’s return. When the
latter came in Bandy led the way to the dining room, and conducted his
master to the remains of his repast. It was not to be supposed that
a free member of the school could be shut out from one of its great
functions with impunity.

Bandy was always keenly sensitive to ridicule. It was a favourite
amusement of his to watch the matron dispense the various medicines
to the boys. Curled up in her chair, he would follow the proceedings
with interest. One of the boys in teasing mood came and stood in front
of him, and laughed derisively. Bandy showed his sense of the insult
offered him by immediately leaving the room and taking refuge in his
master’s study. Two years later this boy came down to see the senior
master, and as soon as Bandy heard his step outside he made good his
escape from the room. As soon as the boy entered, his master knew the
cause of Bandy’s hurried departure.

Once again Bandy was in hospital, and the very care his friends took of
him proved his undoing. No one had mastered the secret of his former
escapes from confinement, and to make all sure, Bandy was chained up
and left for the night. Alas, the next morning, which by a strange
coincidence was his master’s birthday, a sad sight met the eyes of his
guardians. Bandy, unable to support the indignity of loss of liberty,
had strangled himself in mad efforts to escape. There lay his little
lifeless form, and grief reigned in Marlborough for the loss of the
good comrade and faithful friend, who for ten long years had been a
privileged member of the school body.

Yet another friend was moved to verse in his sorrow for his loss.

BANDY

  Bandy dead, and such a death!
    Sure it makes the heart beat faster,
  That he rather strove to die
    Than be parted from his master.

  Countless risks to limb and life
    (As I write my spirits falter)
  He had weathered; and the end--
    Self-destruction with a halter!

  Bandy! When from lip to lip
    Spread that dismal bit of knowledge,
  More than grief for loss of brute
    Dimmed the gladness of the college.

  How shall we supply the place
    Vacant by his sad disaster?
  Self-appointed, Bandy long
    Held the post of Extra Master.

  See him watch behind the nets,
    Cerberus-toothed, and Lynceus-sighted;
  See him scampering o’er the grass,
    Coach and fag in one united.

  See him, close inspection o’er,
    Column formed, and bugles blowing,
  Head the Corps, and through the gates
    Trot, the way to glory showing.

  In the field, the court, the road,
    Barking, bossing had you seen him,
  _Nil humani_, you had said,
    Was to Bandy _alienum_.

  Never, rare in man! _de trop_,
    Ever on occasion handy;
  Boys and Masters courage take
    From the energy of Bandy!

  More than brute, if less than man,
    Far beyond all canine measure,
  Sharing, conscious of his worth,
    Human business and pleasure.

  Mystery strange of brutish soul!
    Beamed from out those doggy features;
  More of sympathy for man
    Than his nearer fellow creatures.

  Lived throughout that grizzly frame
    Iron purpose past our guiding;
  Wisdom hoar that mocked our search
    Deep in those weird eyes abiding.

  Where is Bandy’s spirit fled?
    What forbids this hope to cherish,
  Wit so keen, and love so strong,
    Are not of the things that perish?

                                  X. A. M.



THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE

“_Here’s fine sport, my masters!_”


Jack, who belonged to the old breed of fighting dogs, had all the
characteristics that marked the better class of those worthies of a
bygone age who were known as soldiers of fortune. Brave as a lion,
he would fight to the death, but he was gentle and courteous to
those in distress, loyal to his friends, and an open enemy. It was
strange, indeed, that with his early training he had not learned to
love fighting for fighting’s sake. But as he never began an attack,
and never lost his head even in the most heated moments of a deadly
struggle, he had the advantage of a soldier trained to warfare over
less well disciplined opponents. Jack’s enormous strength of jaw
and his size--for in fighting condition he was said to weigh fifty
pounds--made him a formidable antagonist. But in spite of this, and
of his truly ferocious appearance, he was gentle and affectionate in
disposition, was on the most friendly terms with every one in the
house, where he found a home after the stormy days of his youth, and
was never known to start a quarrel with one of his own kind.

His meeting with his future mistress was sufficiently dramatic. This
lady was calling at a vicarage in the neighbourhood of her home when,
as she reached the front door, she found herself confronted by a
remarkable looking object. Seated on the doorstep was a large, grey,
brindled bull terrier, with the square massive head of the bulldog,
and in general appearance resembling the pictures of Crib and Rosa and
other old-world celebrities. To add to his attractions he had lost half
an ear on one side of his face and half of his upper lip on the other.
His head was covered with wounds not yet healed, and his neck had been
severely mauled recently.

The visitor stood still in astonishment, while she examined him
attentively, and Jack on his side kept his place in the middle of the
doorway, and returned her gaze, while he slowly turned his head from
side to side. Happily the lady does not know what fear is where a dog
is concerned, and as soon as she had recovered from her surprise she
spoke to the dog in a gentle voice. Jack then rose and came towards
her, and after walking round her and sniffing at her skirt he looked up
at her and allowed her to pat his head. From that moment his friendship
with the stranger began, though there were still some vicissitudes
of his strange career to be gone through before he came into her
possession.

[Illustration: THE SOLDIER OF FORTUNE

JACK]

Inside the house the visitor heard something of his story. Jack had
been brought home by the son of the house, who was an undergraduate of
Cambridge, and he had become possessed of him under peculiar and, we
may hope, unusual circumstances. A fellow undergraduate had purchased
Jack from a man who had brought him down from the Staffordshire
Potteries, where the bull terrier had a great reputation as a
fighting dog. Many were the tales told of his prowess in deadly
combats, in which he had come off with the honours of war. These
brutal exhibitions though contrary to law are not yet done away with
in mining districts, and that other parts of the country are not free
from suspicion in this respect Jack’s history will make clear. It would
be well if the authorities showed more vigour in putting them down, as
they are a disgrace to our boasted humanity and refinement of feeling.
It is hard to see how the gruesome sight of dogs deliberately set to
maul one another until the life of one is forfeited, lacks any of the
brutal elements that have made cock fighting happily a thing of the
past.

Unfortunately for poor Jack the hands into which he fell at Cambridge
were no more humane than those of his former owners. At a “wine” his
new master produced him, and challenged his friends present to find a
dog that could “lick” him. Another wild spirit took up the challenge,
declaring that his Newfoundland, an unusually large and strong specimen
of his breed, could easily give the Staffordshire hero a licking. Bets
were made freely, and the furniture was cleared, while the Newfoundland
was being fetched. Then the wretched animals were set on, and for a
time their struggle was watched by the inhuman men. But the fight grew
so savage that the infuriated animals became a danger to the onlookers,
and the party put the crowning point to their cowardly proceeding by
clearing out of the room and shutting the door on the combatants. It
was not till the sounds of fighting had died away that they ventured
back to see what had happened to their victims. The Newfoundland had
been killed, and Jack was lying half dead beside him.

Fear of the consequences of their exploit to themselves now entered the
young men’s minds. If Jack was kept, the Dons would be sure to hear of
the affair, and as one of the party was going down the following day,
he was persuaded to take the dog with him. The suffering creature was
consequently put into a basket and carried down to the Dorset Vicarage,
where he was by no means a welcome guest. The Vicar not unnaturally
thought that he was not a reputable addition to his household. But the
dog could not be turned away till his wounds were healed, and Jack
found a home in an outhouse, from which he had made his escape on the
day of my friend’s visit.

The lady had no sooner heard his history than she expressed a wish
to have him. But the Vicar refused point blank to allow him to go to
her, and his son told her privately that he meant to keep the dog.
On returning from a short absence from home the would-be owner made
inquiries about Jack, and what she then heard determined her to make
every effort to get possession of the dog, and thus put an end to his
fighting career.

Jack’s presence at the Vicarage had not been pleasing to an old
retriever, who was used to ruling supreme on the premises. Before
long a fight ensued between the rivals, and the Vicar, hearing sounds
of warfare, rushed out to find matters looking serious. Seizing the
retriever by the tail he called loudly for assistance. This brought
Jack’s master on the scene, and with considerable difficulty he
succeeded in getting his dog by the collar and choking him off. From
the fiat of banishment that now went forth there was no appeal, the
somewhat undignified part played by the master of the house perhaps
adding fuel to his wrath. Anyway, Jack was made over to a travelling
pedlar, who passed through the village the following day.

This man had a large white bull terrier of his own, which, he said,
he kept to guard his cart. With the same brutal instincts displayed
by Jack’s former owners the pedlar determined on a fight between the
dogs. For the benefit of himself and his friends the entertainment was
brought off in a back yard. So desperately did the dogs fight that to
save their lives the men at last separated them. Too late, however, to
save the life of the white dog, which died of its wounds, while Jack
was in a dreadful condition, and it seemed doubtful if he would recover.

My friend found out where the dog was, and sent the Vicar’s son, who
had brought him into the neighbourhood, to buy the poor suffering
creature for her. The embassy was successful, and Jack, the most
miserable remnant of a dog that ever was seen, and with his neck in
such a state that it was months before he could bear a collar, came to
the home that sheltered him for the remainder of his days.

Jack’s adventures were by no means over, but he was too intelligent
ever to enter on a struggle lightly. He knew what fighting meant, and
did not run into danger needlessly. What to others was a mere incident
in their quarrelsome lives was for him a matter in which the science
of war and the risks of battle had to be considered. These fighting
dogs are trained never to let go of their opponent till they have a
firm grip of the head, and then, from the working of their terrible
jaws, there is little hope for the victim. The dog that fastens on to
the leg of his opponent is not accounted much good, as, though he may
break the bone and cause terrible agony, he is not likely to succeed in
killing the other. The brutalising effect of such contests as those in
which Jack had taken part seems to be shown more clearly on the men who
organise them than on the animals they train. This is, at least, as it
should be, for it is man’s superior intelligence that is perverted to
provide the so-called sport, while the dogs are but the puppets made to
dance at his orders.

Jack’s appearance always remained sufficiently alarming to terrify weak
nerves. In his new home he used to spend long hours lying on a mat in
the front hall, and always did so of an afternoon unless he was out
driving with his mistress. He was in his usual place when two ladies
arrived to tea. One of the visitors stepped out of the carriage to
ring the bell, and this, being almost over Jack’s head, awoke him with
a start. The dog sprang to his feet with a growl, and his unexpected
appearance struck such terror into the heart of the visitor that she
fled back to the brougham for protection. Her companion, an older lady,
just then in the act of stepping out, received her friend’s onslaught
with no hope of withstanding the shock. She was knocked backwards on
to the floor of the brougham, where the fugitive tumbled on the top of
her, Jack meanwhile watching the unwonted proceedings with interest,
but without showing the least sign of wishing to join in the fray.
When the visitors had been safely escorted into the house, and the
elder lady understood the cause of her friend’s fright, her anger was
great. How could any one suppose that a dangerous dog would be allowed
to lie at the front door? she inquired. But the other who could not be
persuaded to allow Jack to come near her, or indeed to be in the same
room with her, asserted that his look was enough to frighten any one,
and if he came near her _she should do the same again_.

But Jack behaved with exemplary courtesy to all visitors to the house,
and to his mistress he was devotedly attached. This love he only
extended in anything like the same degree to one person, and that was
his mistress’s mother. He always had a special welcome for her when she
made one of her occasional visits to the house, and constituted himself
her guardian, seeming to understand perfectly that as she had nearly
lost her sight she needed protection. Whenever his mistress was out,
if Jack did not go with her, he would go straight up to her mother’s
room and sit by her side, and no one could induce him to move till his
mistress returned. His affection and care were much appreciated, and
Jack and the elder lady became the firmest friends. She was in the
habit of taking a little stroll in the afternoon along the carriage
drive, and with Jack for a companion she said she felt perfectly safe.
He always walked close by her side, and to give her warning when any
one was coming, he would look up at her and give a little friendly
growl.

To his mistress he was the most vigilant of guards, and his encounter
with a tramp was talked of far and wide in the county. For some time
the cottagers in the neighbourhood had been troubled by the visits of
this man. It was his custom to watch the men off to work, and then go
and bully the women until he got money from them. One spring morning,
when Jack’s owner was sitting in the drawing room with the window open,
a shadow cast across her book caused her to look up. She saw a short,
sturdily built man of the dirtiest possible appearance in the act of
stepping into the room from the verandah. She realised at once that it
was the tramp, from the descriptions she had heard from some of his
former victims. She knew, too, that he must have watched the house and
chosen his time as usual when the men were absent. Probably from the
shelter of the shrubbery he had seen the two gentlemen of the household
drive away in the dog-cart, and had waited until the outside men had
gone home for their dinner. The only man left about the place was the
butler, who was on the far side of the house.

Starting from her chair the lady asked the intruder what he wanted. “I
want some money,” was the surly response. “I have nothing for you;”
and as she spoke she made a step towards the bell. But the man was
too quick for her. Flinging himself before her, and thus cutting her
off from the power of summoning assistance, he said threateningly, “I
means to have some before I goes.” His startled victim looked round
hastily for a weapon of defence, as her doubtful visitor held a short
thick stick in his hand, which he looked quite capable of making use
of to achieve his object. Her eye fell upon Jack asleep under a chair
in the back room. Clapping her hands to rouse him, she called, “Go for
him, Jack,” and the dog sprang to his feet, and with a savage growl
made straight for the man. In an instant the intruder was back on the
verandah, striking blindly at the dog with his stick. Jack was not to
be caught, and cleverly dodging the blows aimed at him he danced round
with every bristle up and his eyes glaring.

The man backed away along the verandah shouting at the top of his
voice, Jack after him, and his mistress following and encouraging the
dog. In this way the procession worked round the house till it reached
the garden gate. Here the man turned and tried to bolt through, but
Jack was on the watch, and instantly making his spring, he fastened on
to the man’s thigh and hung like grim death. Never was there a more
abject picture of fright than the tramp presented. He roared with pain
and fear combined, and throwing away his stick made frantic efforts to
get his hand into his pocket. Seeing the movement, and fearing that a
knife might be brought into play against Jack, his mistress caught the
dog by the collar, exclaiming as she did so, “I will try and get him
off, if you will be quiet.” This was no easy matter, for Jack’s blood
was up, but luckily there was a wrench, and with a piece of dirty,
rotten cloth in his mouth the dog fell back. It was the work of a
moment for the tramp to bang to the gate between him and his assailant.
By the time the household came hurrying up to see what was the matter
the man was making best pace down the drive, and was never heard of in
that neighbourhood again.

It is to be noted that even in his angriest moments Jack never resented
his mistress’s efforts to check him. Neither now nor at any period
of his life, however great the provocation, did he turn upon her. As
he understood and was ready to respond to her call for aid, so he
respected her restraining hand, even though, like an angry child, he
could not give in to the restraint at once.

On one evening in the week my friend was in the habit of walking across
the fields to the village in order to play the organ for the choir
practice. Jack always accompanied her, and as long as it was light he
followed close at her heels. Directly it grew dark Jack invariably
changed his position and trotted along in front of her. He then gave
notice of any one approaching by a warning growl, and if the passer by
ceded the path to him all went well, and he took no further notice.
If, however, the intruder kept to the path, things were not made so
pleasant for him. One very dark night Jack’s mistress heard the warning
growl, and then a quick rush, and a man’s voice raised in alarm.
Hurrying to the rescue she saw, as well as the darkness would allow,
what appeared to be a man on the ground and a dog on the top of him.
Seizing Jack by the collar she found it an unexpectedly easy task to
pull him off, as whatever it was that he had firmly in his teeth came
away with him. The man struggled to his feet and fled for dear life,
and it then turned out that Jack’s trophy was a large bundle done up
in a red handkerchief, and with a stick through it, which the man had
evidently been carrying over his shoulder. Holding Jack firmly his
mistress called to the fugitive that he might come back safely and
secure his property. But he would have none of it, and continued his
headlong course, while Jack and his mistress reached home without
further adventure.

Another of Jack’s exploits was in saving her from the attack of a
savage cow. A farmer in the parish had put a cow and her calf in a
field, through which ran a path that led into the village. Through this
field the Vicar’s daughter had come one afternoon to see Jack’s owner,
bringing her old retriever with her. On her return she was charged
by the cow, and in her efforts to escape fell into a deep ditch. The
retriever meantime flew at the cow, but finding himself hard pressed,
jumped after his mistress, who in her fright thought her infuriated
assailant had come after her. She and her dog eventually managed to
scramble through the hedge into the next field, and found their way
home. Knowing that the lady on whom she had been calling would be
coming down later to the practice, she sent a note to warn her of the
danger. But the messenger wisely preferred to go the longer way by the
road, and he thus missed the lady, who with Jack had already started
across the fields. On getting over a stile she found herself face to
face with a large half-bred Hereford cow, which without the slightest
warning rushed straight at her. Springing to one side she left the way
open to Jack, who proved quite equal to the encounter. Jumping at the
cow’s head, he caught her firmly by the nose and there hung. It was
now the cow’s turn to try and get away, and she rushed round and round
in a circle, swinging the clinging dog completely off the ground. All
her efforts being of no avail, she sank at last on her knees and laid
groaning on the ground. Just then the farmer appeared, and with his
help the cow was released, and Jack was then hurried away. The cow
recovered from her fright, and was none the worse for her adventure,
but she was promptly removed to a quieter grazing ground.

One of Jack’s pleasures was to accompany his mistress in her drives.
He always ran under the dog-cart, and if pursued by other dogs would
never take any notice of them for fear of losing the cart. His mistress
therefore always drove on when any assailant appeared, as she knew Jack
would not leave her. This proof of attachment sometimes cost him dear,
as his enemies were wont to think that his flying figure meant fear,
and that they could bully him as they pleased. This was specially the
case with a large collie who lived in a neighbouring town to which Jack
and his mistress often went. The collie had a habit of rushing after
any dog following a carriage, and his great speed generally allowing
him to come up with them, he would then roll them over and, after
shaking and biting them, run back to his master as if sure of approval.
This was indeed more or less true, for the master, whenever he was
remonstrated with on the behaviour of his dog, always replied that he
meant no harm and only acted in play.

After a time the owner of the collie set up a second, a younger dog,
who, of course, speedily followed in the steps of his elder. The two
dogs once rushed on Jack, as he was passing in his usual place under
the cart, and gave him a severe mauling. After that his mistress always
took him up when they were likely to meet his enemies, and one day when
she went into a shop she fastened a piece of string to Jack’s collar
and led him. She had just reached the shop door when she saw the older
collie rushing towards them. Turning in hastily to avoid him, Jack
lay down quietly beside her chair, but the collie rushed in and fell
upon Jack, and with a snap of the string from the latter’s collar, the
two were fighting in the street. For the first few minutes the collie
seemed to have the best of it, for he pinned Jack and was tearing at
him with all his strength. The lady and gentleman, in whose charge the
collie was at the time, seemed rather amused at the adventure, and
did not offer to interfere, while Jack’s mistress, knowing that his
turn would come, and thinking the attacker deserved a lesson, remained
passive.

Presently the collie, who thought he was going to have things entirely
his own way, recklessly put his foreleg across Jack’s open mouth.
The powerful jaws closed on it, and the collie, releasing his hold of
Jack’s throat, howled loudly, while he tried in vain to pull his leg
away.

Jack, however, was no leg fighter, and struggling to his feet he
released the leg, and, catching the collie by the side of the head,
turned him over on his back. The collie’s guardians now wished to
interfere, the lady calling out to her companion to save her dog. The
man raised his walking stick and was in the act of bringing it down on
Jack’s head, when the latter’s mistress interfered. Fortunately she
had brought a walking stick in her hand when she left the dog-cart,
and striking up the threatening stick of the other, she exclaimed, “He
shall not be touched.” But seeing that the collie would soon suffer
the extreme penalty of the law unless rescued, she seized Jack by the
collar and told him to leave go. His mistress always says she can
never forget the look of reproach her dog turned on her. Lowering his
bristles and wagging his tail Jack fixed his eyes on her face with an
expression that was almost human. His look said as plainly as words,
“What a shame to baulk me of my vengeance, now that I have at last got
my chance.” Nevertheless, he let go his hold, and the tattered collie
was led away. After this the collie was always put on a lead when he
was taken into the town. Jack once met him when he was being led, and
the way in which he showed that a dog who was not free was not worthy
of his notice was very funny. Jack raised his head and stared at the
collie for a moment and then passed on with contempt written in his
bearing, while the other, with lowered tail and scared look, showed
relief at getting by unnoticed.

At home Jack had a rival in the form of a black, curly coated
retriever, named Bob. This dog showed his jealousy by falling on Jack
whenever he found an opportunity, and their contests were endless. Bob,
however, was not a fighting dog, and as soon as the struggle reached
a certain point he stopped. Jack, who looked on Bob as an amateur
unworthy of his serious attention, always stopped as soon as the other
did, and never offered to renew the fight. The two dogs often went with
their mistress when she was riding, as Bob had no time for quarrelling
when he was following the horse. But when the rider was opening a gate
on a river bank, in order to cross by the ford, the gate swung back
on Jack, who always followed close at her horse’s heels. While he
was struggling to force his way through, Bob took the opportunity of
falling on him. Their mistress jumped from her horse to separate them,
and as they were now fighting on the top of the bank she rolled them
over into the water. With a great splash they disappeared, but Bob, who
was first to come to the surface, was none the worse for his ducking,
and swimming a little way down stream soon found an easy landing place.
Jack was not so fortunate, for being a much heavier dog he had a deeper
fall, and when he came up he was covered with mud. He seemed, too,
slightly dazed, and instead of following Bob’s example he tried to
scramble up the high bank close to him. Time after time he fell back,
and his mistress, fearing lest he should be drowned, lay down on the
bank and, reaching over, tried to get hold of his collar.

Bob, meantime, sat and watched the proceeding, and seeing his
mistress’s ineffectual efforts he jumped into the water and, seizing
Jack by the collar, towed him down to the landing place and then,
scrambling up backwards, tried to drag Jack after him. His owner rushed
to his assistance, and by their united efforts Jack was pulled up, and
in a few minutes the two dogs were trotting on amicably together.

Their last encounter was a bad one for their mistress. It was a hot
summer day, and she had taken a book into the garden and settled
herself under the shade of a tree with Jack by her side. After a
time she fell asleep, and was awakened by a weight on her chest that
threatened to suffocate her. A loud worrying saluted her ears, and to
her horror she found that Bob and Jack were having a scrimmage on the
top of her prostrate form. Struggling hard to release herself, she at
last slipped from under them, and the dogs continued their combat on
the ground. It was one of the worst fights they ever had, for Jack
meant business, so that Bob was glad at last to be carried away. After
this Bob found another home, but he neither forgot nor forgave his old
enemy and was always ready for a row whenever they met.

One of Jack’s great amusements was boxing with his mistress’s brother.
The latter, putting on his boxing gloves, used to go down on his knee,
while Jack stood opposite him, all attention for the signal to begin.
Jack’s aim was to get a hold of one of the gloves, while his opponent
tried to keep him out by bowling him over. Jack was often rolled head
over heels by a well directed blow, but in the end he always got
a grip of one of the gloves, which he was allowed to carry off in
triumph. Though he used to get wildly excited over the performance he
was not savage. He wagged his tail the whole time as a sign of good
fellowship, and quite understood that it was only a pastime, and not to
be considered as one of the serious duties of life.

In his older days Jack was very fond of lying in front of the kitchen
fire. This place he shared with a large white cat named Muff, and very
funny it was to see the two strangely assorted creatures lying curled
up side by side. Nothing would move Jack from his place. If the fire
became too hot he would stay till his coat was actually scorched, only
showing his discomfort by an angry growl. This always upset Muff, who
on hearing the noise would fall on him, and was of course punished
for his insolence, till the cook, whose pet he was, rushed to his
rescue. In one of these scrimmages Muff got such a sharp squeeze from
his powerful enemy that in terror he made a spring at a high window,
trying to escape. Instead, however, of getting through he came against
the blind which was partly down. To this he clung, and his weight
being twelve pounds brought down the roller, which with the cat still
clinging to his perch, fell with a clatter into the midst of plates and
dishes, making a noise that raised the whole household. Jack and Muff
being equally startled with the unexpected result of their conflict,
fled for their lives, leaving the cook a sadder and a wiser woman.

It was in front of the kitchen fire that Jack’s adventurous life came
to an end. We may fancy what dreams of past exploits came to soothe the
days of failing powers, when the worn-out warrior knew that his work
was done. With the scars of many conflicts and the respectful sympathy
of friend and foe alike, Jack found his last resting-place in the
shrubbery of his home, facing the door near which he used to lie.



THE ARTISTIC THIEF

          “_They also know
  And reason not contemptibly._”


Jet, in appearance and character, had a distinction all his own. That
the latter was due to a subtle cleverness which frequently led him from
the paths of virtue did not prevent his being in private life a dog of
high moral character. He never condescended to petty thieving, but when
an occasion presented itself that he felt was worthy of his powers, Jet
threw himself into it with all the enthusiasm of a true artist.

He was a King Charles spaniel of a type now unknown, and was believed
to be the last specimen of his kind. He was coal black from tip to
tail, and had lovely blue-black eyes that completed the duskiness
of his appearance. His head was not so short as the present fashion
demands, though it was shorter than those painted by Landseer, or
portrayed by the eighteenth-century artists.

As a puppy he was too leggy for perfect beauty, but there was no
evidence of this when he thickened out, and had grown a silky coat that
swept the ground, from the tip of his undocked feathery tail to his
ears. The latter were of extraordinary length, and would tie easily
over his mouth--in a bow his family declared, but certainly in a love
knot. When he was six months old, he came from his home in the Isle
of Wight into the possession of one of the family, with some member of
which he spent the remainder of his life.

While his master, who was a curate, was still living at home, Jet
started on the career that made him famous. Belonging to another member
of the family was a Blenheim puppy, of the kind now known as a Ruby.
Both the mites were fond of Pearl biscuits, and these were bought for
them in small quantities, as they did not come within the scope of the
lawful housekeeping arrangements. The little fat Peter was more than
once found busily engaged on the floor with a bag of his favourite
dainties, though this had been put well out of his reach, and his size
and shape forbade the idea of his having fetched it down. But one day
when the dining-room door was standing half open, Jet was seen to jump
on to the sideboard, shake and break the bag of biscuits, and, after
securing what he wanted for himself, push the lightened bag down to
the waiting Peter. At the first movement of the door Jet flew from his
perch, and by the time the visitor was in the room he was sitting in a
corner looking a model of innocence and ignorance. Peter, meanwhile,
ate hard, while there was still time, but _his_ lapses from virtue were
explained.

Before long Jet accompanied his master to a Midland town, where the
latter had rooms over a grocer’s shop. He speedily made himself at
home there, and was a favourite with every one in the house. A trick
of his puppyhood, not yet got rid of, was the love of tearing books
to pieces. Many times Jet was corrected for this crime, but when a
book lying on his master’s writing-table disappeared bodily he was not
even suspected. Not a sign of torn leaves pointed to his indulgence
in a forbidden pleasure. It was not till his master left the rooms a
year later that Jet’s delinquency was made clear. When a heavy set of
bookshelves was moved from its place, there, pushed carefully from view
behind them, lay the remains of the missing book. Every leaf was torn,
and it was evident that during some prolonged absence from home of his
owner Jet had had a long day’s enjoyment with them. That he had managed
to clear away every sign of the fragments said not a little for the
intelligence he had brought to bear on the matter. But this artistic
finish to his work was what made Jet a leader in his line.

There was trouble for the mistress of the house soon after Jet took up
his abode there. In her shop there were various trays of eggs, each
with its appropriate label. Some were marked “Real Fresh Laid,” and
only those in the mistress’s confidence knew that another place must be
sought for eggs that actually deserved this title. But from the latter
store one or more eggs disappeared daily. No one but those in the house
could go with such unfailing certainty to the choicest store. Many were
the conjectures, and suspicion at last fell on a maid-servant. But the
mistress one day felt an obstruction under a door mat, and lifting the
mat she saw a collection of egg-shells that gave her the clew to the
thief. Jet was undoubtedly the culprit, though how he had managed to
get at the contents of the egg-tray remained a mystery. The maid’s
character was cleared of suspicion, though it was pointed out to her
with some force that she had only her own slovenly habits of cleaning
to thank for having been suspected.

Jet at this time was a very independent little dog, as he was left to
his own devices while his master was engaged in the parish. Being of
a friendly disposition, he made many acquaintances among his fellows,
his chosen friend being a large spaniel, who lived in the yard of Jet’s
home. This spaniel was fastened up during the day to act as guardian
to the shop, and it was not till business hours were over that he was
let loose and allowed to rove at liberty. One day Jet had what might
well have been a serious encounter in the streets with a large mongrel,
and it was only the little thing’s nimbleness that saved him from the
chastisement the other was anxious to inflict. Jet’s master was absent
from home, so the dusky mite took refuge with his friend the spaniel,
whose house he refused to leave for the remainder of the day.

What was it that passed between the two dogs in those long hours they
spent together, before the time of relief for the larger one came? It
is a case in which we feel we would give much to be able to pierce the
unknown nature of their communications. As soon as the spaniel was
unfastened, he and Jet were seen to start off at once on an expedition
that looked like business. There was no aimless roving or barking. Jet
led the way, and his big friend followed. After some search they came
upon the mongrel, and without the slightest sign of hesitation the
spaniel made for him and proceeded to business. Jet meantime sat down
quietly on the pavement and awaited developments. The spaniel’s size
was in his favour, and he managed in the end to drive the enemy off the
field. As soon as this was done Jet joined him, and the two trotted
quietly back together. That the story of the mornings adventures had
by some means been conveyed by Jet to his friend, it seems scarcely
possible to doubt in view of their subsequent action.

Jet’s next change of residence took him back to the family house in
town, where he met his future mistress. He attached himself to her
from the first, and always remained devoted to her. Yet with this
one exception Jet’s greatest friend throughout life was himself. He
showed his capacity for affection in the strong and deep attachment
he displayed to his mistress, but outside this he was a self-centred
little epicurean, to whom personal comfort and the good things of this
life were of paramount importance. He showed a gentlemanly regard for
all members of the family, and was very popular with the servants. The
latter always spoke of him as “Little Master Jet,” for the custom begun
in jest soon grew into a habit. “Shall I take out little Master Jet?”
or “What will little Master Jet have for dinner?” came to be regarded
as a matter of course in speaking of him.

When the time came for Jet’s lawful owner to leave home, there was
trouble with the determined little spaniel. He clung resolutely to the
mistress he had chosen, and no bribes would draw him from her side.
Even his favourite dainties had no charm for him, when their enjoyment
meant leaving the shelter he had taken up. Finally the schoolroom
party, of which Jet’s friend was the eldest member, clubbed their money
together and bought him at his original price. The rules in the house
were stringent about pets, but Jet, finding the hours long when his
mistress was at lessons, refused to be bound by them. He even made good
his place in the drawing room, sacred to the elders. Here he one day
found his owner’s grandmother in tears on her couch. Springing up to
her, he expressed his sympathy with rose-leaf tongue and silky paws in
such dainty fashion that from that moment his position was assured.

No dog ever had a stronger sense of fun than Jet. He dearly loved a
practical joke, and showed the nicest discrimination in the choice of
the pranks he played on the different members of the household. He
was a capital jumper, and very quick in his movements, and no sooner
did he see one of his older friends lean forward in his chair in the
excitement of conversation than a rapid spring would carry him into the
space behind the speaker. The instant he had accomplished this he would
to all appearance fall into such a ridiculously sound slumber that
he was deaf to all blandishments addressed to him. But no sooner had
he been lifted from his perch than he was as wide awake as ever, and
evidently well pleased with the successful carrying out of his coup.

The trick for the younger ones was of a different nature, as it was no
fun to usurp a place that was instantly ceded to him. A tiny scratch
at the door would demand admission to the schoolroom, but when it was
thrown open for him, there was no Jet to be seen. A few minutes later
the same signal would be made, and always with the same result. His
dusky colour and his rapid movements aided him in his flight, but if
his victim waited inside the door to catch him, not a sound would be
heard until she had resumed her seat. At last Jet’s excitement could no
longer be controlled, and a bark from his place of concealment would
betray his presence. These tricks were entirely of his own devising,
but his young owners soon taught him the usual accomplishments, and he
would beg or trust to order. But he was sometimes called upon for his
performances when he did not feel inclined for them. Then no power on
earth would move him. It was no uncommon sight for one of his young
instructors to be on her knees, scolding and propping Jet up, in the
vain hope of getting a regulation beg from him. Time after time Jet
would fall a little backboneless heap on the floor, really a much
better piece of acting than the stereotyped trick he was asked for.

His walks on the chain, with his mistress in town, were a model of
propriety. But with the youngest member of the schoolroom party,
whenever the honour of his guardianship was confided to her, the result
was very different. Then mad rushes at fat-legged children, and shrill
barks at nervous passers-by came to heighten the pleasures of the walk,
and it is to be feared that they were not altogether displeasing to
his small guardian. It was only play, and the young things at either
end of the lead had not yet learned to take life seriously.

It was on the occasion of his chosen mistress’s first dance that Jet
again showed his distinguishing talent. He always loved bright colours
and evening dress, and when he saw his mistress in all the glories of
her first ball dress, he showed his admiration in the most flattering
way by walking backwards in front of her with little yelps of approval.
When she left him his owner kissed her thanks to the discerning mite,
and whispered to him not to be dull, but to enjoy himself. This
injunction Jet proceeded to carry out.

He was left in the dining room, where a meal had been put on the
table for the master of the house, who was not expected home till
a late hour. When he arrived he received a warm welcome from Jet.
Everything looked cosy and inviting to a tired traveller, but it
seemed the parlourmaid had been forgetful. Butter and cheese had both
been forgotten. True, both cheese and butter dish were on the table,
but neither of them had been used. Thinking it too late to disturb
the household, the meal was made without them. The next morning the
mistress of the house, having been told of the oversight, mentioned it
to the parlourmaid. But the maid indignantly denied the imputation. She
was certain she had put both butter and cheese ready for the master.

Could Jet know anything about it? It seemed improbable, for neither the
meat nor any of the other dishes on the table had been touched, and
these would have been much more to his taste than the missing things.
There was not the faintest paw-mark to suggest his having been on the
table, and the two empty dishes seemed to say that nothing had been
laid on them. Later it was discovered that the cheese was missing from
the larder, but nothing explained the mystery until the remains of
the nibbled cheese were discovered in a rounded recess in the dining
room where the sideboard stood. It had been so cleverly concealed that
it only came to light when the sideboard itself was moved. With its
discovery Jet’s crime was made clear. He had evidently jumped on the
table to investigate, and with his usual discrimination refraining from
touching what would have proclaimed his guilt at once, he had eaten the
butter and cleaned the dish so that no trace of his work was left. Then
he must have pushed the cheese from the table, taking care to leave no
sign behind, and after finishing his meal on it, put it cleverly out of
sight.

The hold Jet had by this time secured in the family affection was
proved by the fact that his mistress’s parting injunction to enjoy
himself was held to be the cause of the crime, and it was decreed that
the delinquent was not to be punished.

It may be easily believed that the kitchen was no place for such a
fascinating dog. Visits to the cook were found to injure his digestion,
and they were sternly forbidden. The study, however, was on the ground
floor, for the house being built on a hill, the windows of the back
room opened on to the large garden common to all the houses of the
long row. A visit to the study often gave Jet his opportunity. While
his own mistress was in the schoolroom Jet would go to the study with
her mother. One morning, having omitted to close the door after her,
his temporary guardian found that Jet had left her. Calling to him she
saw a little dusky form creep noiselessly from the front kitchen, pass
the open door without a sound, and make his way upstairs. A second
later an excited and noisy little dog came clattering downstairs, and
rushed into the study with every manifestation of joy at having found
out where she was. The cleverness of his acting here again saved him
from punishment for disobedience to orders.

Jet, as I have said, was fed with great care, and such unwholesome
dainties as bones of birds were forbidden him. But it was often noticed
that when he came in from a run in the big gardens he had been eating
something. One day he was so uncomfortable that, dropping concealment,
he came to his mistress for assistance. A fine bone had worked its way
into his upper lip. His mistress was puzzled as to how it came there,
but concluded that some cat must have taken it into the gardens. A few
days later the croquet things were wanted, and as soon as the box was
opened, Jet’s supply of bones stood revealed. There in a corner was a
little hoard of grouse bones.

[Illustration: THE ARTISTIC THIEF

JET]

The box stood in the small space between the top of the kitchen stairs
and the door that led into the gardens. The bones must have been taken
from the plates as they were brought from the dining room, and the
half-open box that stood invitingly near offered a ready place of
concealment. In Jet’s many unattended excursions into the gardens he
must have visited his store and taken some out for present enjoyment,
but never by a sniff as he passed at any other time did he betray their
presence. Doubtless he heard with complacency, touched by grief at the
loss of his store, the admiration expressed for his talents and his
self-restraint.

Only once was Jet surprised in the act. An open larder door and
an eager attentive collie, gazing with longing at an upper shelf,
surprised him out of his usual attention to details. The larder floor
was sunk, and from the top of the unguarded steps it was the work of
a moment for Jet to jump on to the opposite shelf. Here he proceeded
to lift the wire covering from a couple of ducks, and not having made
good his bearings previously, he was discovered busily employed by
the kitchen authority, when she returned to close the door against
intruders.

At this time it was a much disputed point between the respective
owners of the collie and the spaniel as to which dog was the culprit
in the matter of stealing toast from the breakfast table before any
one was down in the morning. Jet’s exploit in the larder was held to
settle the question, and he was gently cuffed and sternly spoken to
on the subject. But Jet was not of those who suffer wrong patiently.
The following morning an imperious little barking creature made his
appearance in the kitchen and induced one of the maids to go with him
to the dining room. Here the collie was found helping himself to
toast, and it would be hard to say whether Jet or his mistress was the
better pleased at the discovery.

Jet’s appearance gained him a great deal of attention, and added to
his self-importance. His way of receiving any expression of admiration
from strangers was quite his own. A blank, unseeing stare of haughty
indifference came over him, and just the tip of a pink tongue suggested
intentional rudeness if the attentions were too pressing. A quick
look of intelligence at his own people that passed like a flash
claimed their sympathy in his performance, and in this Jet was rarely
disappointed.

As a young and very healthy dog, Jet had very keen senses and a good
memory. His knowledge of locality was above the common, and though he
travelled much he was never lost, either in town or country. If his
mistress lost him, she knew it was wilful behaviour on his part, and
that when the welcome call was heard at the door, a repentant mass of
silky black hair would soon be asking pardon at her feet. Once, indeed,
his owner thought he had strayed. She had taken him with her to stay
at a friend’s house in a strange part of London, and they arrived at
their destination in a thick fog. Almost immediately Jet demanded
to be let out, and so insistent was he that at last the front door
was opened for him. Straight out into the fog he rushed, and as time
passed without his return his mistress gave him up for lost. But Jet,
doubtless, had been satisfying a natural curiosity as to the nature of
his surroundings, and in due course a calm little dog came back, as if
thick fog and strange houses were a matter of no moment to him.

In the country the pleasures of a walk had nothing sedate about them.
Jet hunted the country round, in spite of the drawbacks attached to his
long love-locks. Often, when his short nose had to trace the scent, and
the pace was hot, his beautiful ears would get under his front paws.
But a silent somersault was all that happened; he paid no attention to
the pain, in the eagerness of his pursuit. The larger dogs were always
ready to follow up Jet’s discoveries, and though when they looked over
stones or banks the tiny leader had to jump on the obstacles, he was
always to the front.

Jet was always ready to lead his followers into mischief. If he did not
fight himself, he liked seeing others fight, and was never tired of
having the sheep chased in the park at his suggestion. A young collie
was a great ally of his, and Jet was once watched as he collected
a brood of young chickens and set the other dog to drive them into
the river. At this point his owner intervened, and Jet was hurried
away from the Highland farm where his exploit had taken place. Years
afterwards, when Jet’s happy little life was ended, his mistress was
again in the neighbourhood, and heard from the lips of a stranger
staying at the farm the history of the little black dog’s mischievous
performance, which on a former visit he had watched from a window.

When Jet and his mistress first went to live in the country, the latter
began to keep chickens. These lived in a stable, and a small hole
cut in the door let them in to nests and safety. There were great
cacklings in the mornings, which raised their owner’s hopes high, but
it was seldom indeed that an egg was found. Jet’s mistress, who was new
to country occupations and was keenly interested in the success of her
chickens, studied books on the subject, and watched her unsatisfactory
hens with care. There was never a sign of a broken egg-shell about the
place, and she therefore scouted the idea with scorn that Jet should be
interested in the matter. One day, however, she called Jet to her when
she had in her hand an egg that was to be cut up for her canaries. Jet
came running up in answer to the call, but no sooner did he see the egg
than he fell on his back, with waving paws in the air, a self-convicted
criminal.

The question now was as to how the mischief had been wrought. Many were
the theories suggested, but one after another they were all felt to be
untenable. A few days afterwards Jet’s old friend the collie had to be
fastened up, as a disagreeable neighbour had a still more disagreeable
gamekeeper, and the latter threatened to shoot all dogs found on his
land. This proved to be Jet’s undoing.

As soon as he was let out in the morning, Jet made his way to the
stable, squeezed his small body through the door, and without
destroying the friendly relations between him and the mothers, secured
his morning feast of eggs. Leaving no trace of his meal, he was seen
to come out, bearing a shell in his mouth, and look round for the
collie. He then went back and brought away every remnant of shell that
would have borne evidence against him. But no friendly collie came
at his call to eat up the little pile of broken shell and thus bring
the enterprise to its usual successful ending. Jet had done his part
with all the finish of an accomplished conspirator, but the egg-shells
remained as a witness against him. When his mistress paid her usual
after-breakfast visit to the chicken yard, Jet showed no disposition to
accompany her.

The tiny creature had a brave heart, and before he left his London
home he saved the house from being robbed. Along the row of houses ran
a parapet that led past some of the bedroom windows, of which Jet’s
mistress’s room was one. While the family were downstairs at dinner,
Jet was lying on the bed in this room. A man who came creeping along
the parapet stopped at the window and prepared to effect an entrance.
But Jet was on the alert, and springing from the bed he barked his
loudest, thereby causing the burglar to move on, and in time bringing
his family up to see what dire misfortune could have happened to him.
But though resolute in doing his duty, Jet had no taste for acting
guard, and never again would he be left alone in that room.

He was about two and a half years old when he first went with his
family to the seaside. He had not seen the sea since he left his first
home at the age of six months, but he greeted the sight of it as that
of an old friend. His first performance was to lead a younger but much
larger dog into difficulties over the slippery seaweed-covered rocks.
To Jet’s slight form and active ways these presented no difficulty; but
he insisted on the other dog following him until, the puppy’s strength
and courage both failing, he came to a standstill in a spot perilously
near the advancing waves. Then Jet was satisfied, and hastened back to
his friends to tell them their assistance was needed. While he watched
the rescue there was an air of self-possessed interest and innocent
enjoyment about him that he always displayed on these occasions.

The hour of bathing was not one of unmixed enjoyment for Jet. He had
no idea of risking his dainty form in the vast expanse of water, and
resisted all invitations to join in his friends’ pleasure. But when he
saw his mistress plunge into unknown dangers, he no longer hesitated.
With a spring and a splash he resolutely faced the peril for himself,
and swam out to her assistance. After this, Jet’s devotion was not put
to the test again.

No one realised that the active little creature had passed the prime
of life till an accident brought the sad fact home to his friends. He
seemed to do no more than give a passing sniff at a dead rat, but the
whiff of strychnine was enough to give him slight spasms and fits, from
which it took him long to recover. Never again was Jet to enjoy life
with the same irresponsible freedom that had marked his earlier days.
When his sight began to weaken, he was very tetchy about its being
noticed, for his ardent little spirit could not brook the restraining
limits of a semi-invalid existence. Yet he lived to a good old age, and
only left his many friends when sixteen summers had brought him the
varied joys of which he had known how to make the most.



BOOK II

STUDIES AND STORIES



I

“_A continuous chain of small actions, on the thread of character._”


In reading the life stories of the five dogs whom I have chosen for
special notice, we must, I think, be struck with the remarkable effect
on each of the particular environment of his life. Is this not the
very effect that the circumstances of his early years has on a child?
When in later life we meet a man or a woman who has been reared in a
home circle of culture and refinement, there are many subtle marks and
intangible echoes of those early days that make themselves felt in
spite, it may be, of rougher and less elevating conditions of later
years. While the human character is individual and marked off as a
personal attribute, the mind has responded to the influences of the
surroundings in which the most impressionable part of the life was
passed.

I believe that it is the same with dogs. The ego, the personal entity
that gives to each member of the canine race his individual claim
on our humanity, is made akin to us by his response to the mental
training we give him. If the dog were nothing more than an automaton,
such response would not, and could not, have the strong individual
characteristics that bring the dog into such close union with us. The
more we study dog life, and strive with all the disabilities that meet
us at every turn to enter into the feelings and probe the motives of
the dog’s conduct, the more, I am persuaded, we shall recognise the
evidence of the sense of a personal entity that marks each dog off from
his fellows. It is the individual dog, with his particular gifts of
body, mind, and spirit,--the adumbration of the higher powers that in
their full expansion are the heritage of the human race,--that claims
our sympathy, and establishes his hold on our affections. This, for the
true dog-lover, is the keynote to the study of his character, and the
only light we can bring to bear on the inner workings of his mind.

It is from this standpoint, therefore, that I would refer to the
salient features of the biographies.

The most cursory glance at the life stories of these dogs will show
how unfitted each one was to play his part in the surroundings of any
other. Bandy, who is perhaps the most remarkable instance of a dog
living a corporate life with humans, had a large-hearted outlook that
could only have been evolved in a member of a community. In his case
the wideness of his sympathies and interests seemed to some extent
to limit the range of his home affections. While loving and loyal,
without a shadow of doubt, to his owner and his house companions, he
had not the clinging, passionate devotion that was the keynote of the
life of “The Child of the House.” The scope for the latter’s powers
was smaller, and, his development being thus limited, the force of his
nature seemed to find an outlet in the wealth of his affections. With
different training Gubbins’s undoubted discrimination of character,
and his subtle appreciation of his own rights, might well have been
developed at the expense of the overflowing of love that necessarily
brought some suffering as well as much joy into his little life. Then
there was his innate love of sport, and his natural independence
of character, that were repressed rather than brought out by the
circumstances of his life. He was, in fact, the home bird, who was
equally unfitted for the rougher give-and-take of school life or for
the rousing adventures of “A Soldier of Fortune.”

Then the fascinating, pleasure-loving Jet could never have brought
his skill in theft and mischief to the perfection of a fine art if it
had not been for the tacit encouragement his lenient mistress gave
him. He was the spoiled darling, whose good looks and taking manners
carried him safely through his escapades. With a sterner view of moral
discipline in his owner, Jet might have been a more exemplary, but must
inevitably have become a much more commonplace, member of his kind.

In Bruce, “The Diplomatist,” many years of whose life were passed away
from the care of his special friend, we see the independent settlement
of his affairs that his position called for. When he had been used to
take the first place, not even the loving guardianship of his temporary
owners could reconcile him to being second. Though he conformed to
circumstances with a good grace, in accordance with his love of
decorum, he would choose a home for himself, when for the second time
his master was leaving him. In this he could not have made a better
choice. He reigned supreme, and had the most loving care lavished on
him, not only for his own sake, but for that of his absent master, who
was the eldest and much loved son of the house.

Jack, of fighting memory, was remarkable for the self-restraint and
generosity that not all the brutal associations of his early life
had been able to kill. Though he had given an intelligent response
to his training, and understood that from his first owner’s point of
view fighting was a business and not a pastime, he took no unholy
pleasure in rousing up an antagonist. Rather, as he understood the grim
realities of action, he shrank from provoking a combat, from which,
even with the honours of war, he would take away many a wound as an
unpleasant reminder. In fact, his experience had taught him to look
on war from the standpoint of the soldier who knows that he takes his
life in his hand every time he goes into action. And Jack had the marks
of a true soldier in his relations to his superiors and his fellows.
Obedient, staunch to the death, he would fight to the end, but he must
have an antagonist worthy of his powers. An amateur was no match for
him, and if in wanton play or ungoverned temper the unskilled fighter
attacked him, Jack gave him a lesson for his presumption, but tempered
his punishment to the powers of resistance arrayed against him. He was
loyal to his friends, had a tender sympathy with suffering, and showed
his gratitude for a good home in peaceful surroundings by a vigilant
guardianship of his mistress.

The character of each dog as we study it stands out in plain relief,
as the expression of that inner life which appeals to our own
experience at every turn. To me it seems a monstrous thing to suppose
that the care for his own life and those committed to his individual
guardianship which the dog shows, can be any other than the visible
expression of his consciousness of an ego, endowed with powers and
duties which only he, in his own person, can perform. That he has a
clear idea of responsibility is manifest by his conduct, and why should
this be whittled away from its obvious significance till we are asked
to believe that the dog’s behaviour is to be attributed to quite other
motives than those that govern our own actions?

We know the strange and often inexplicable intuition that is shown by a
child whose powers are as yet undeveloped in the choice of a friend or
guardian. He seems to know by unerring instinct the one, among a number
of friends, in whose heart he will find a response to the cravings of
his own young affections. He shows his confidence in, and a clinging
dependence on, the chosen one that bring their own reward. The same
intuition was shown by my own Skye terrier when he was first brought
to my house. The friend then staying with me, to whom he was given, is
a true dog-lover, and she accepted the care of the shy little stranger
with all her accustomed gentleness and consideration. It was to her
that Gubbins looked for the first caresses that greeted him in his new
home. He was looked upon, as indeed he was, as her property for the
time being. She had no dog of her own with her, and Gubbins slept in
her room at night and had all the privileges of a favoured friend.

On the other hand, I had two dogs almost always with me, and from one
of them I was constantly receiving the most demonstrative tokens of
affection. I refrained studiously from taking notice of Gubbins in the
early days, partly from the fear of exciting the jealousy of the older
inhabitants of the house, and partly because I did not wish to have my
affection enlisted by the wild, shy little mortal, whose life seemed an
unending round of rude shocks to his too sensitive nervous system.

Yet underneath all this there were causes at work which could not have
been known to Gubbins, and yet which his conduct seemed to show he had
appreciated almost at the first glance. His mistress had a favourite
dog at home, whose rule could never have been disputed by another.
She had nothing to give Gubbins but the temporary care and kindness
that his forlorn condition demanded. On the other hand, the dogs I
had then were not, and could never have been, more than friends of
moderate claims. Only one indeed belonged to me, the other being the
bulldog whose tragic outbreak I have recorded elsewhere. My own Basset
hound, picturesque and deep-tongued, and pleasant to look on as she
was, was one of the few canine idiots I have ever known. She seemed
to be absolutely devoid of intelligence, and though on the show bench
and elsewhere she would always give me an exuberantly loving welcome
that was very impressive to strangers, I knew that to any one of her
friends she would give an equally demonstrative greeting. Even a chance
visitor to the house would, as likely as not, be distinguished in the
same way. As Rica had no discrimination in her affections, so she had
no power of responding to mental training. Every day of the week saw
the same lesson of some simple matter of conduct given to her, and each
day she would offend in the same way, not from obstinacy or love of
wrong-doing, but because all memory of correction had passed completely
from her mind. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen with
my dogs, to watch Rica take up her position in the winter close--too
close, as she ought to have known from reiterated warnings--to a
blazing fire, and there, sitting up with her great wrinkled head
nodding in sleep, enjoy the warmth till she threatened to roll over
into the fireplace. The blankness that looked out from her clear brown
eyes, the lack of the nameless expression that speaks from a dog’s
every movement and look, were utterly wanting to her, and told their
own tale to the onlooker.

Such a dog was not one to engage her owner’s affections, and it has
always seemed as if Gubbins must have had some strange intuition of the
conditions that obtained among his new friends, in attaching himself
to me as he did. In spite of my studied aloofness and the presence of
my constant canine attendants, he showed a preference for my company
from the first, and never rested till he had made good his right to
a place in my bedroom. Yet in so doing he was thrown with the other
dogs, whose noisy exuberance of spirits were, in his then state of
cowed repression, an obvious trial to his nerves, and he would shrink
away terrified into a corner at any outbreak from them. With my friend
he would have had his own quiet place in her room, without shocks from
stronger nerved companions; and everything seemed to point to his
responding with gratitude to the advances she made to him. But Gubbins
would have none of them; and as those who have read his life know, he
won his future home by the determined selection he made.

While a tender living up to his position as a member of a small home
party, lightened by moments of expansion when fun and mischief made
a veritable child of him, was the distinguishing characteristic of
Gubbins’s life, we find the same dominant note of personal character
in each of the other dogs’ histories. With Bruce it was a strong sense
of social obligations and a finished ease of manner in fulfilling
them. An independent weighing of cause and effect in the case of his
own requirements and in the carrying out of his plans was also seen in
him. Of the matter of his independence in his mysterious visit to the
railway station to meet his master, when the latter was expected by a
train and route he seldom used, I have nothing further to say. I have
elsewhere vouched for the truth of the facts as I have given them, but
the explanation of his conduct I must leave to wiser heads than mine.

In Bandy a wonderful mastery of, and association of himself with, the
complicated machinery of the daily routine of a large public school
is the prevailing note. Times and seasons were known to him in a
marvellous way, and in the many interests into which he threw himself
with all the ardour of his nature he showed the wonderful development
of his mind that was the result of his intimate fellowship with a large
body of humans. The strength of his conviction as to his rights as a
member of a body of free-born Englishmen is shown as well by his act
of vengeance on his master when he thought he was unfairly treated as
by the manner of his tragic death. Freedom to the free, was the motto
Bandy lived up to in his life, and defended with his latest breath.

Jack, of less subtle mind, had the fearless outlook on life that
is characteristic of the good soldier. A stern determination to do
his duty, obedience to orders, whether of attack or restraint, and
an open-hearted loyalty were the surprising results of a training
that might well have left him a brutal exponent of his brutalised
owners’ methods of training. But here we have a case of a good natural
disposition unspoiled by early association with vicious men. As Jack
was untouched by the evil of his masters’ methods, he, with simple
faith in, and obedience rendered to the orders given, escaped the
degradation of those who, with the free exercise of higher powers, were
responsible for his early exploits.

A dainty enjoyment of the good things of this life, and an
irresponsible method of attaining his ends, were the leading traits
of Jet’s life. His appearance and manners aiding him, he took full
advantage of the opportunities the circumstances of his life afforded
him for the carrying out of his simple creed. His horizon was limited,
and to Jet he himself was the god, whose smile or frown made or unmade
the world in which he lived.



II

  “_The dogge, a natural, kind, and loving thing,
  As witnesseth our histories of old._”


If we accept the fact that the powers of intelligence shown by the
dog are of the same kind as, though of a lower degree of development
than, those that form our own mental processes, we start with a premise
that clears many difficulties from our path. But even so, if we would
penetrate the secrets that lie behind the engaging variety of his
actions, we must take into account many things that cause the dog’s
outlook on life to be different from our own. We must ever bear in
mind that it is only in considering our friend’s surroundings as they
appear to _him_ we can hope to grasp the effect of those surroundings
on his mind. We are apt to conclude hastily that, because such and such
a thing strikes us in a particular way, our dog will be affected by
it in a precisely similar manner. And the delusion is fostered by the
broad general characteristics of our mental resemblance to him. But if
we would have more than a superficial understanding of our dogs, we
must bring a sympathetic comprehension of life as it appears to them,
to mark the differences, as well as grasp the affinities, of the mental
and moral conditions that are in a general sense common to us both.

Yet with all the difficulties that lie in our path we can write the
life history of the dog as we can of no other animal. More sympathetic
than the cat, more constantly our companion than the horse, we can
study him under conditions that obtain with no other of his kind.
From the first days of his puppyhood to the closing hours of his life
we can trace the gradual unfolding of his powers and the widening of
his knowledge of life. This, too, we can do with but an ordinarily
intelligent interest brought to bear on the little life that is at once
so near our own, and yet cut off from us by the impassable barrier
of want of human speech. “How much he could tell us if he could only
speak,” a devoted attendant of a little dog used often to say, when in
his own way and by his own limited powers of language the intelligent
creature had made his friends understand that his surroundings were in
some way not suited to the needs of the moment.

It is in the physical conditions of our life that we must seek for
the first points of contact with the dog. In both our own and canine
life we have, of course, the same foundation of bodily activity in
the marvellous machinery of the nervous system. But this bond we have
in common with all living creatures, and it has therefore no special
value when we are studying our relations with the dog. Above this,
we have the power of instinct, or, as it has been called, “material
intelligence.”

Then we come face to face with a power in the dog that cannot be
explained by the wonders of reflex action as we learn them in the
study of physiology. The motive power of the action must be sought
in the intangible essence of mind, and not in the material organs of
the body. It is when this motive power has passed under the full sway
of the mind, and we have advanced from the realm of instinct into the
regions where the evidences of higher mental power are before us, that
we recognise the dog as our fellow in the comradeship of life. For
though in the dog we do not find the more highly differentiated powers
of instinct, his inferiority in this respect to insects that come far
lower in the scale of life is counterbalanced by his powers of mind,
that in their higher expression we claim to be akin to our own. We hail
the evidences of disinterested affection, of sympathy, of fortitude,
and of trust, as links in the chain that binds our dog friend to us in
a close mental and moral fellowship.

When “the one” among all dogs will give up his daily walk--the one
delight that never fails--to watch by our sick-bed, or comfort us by
his presence in our sorrow, the simple act of self-denial appeals to us
as an evidence of the perfect comradeship of disinterested affection.

We do not need to be told of the dark hours that come to us when
one whom we love has been taken from us, or of the craving for the
companionship that is lost that takes possession of us. Our interest
in our daily pursuits is gone, and a blank feeling of desolation saps
our energies. When a dog shows grief in the same way, sitting alone and
desolate, refusing food and all the joys of his daily life, the link of
sympathy is strong between us, as we recognise that he is afflicted
with a sense of loss akin to that which has saddened our own life.

My first dog came to me, and indeed made his place good in my
affection, while he was suffering the keenest grief at the loss of
his owner. In the many changes of life in India, Jell’s mistress was
called to join her husband in a distant station and, the heat in the
plains still being great, she did not wish to take her dog with her.
Knowing that I was wanting a dog, she offered hers to me. But Jell was
not prepossessing in appearance, and indeed well deserved the epithet
of “thoroughbred mongrel.” As I have a predisposition in favour of
well-bred dogs, I declined the proffered gift. But on the morning
of my friend’s departure the large, white, leggy, and bullet-headed
terrier--so called--made its appearance in my verandah, with a note
explaining his presence. No home had offered for him, and he was thrown
on my generosity to provide him with one. This I determined to do
elsewhere, as soon as might be, but in the meantime I was confronted
with the problem of reconciling Jell to his present quarters, so far at
least as to preserve his life. In the first moment of my displeasure at
his arrival, I had ordered him off to the compound in the charge of the
mehtar who had brought him to me. But I distrusted a native’s methods
with dogs, and something in the dejected appearance of Jell as he was
being led away softened my heart so far that I decided to take charge
of him myself.

He lay in my room, crying for hours together. He would take no
interest in anything, showed a fine disregard of all attempts to win
his favour, and refused to touch his food. At the end of the second day
I began to wonder what I should do with him, and was heartily wishing
that he had not been cast on my hands, when I became aware that two
soft eyes were watching me from the far corner of the room. There was
an expression of dawning confidence in the look, that gave me hope of
better things in store. I waited, and in a little time Jell raised his
head and sat up, with his gaze still fixed on my face. Presently he
rose and came to my side, and made the first advances of friendship.
To these he suffered my response with a far from flattering lack of
eagerness. Nevertheless, the first step had been taken, and I was
admitted to a place in his affections. This place I never forfeited;
for Jell, in spite of his want of good looks, did not find another
home, but remained my constant and devoted attendant to the day of his
death.

With a small terrier named Floss a friend had a similar experience,
though this little dog had a far more chequered history in her English
life than Jell had in India. Floss came to her future mistress with
only an announcement by telegraph that she might be expected on a
certain day. The man who sent her promised her history later, and in
due course both the terrier and the story of her deeds arrived. First,
Floss reached her new home just as the house was being closed for
the night. The basket, when opened in the kitchen, disclosed a small
terrier with black and tan head and black spot and fiery eyes, of a
most uncompromising expression of countenance. The little thing sat
up, glared at the strangers round her, and defended herself with her
teeth from all attempts to touch her. At last, in despair, the basket
was turned over and Floss rolled on to the floor. She then put her
back against the dresser, and showed that she still meant to keep off
intruders. All thought of taming her was for the time given up, and her
basket being righted, Floss was allowed to take possession of it, and
both were then carried up to her new owner’s bedroom. As the little
thing had been travelling for twenty-four hours, she was offered food
and water; but she would have none of them, and continued to sit up
straight in her basket, a very forlorn and vigilant little figure. Many
times during the night her mistress roused herself to see how Floss was
getting on, and always the same watchful and sad-looking terrier gazed
back at her, showing by a low growl her displeasure at the interest
displayed.

[Illustration: SUSPICION

FLOSS]

In the morning things were no better. Floss refused all advances made
to her, and would neither drink nor eat. Basket and all, she was
carried down to the kitchen garden, from which she could not escape.
Here she condescended to walk about a little, but whenever she met her
mistress’s eye she marked her disapproval of the situation by a growl.
Carried back to the bedroom, she sat in melancholy wrath for the rest
of the day, and was as uncompromising as ever whenever her basket was
touched or moved. The last thing at night her owner tried to soften
her by turning her out on the foot of her bed; but Floss refused all
advances, and only growled at every movement of her companion.

In the morning, when my friend awoke, she found Floss also awake and
watching her. Without moving, she said in a low tone, “Floss;” and the
dog immediately crawled up the bed and licked her face. Then Floss lay
down and submitted to a good deal of stroking and petting; and when
breakfast made its appearance she showed a gracious tolerance of things
as they were by making a good meal. From the moment when she responded
to her name dated Floss’s love for her mistress, which seemed to grow
and strengthen with every year of her life.

The first use the latter made of the establishment of good relations
between them was to attend to some ugly wounds on the face and head
that Floss had brought with her. When the promised story of her life
came, these wounds were explained. It appeared that the terrier had
belonged to a miner in South Wales, and had taken part in badger
baiting. It was the custom for the miners to meet on Sunday afternoon
for this more than doubtful amusement. Each miner brought a dog, and
the performance was to see which of the dogs could bring the badger
out of his box in four minutes. But the badger was large and fierce,
and one dog after another--bull-terriers among them--tried in vain to
draw him. Then one of the miners opened his coat, and brought out the
tiny Floss, who was only eighteen months old and weighed ten pounds.
In less than four minutes the game little terrier drew her formidable
opponent, and her exploit was so much talked of that she was bought and
sent off to a home where good terriers are ever welcome, before the
marks of her conflict had healed. Under gentler care Floss developed
a touching devotion to her owner, and for many years was one of the
reigning household pets in her new home.

How many similar instances of mourning for lost friends occur to us!
Every one who knows anything of dogs can recall some touching story
that tells at once of the love that flooded, and the pain of separation
that darkened, the dog’s life as he passed from the secure confidence
of requited affection to the desolate uncertainty of the care of
strangers.

We cannot, however, remind ourselves too often that our attempts to
understand the workings of the dog’s mind, and the explanations that
commend themselves to us of the reasons for his methods of action,
are all based on our own consciousness of cause and effect. And here
we must take into account the difference in the outlook on life
between the dog and ourselves. The effects of environment we know
count for much with us. Change of scene and surroundings will give
us fresh mental vigour as well as renewed bodily activity when both
need recuperation. But the change of surroundings that will give to
us advantages that go far to prolong our span of life is as nothing
compared to the difference that separates our own normal outlook on
life from that of the dog. The four-footed friend that trots at our
side, or scampers at large in wild enjoyment of strength and freedom,
is marked off from us by his mode of locomotion and the position and
bearing of his head and body. His outlook is limited by his bodily
structure, in spite of his strength of vision and his marvellous sense
of smell. In the latter case, indeed, we look up to the dog from a
lower plane, for our limited development of the sense of smell tells
us but little of the power it gives him. That it not only differs in
degree but in quality is shown by the delight with which a well-bred,
cleanly house or sporting dog will roll in some evil-smelling refuse
that fills us with disgust. The possession of such an organ, at once
so different and so much more sensitive than our own, must make for
much in the influence of his surroundings on the dog, and thus adds to
the many difficulties we have in understanding and entering into his
outlook on life.

Doubtless the sense was given him to enable him to hold his own in the
battle of life. He retains it in the artificial conditions of domestic
life, but in the days when he depended for his supply of food on the
success that crowned his efforts in the chase, it was necessary to his
existence. Without it he must have fallen a prey to his enemies in
the jungle and the forest, instead of turning the tables on superior
brute force by the delicacy of his organs and his superior powers of
combination.

The traits that have come to our household friend from his wild
forebears are often shown even in the most highly domesticated
inhabitants of our home. How far these inherited qualities may
influence the dog’s outlook on the surroundings of his present life,
who can say? As we watch our favourite turn round and round on the
hearthrug, and scratch at the unresponsive rug before he curls himself
up to sleep, we know that he is doing what his progenitors did in the
wilds, when the action had a use that is wanting to it now in securing
the comfort of his rest.

A strange habit of the same nature was shown by a fox terrier that
formed one of a pack of sporting dogs. This terrier, from the time she
took her place in the kennels with the older dogs, was observed to turn
round sharply whenever her food was put before her. The action aroused
attention, though no one could say at what stage of her puppy life it
had been developed. She was watched, and never did she omit the rapid
turn round as on a pivot before she tasted her food. Her mistress, who
had kept her pack of terriers for years, and who studies the characters
of her little kennel friends as but few people do, made inquiries of
her keeper, and found that when he fed the dogs, Amora always went
through the same little performance as a preliminary to the business
of eating. Up to the last day of her life it was continued, but so
far as is known none of her children have shown the same peculiarity.
Certainly those that I have known in my friends’ kennels have not had
it, and no one has been able to give a satisfactory explanation of the
habit.

A very charming reason for the unusual action was given by a little
girl, the niece of the owner of the kennels. The child was delighted
with the terrier’s performance, and always begged to be allowed to
be present at feeding time, so as to enjoy the sight of Amora’s
turn. Being of a thoughtful nature, she one day gave the result of
her speculations on the matter. “Auntie,” she said, with the engaging
directness of the youthful thinker, “I know why Amora turns round
before her dinner. She means it for her grace.” With such a solution of
the mystery who would venture to quarrel?

We might well bring the same gentle sympathy to bear on our own
dealings with the dog. For we often forget that the patience we give as
a matter of course to the as yet untrained intelligence of the child
is doubly wanted when we have to do with the dog. Intelligent as the
latter is, he never rises to our level of expansion of the powers of
mind, and in reading our thoughts into his we must ever remember that
the higher paths of reason’s play are closed to him.

That the dog has the dawning of a moral sense is clear to me, and
the possession brings him near to us on the outskirts of the higher
life, of which we alone have full enjoyment. But to give him credit
for powers that in their full expansion are denied him is to bring
discredit on the wonderful gifts that are undoubtedly his, and for the
development of which he is dependent on his intercourse with us. The
deeper the sympathetic insight we bring to bear on our study of his
mental and bodily activities, the fuller will be his response to our
training, and the greater our own delight in his companionship.



III

“_La mas racional_”--_the one that reasons best_.


The nearest approach to the old tribal conditions of the ancestors
of the dog we find in kennel life at the present day. Here we have
the struggle for mastery, the sense of personal rights, the love and
jealousy, sympathy and hate, cleverness and stupidity, that find their
counterpart in our own social life, as they did in the communities of
wolves and jackals that ranged the forests in bygone days. In a kennel
of hounds we have the strongly marked individualities of character that
divide off each one from the other, and give endless scope for study
to those who have the patience and sympathy to devote to the task. It
was in India, where many an early morning ride after jackal lives in my
memory, that I first realised this wonderful individuality of hounds.
The master of the pack with which I hunted one winter was a friend of
mine, and often on non-hunting days the ride with which my day in the
plains always began was in company with the master, who made a point
of taking his hounds out for exercise himself. I soon came to know the
hounds by sight, and heard from the master’s lips of their several
traits and peculiarities. The knowledge gave me an added pleasure in
watching their performances in the field; and what little I have of
hound knowledge I owe in the first instance to this study of a scratch
pack that was remarkable for neither looks nor symmetry, as these are
understood in England to-day. Yet uneven as they were in size, and
rough as many were in appearance, there was some of the best foxhound
blood of our English kennels in their veins, and to each individual
hound the very best of training was given. This was done by a careful
study of the capacity, temper, and disposition of each hound in the
pack, such as only an enthusiast in the matter of hound work would
bring to bear on the subject.

The social life of the ancestors of our dogs was forced upon them by
the necessity of protection against common enemies, and the need of
mutual assistance in the capture of prey. In this life each member had
to find and keep his own allotted place. The competition that is one of
the marks by which each member of a community shows the best or worst
of which he is capable, and finds his level accordingly, was not absent
from the life of the dog’s forebears. Each dog must take the place he
was fitted for in the common life, and doubtless that assigned to him
he often won by fighting for it. For the dog is a quarrelsome animal,
and Dr. Watts was not wrong in his natural history when he wrote of the
“delight of dogs to bark and bite.” We may note, too, that he puts the
greater and commoner pleasure, as we still see it exercised to-day,
first; but fighting, among animals as among men, is a necessity of
existence to the community while the conditions of life remain what
they are.

This quarrelsomeness which we regret in our favourites, and that is
a real source of danger in the kennels, is a survival of the old
conditions, when each dog tried to work himself up to the position
of master or leader of the pack, and, failing this, had perforce to
take a lower place. Thus the leader, to whom the rest of the community
looked for guidance, would be the strongest or the most capable of the
tribe, or one that combined both these characteristics. We have only to
watch a dog fight to-day to see that the combatants exercise a certain
strategy. No doubt the first dog that learned to double his paws under
him, and thus protect a vulnerable part, gained an advantage over a
less intelligent, though it might be a heavier-built, rival. For one
of the first methods of the canine tactician is to bite through the
sensitive paw of his opponent; and the huntsman knows that if fighting
in his kennels is not quelled promptly and sternly he will have many of
his hounds lamed from this cause.

But even in kennel life, where there is such abundant material for
the student of canine character, we only have the old conditions of
primeval dog life faintly shadowed. Though to a great extent the dog
in the kennels is living a social life among his fellows, the ruler to
whom he looks is not a leader in the old sense, but a human master. In
his earlier days, too, he is placed more or less in the conditions that
obtain with our domestic dogs. When only a few months old he finds a
home, it may be at a farmhouse, or at a neighbouring landowner’s, where
he becomes the playmate and pet of the children of the house. If a
hotel or the local butcher’s shop receives him, the puppy makes friends
with the men and boys about the place, and often develops a special
affection for his temporary master. In any case he lives the life of a
free, and for the most part a petted, member of a household; and when
he takes his place in the kennels he shows all the symptoms of grief
for the good things he has lost and dislike for the restraints of his
new life that a pampered boy will when he has his first taste of school
discipline. No one who has seen a young hound, frightened, miserable,
and homesick, sitting by himself in a corner of what for the time is to
him a hated prison, can doubt his suffering. He has indeed an almost
comic expression of misery on his naturally rather solemn countenance.
He has not yet found his level in his new surroundings; he has lost his
old friends and found no one to take their place; the joys of hunting
days, which will go far to counterbalance the strictness of kennel
discipline, are unknown to him. Henceforth he is to share in the social
life of his fellows, in which all are bound by a common interest to a
common occupation, broken only by interludes of companionship with man.
He has therefore reversed the conditions of his life up to this point,
in which companionship with man has been interspersed with interludes
of society with other dogs.

He has now to conquer and keep the place in the pack that will
hereafter be his by general consent. If he is masterful and
resourceful, he will be deferred to, and, it may be, the warmest corner
on the bench will be conceded to him when time and experience have
come to aid him in the competition of life. In the matter of food the
huntsman’s care will see that he gets no more than his due share, but
we know how at the trough some hounds have always to be restrained,
while others, who as a matter of course are ready to take the second
place, have to be encouraged to secure their rights.

This competition, which is an integral part of community life, must,
as it seems to me, give to each dog a consciousness of his own
personality. His own interests and attainments are a thing apart from
those of his fellows. In however dim a degree, he has a sense of
personal rights and property, and recognises that a higher position can
be won for himself individually by intelligence and courage combined.

But while in each dog will be seen the evidence of his own natural
gifts, and he will show affection, sympathy, intelligence, or, on
the other hand, will be morose, selfish, or incapable of striking
out a line of action for himself, the general character of the pack
will receive its impress from the hands of the huntsman. If he is at
once firm and sympathetic in the government of the kennel, his hounds
will be obedient and affectionate, and in their work will display an
eagerness and anxiety to do their best that will be a tribute to the
excellence of his rule.

Nowhere have we a more fertile field for tracing the effects of
heredity than in a kennel. I am not concerned here with the many
interesting questions that arise on the physiological side of the
subject, but leaving make, shape, and speed as beyond our scope, we
may confine ourselves to the consideration of mental characteristics.
These do not always make their appearance at once, for the character
of the dog, like that of man, develops with time. Many hounds do not
show either their faults or their virtues till their second season.
One experienced huntsman, indeed, used to say that he never knew what
his hounds were going to do till their third season. While some hounds
will enter at once, and never do wrong from the first day they go out
cub-hunting, others can scarcely be induced to take an interest in the
chase before their second season, while others again are never of any
use at all, and do not seem to have any taste for hunting.

But from the first days of their return to the kennel, hounds show that
they have a curious sympathy with those who are bound to them by the
ties of relationship. Now in the old tribal pack we may suppose that
these blood ties would be numerous, and that their recognition would
tend to give a coherence to the community life by cementing the bonds
of a common affection. It is no uncommon sight with us to see mother
and daughter, father and son, running together in one of our packs, and
while the old hounds take the lead, the young ones look to them for
guidance and are quick to follow their example. This trait is strange
when we consider that parents and children have seen nothing of one
another since the latter were sent out to walk. The young ones have
had all their early impressions of life, which must have gone far in
forming their own mental outlook, apart from their parents’ influence.
Yet the family tie has not been broken by the separation, though it is
not possible that the young hounds at least can remember their elders.
In the case of the mother we cannot say how far maternal affection
may bridge the gulf. That she remembers her young long after their
dependence on her has ceased, seems clear from a case of which I can
vouch for the truth. A mother who had been separated from her puppies
in the ordinary way would, long after there was a possibility of purely
physical reasons coming into play, always trot down to the kennels
immediately she was let out, and lick with affection the four little
black noses that were thrust between the bars at her approach.

Very strong evidence of the tie being recognised between parents and
children is given me by Miss Serrell, who, when her terrier puppies
return from walk, never hesitates to put two generations of the same
family together. She tells me that the puppies’ tricks and gambols,
that cannot but be disturbing to the older dogs, will never be resented
by the mothers, though no other dogs in the kennels would suffer them.
As terriers have the character of being particularly quarrelsome, and
certainly require the most judicious management to keep the peace among
a number of them, no testimony to the recognition of the family tie
could be more convincing.

Then, too, we see the same characteristics, mental and moral,
appearing in members of the same family. How jealously this truth
is acted upon by hound breeders, we have only to study the kennel
registers to see. A somewhat curious instance of unusual traits of
independent action by a litter brother and sister took place in the
Blackmore Vale country.

The mother of these hounds was bred by Mr. Merthyr Guest, some ten
years before he resigned the Mastership. She had a great influence in
the kennels, and in 1894 Rama and her brother Raleigh, “hounds of very
marked character,” were born to her. The account of their peculiarities
I take verbatim as Miss Serrell has given it:[2]

“Rama, a bright tan and white with a very intelligent head, was a
useful hound in the field, but she had a curious characteristic that
was not so much to her credit. No power and no persuasion would induce
her to come home with the pack after a day’s hunting. She would go
to covert in the morning demurely enough, and she hunted in a most
business-like manner, but directly the day’s sport was over her good
conduct came to an end. The moment the hounds and whippers-in grouped
together and the Master gave the word for ‘home,’ Rama would set off by
herself and race up hill and down dale till she was out of sight. No
whipper-in could turn her, no horn recall her, and it was not till some
two hours after the Master had reached home that she generally made
her appearance at Inwood. Sometimes, however, she would make her way
leisurely back to the kennels and sneak in during the evening.

“Such unhoundlike conduct was not to be tolerated, so the order was
given for her to be caught and coupled to another hound. She was then
forced to trot home with the rest of the pack, but she did so with her
stern down and an expression of unspeakable sadness upon her face.
She soon showed that she had a soul above such tyranny, for after she
had been captured once or twice, it was enough for the whipper-in
to dismount and begin unbuckling the couples for her to make off.
Indeed so sharp did she become that at last the Master did not dare
to give the order for her to be caught, or to allow the jingling of
the couples, but he arranged beforehand that she should be secured
before the end of the day’s sport. It was not long before Rama was
on her guard even against this early capture, and with a look at the
hunt servants she would turn and gallop off before the last covert was
drawn.

“Raleigh, a brother of Rama, was also a peculiar hound, and in his
first cub-hunting season showed an extraordinary objection to coming
out of covert with the other hounds. He would follow to the side of the
covert, and it was very funny to see him peeping out and disappearing
again if he saw he was being waited for. Again and again he would do
this, until at last, when the coast was clear, he would jump out and go
on with the pack as if nothing had happened. Raleigh was very fond of
looking into every cottage garden, but he was not such an inveterate
cat-hunter as Rama, who would dash into and through every garden before
she could be stopped, and woe betide the cat who was not quick enough
to save herself in the nearest apple-tree.”

[Illustration:

  RALEIGH      TRIAL
  RAMA       ARMIGER

MR. GUEST’S HOUNDS. 1900]

In a neighbouring country in the West, a curious trait was shown by
one of the hounds. She would never go to covert with the rest of the
pack or return home at night with them. When the work of the day began,
she was always up and took her full share with her fellows. But on the
way out from kennels in the morning, she always ran by herself at some
distance from the others, though not too far off for her to be able to
keep the line to the selected covert. The same thing happened as soon
as the word for home was given, and the solitary figure, at some few
hundred yards on one side or the other of the kennel party, would be
seen flashing over the fields and hedges as if the hound was acting
scout to the retiring force.

Another hound in the same kennels would only hunt with one of the
Masters, who in turn acted as huntsman. With one of the huntsmen this
hound would behave in normal fashion and do her work well in the field,
but for the other she would not only not work, but she would not go out
with the pack when it was in his hands.

Life in the kennels is far from being devoid of evidence of the finer
virtues. The sight of a pack of hounds on their benches, each with
his head pillowed on one of his fellows, tells of mutual love and
trust, and the sympathy and pity with which one hound will lick a sore
place on another are not to be mistaken. On the other hand, there are
hatreds and enmities, and there are hounds that can never be trusted
together. Something of the old spirit of tribal rule is also shown in
the occasional ostracising of some one member of the pack. The hound
thus treated as an outcast is not necessarily more stupid or less well
inclined than are his judges, so far as can be seen, though I have
heard that in one case, at least, the general award of condemnation was
justified by unworthy conduct in the field. But, whatever the cause,
from the verdict there is no appeal. A hound that has been sentenced
by his fellows will have a short life and a bitter one if he does not
find another home, for hound justice is rough and demands the death of
the accused. In older times the method had its advantages in keeping
up the level of the tribal band, for good feeling and good-will among
its members were vital to its existence. Nowadays we give the outcast
another chance in different surroundings, where the verdict of his
former companions is by no means always endorsed. At the same time we
may believe that no such verdict is ever given without a cause, with
which, could we understand it in all cases, we should be in complete
agreement.



IV

“_The capacity to understand is as good a proof of vocal intelligence,
though in an inferior degree, as the capacity to speak._”


From the kennel we will follow the hound into the field. Here he
has definite work for which all the events of his life are one long
preparation. That he delights in it, no one can doubt who watches him.
If indeed there be anything to say against hunting, from the point of
view of the fox and the hare, as there certainly is against some of
the methods of man used in the chase, to the hound it is pure, unmixed
enjoyment. As a lover of animals I hate to think of any unnecessary
suffering caused in the hunting field. But when the excitement of
the uncertain issue is over, the death, if it comes, is merciful and
sudden, and though I have never but once actually seen the end--and
then when I was surprised out of power of turning away--I was astounded
at the instantaneous despatch of the hunted fox. That every man, and
above all every woman, should set their faces sternly against the
faintest touch of cruelty, I have no doubt at all. The most brilliant
run of the season would be dearly bought if fox and hound were not
pitted in fair and open warfare, and every one worthy the name of
sportsman should blush to take an unfair advantage of the creature
whose wiles it will tax all the intelligence of his followers, human
and canine, to unravel.

Our very soul revolts from the tales of cruel maiming of which we have
heard a good deal of late. That these are true of the practice of any
but a few scattered countries, I do not believe. But, on the other
hand, that they undoubtedly occur in some hunts is beyond question.
Sport has to be shown; the followers at all costs must be given that
for which they have come out. If hounds do not taste blood, they will
become slack, and lose their interest in the chase. The hunt servants
come from a class of which some members are incapable of understanding
the sufferings of a lower order of life than their own. If they
realised the agony of the broken or maimed limb with which the quarry
is sometimes sent to make his last gallant bid for life, they would
no more give the secret wrench that makes their own success assured
than would the man whose wider outlook enables him to grasp the depth
of suffering inflicted. In saying this, I would not for a moment
imply that all, or nearly all, our hunt servants have the callous
indifference to pain that such a course implies. On the contrary, the
love of their hounds, so plainly shown both in the kennel and in the
field, and their own innate love of all animal life, are a sufficient
testimony to the humanity of the great body of those who show us sport.
As a rule our huntsmen are of a far higher level of intelligence than
others of their own class, or they would never have risen to the place
they hold. But the danger comes from those who have the mental gifts
without the moral background. With these the brilliant execution of
their own work is everything; the rights of the lower creatures to
humane treatment at their hands are non-existent. And this, as I have
said, is because they do not, and cannot from their very nature, enter
into the feelings of another order of beings.

But as the huntsman and his underlings are the servants of the Master,
the responsibility for unsportsmanlike conduct in the field must
ultimately rest with him. Not many, when spoken to on such a matter,
will give the callous answer, worthy of a stage of civilisation left
long ages behind, that one M. F. H. did: “I don’t care what they do, so
long as they show sport, and don’t tell me how they do it.” But that
such a view can be held, and that a man of such a type may have those
under his orders who will be prompt to take advantage of the implied
permission, is a direct danger to hunting, and one against which all
true lovers of the sport should be on their guard. A careless master,
and still more an indifferent one, may bring discredit on the national
pastime that gives health and happiness to thousands of its followers,
and causes the fox to be treated throughout his life as a favoured
partner in the chase instead of as a noxious beast of prey.

About one thing there is no doubt. Any man or woman who continues to
hunt in a country where cruelty is practised makes himself or herself
responsible for what is done there. The reason of the cruelty is the
desire to show sport, and the only check that can be imposed is that of
public opinion. To this, Masters of Hounds and Hunt servants alike are
peculiarly sensitive, the reputation of both, and the very livelihood
of the latter, depending on it. If then such deeds of cruelty are
passed over, or ignored as not being the business of those in whose
interests they are done, the future of fox hunting will suffer from a
deadly peril. If indeed the hunting field cannot be cleared from the
reproach that must cling to it while cruelty in any form is practised,
and the fight is not a fair and open one between hounds and their
quarry, our many enemies will have a powerful weapon to use against us.

I am indeed far from thinking that Ruskin’s advice to gentlemen “to
mow their own fields instead of riding over other people’s” can be
followed. The words could only have been penned by one who was at once
ignorant of the health-giving joys of the hunting-field, and of the
natural sequence of country occupations. But though I lay myself open
to the charge of cruelty from those who only see in hunting a relic
of a bygone barbarism, and on the other hand may rouse the anger of
those whose tastes I share, by pointing to the dark spots that tarnish
the glories of our national pastime, I must e’en take a stand with the
hounds in hoping for a continuance of their joy in sport, and with the
fox in pleading that a fair and open fight is allowed him.

With the hounds, then, who at least are in no wise responsible for
deeds of darkness done in secret, let us return to the field. The
results of beneficent rule in the kennels is seen in their manner of
hunting. If the huntsman and his whippers-in have won their confidence
and love, the hounds have, beyond their own keenness in the chase, the
desire to please those to whom they look as their natural guides and
rulers. The hunt servants, and above all the huntsman, take the place
of the old tribal leader, whose will was imposed on his followers. We
all know how hounds when they have failed to recover the line of their
hunted fox, will look up to the huntsman with an inquiring expression
of countenance, that says as plainly as any words could tell us, they
are asking him to help them: “We have done our part. Now it is your
turn to come to our assistance.”

And how much the hounds will do for themselves, and how clearly the
individual characteristics of each member of the pack is brought out in
their common work! The hounds that are deferred to in the kennel will
generally take the lead in the chase. Some naturally take the first
place, and others as naturally follow. If we glance for a moment at
the riders behind them, shall we not see exactly the same thing taking
place? The man and woman whose observation is keen, decision prompt,
and whose will is fearless, will be seen in front, while those of
lesser gifts of courage and insight will follow in their wake. There
is, of course, yet another partner in the chase, whose character and
powers have to be reckoned with, but, even so, a bad horse will be at
his best, or a good horse at his worst, according to the way in which
he is handled. Certain I am that no stupid man or hound will ever lead
in a good hunt.

But let us watch the hounds at work. No sooner does one touch the
scent than he waves his stern and signals to the others. As he lashes
his sides, those who are near enough to see the sign crowd round him;
and each one, partly in emulation and partly in sympathy, works hard
to find and identify the scent. Then an eager, exultant note comes
from one of them, and now is the time when we shall learn much of the
character the speaker bears. The other hounds will raise their heads
quickly, but if the note comes from one whom they do not trust, they
will resume their quest quietly and take no further notice of his call.
But if the hound is one who is looked up to and respected, his fellow
workers will fly to him from all parts of the covert, and a chorus of
eager voices will corroborate his opinion and show that their trust was
not misplaced.

They run on close together till once more they lose the scent, and
there is a check. Now again we learn much of the dispositions and
characters of the workers. The pack spreads out like a fan, and each
hound works by and for himself. But not all in the same way. The
slack and careless hound will gallop round aimlessly and then wait
to see what the others do. The steady, persevering hound will, with
a painstaking sense of duty, try every blade of grass. The hound of
thoughtful mind will go to all the more likely places first; and the
wise old hound, whose business has been fully mastered, will gallop
unhesitatingly back to the place where he last had the scent. How
often the rest are put right by such a leader! He gallops back to the
gateway, through which he had been swept by the common impulse that
will carry the best hound over the line sometimes. But as soon as he
has time to think, he pauses. He knows he has not smelt fox since he
came through the gate, and he knows, too, that a fox will often turn
short under a wall or fence. So he goes back, turns up by the hedge,
and hits off the line, and both hounds and huntsmen follow at his call.

Few more wonderful instances of reasoning power are, I suppose, ever
shown in the field than by the stag-hounds when they have brought
a wild stag to bay. Though I have never ridden with the Devon and
Somerset, some of the most picturesque and thrilling moments of sport
I have ever experienced have been with them. The stag, after bounding
down the precipitous sides of a rocky combe, will plunge into the
quick-flowing stream that divides the wooded depths of the valley.
The hounds are close behind, but not within view. As they, too, reach
the water, they divide, some following the stream on one side, some
on the other, while others take to the bed of the water itself. The
huntsman, it may be, has not yet threaded his way between the boulders
and thickly planted trees that have impeded his progress. But the
hounds work up to their stag, which stands at bay where the current is
running strongest. Now the older hounds come to the front, with the
wisdom learned of former encounters. They trot up the bank, past the
spot where the stag is standing. Then they take to the water, and are
carried almost without effort to him. If they had entered the stream
sooner, they could not have reached him, for they were powerless to
breast the current; and as the young hounds watch their strategy, they
too learn the lesson they will put in practice later. Here, then, we
have evidence of the natural lead of superior intelligence, and of
the willingness of the younger and less experienced to learn from the
example of their elders.

But the foundation of the powers of combination that show such an
infinite variety in the field is laid in kennel life. The better the
discipline and the greater the influence of the huntsman over his
pack, the more readily will they work together. No better or quainter
example of this was ever given than that of John Press, whose fame
as a successful huntsman spread far and wide from the Blackmore
Vale country. Here I will quote again from a book, with which my
connection gives me the means of vouching for the absolute truth of its
statements. It is Miss Serrell, one of the keenest of sportswomen and
hound lovers, who tells the story.[3]

“A ... wonderful instance of perfect kennel discipline was that I once
witnessed with terriers and foxhounds in the Blackmore Vale kennels.
One day, not long before Press retired, I rode over to the kennels, and
being told by the kennelman that Press was in the orchard with the
hounds, I dismounted and went in search of him. The sight that met my
eyes as I opened the gate I shall never forget. There was Press in his
kennel coat, with only a slim white willow in his hands, surrounded
by both packs of hounds, and seated on a low stool with his favourite
little hound, Miranda, on his knees, while he was encouraging some nine
or ten terriers to scratch at the rat-holes round an old apple-tree.
Not one of the hounds ventured to interfere as they stood round
watching the terriers’ efforts, and it was enough for Press to lift
his little stick if one essayed to go too near them. Seating myself on
a handy stump, I watched the performance, while the old man related
anecdotes of his favourites, and assured me he could never have done
what he did with them except for their home training. It was a common
saying of his that you could teach more _in_ kennel than _out_, and
with this opinion I cordially agree.

“Perhaps the most curious part of that orchard scene was to come,
for Press after a time rose and passed slowly back to the kennels,
with the hounds following. Throwing open one of the doors, he turned,
and, eyeing the hounds sternly, he raised his hand, and to my great
amusement exclaimed in his gruff voice, ‘Ladies first!’ At this signal
every ‘lady,’ with a little wave of her stern, trotted forward and
went in; and as soon as all had disappeared the door was shut, not
a dog-hound in the meantime offering to follow. As he threw open
the other door, Press called out, ‘Now, then, gentlemen!’ and the
dog-hounds marched majestically in.”

If slackness prevail in their home, hounds will be as ready to take
advantage of it as are our own children. Some hounds are more inclined
to mischief than others, but if one breaks out there is danger that all
the others may follow. How often, again, is the counterpart seen in
our playing-field or classroom. Idleness in all cases is the beginning
of vice. Many of us know the story of the wild young hounds that once
led a whole pack--and a good one--on the line of a donkey. It is said
that for long afterwards the huntsman and whippers-in of these hounds
regarded the very word “donkey,” uttered in their presence, as a
personal insult.

That discipline must be tempered with affection, the conduct of hounds
in the field shows clearly. For a man who is harsh to them, who is too
ready with lash and hard words, hounds will have much the same relation
that a schoolboy has to the tutor he detests, or the soldier to the
officer he does not respect. The main-spring of good work is love, not
harshness.

If every one from hunt servants to the master would take their
duties in the way that one M. F. H. did, there would be no danger of
unnecessary harshness, still less cruelty, being used towards any of
our partners of the chase. The Master of whom I am speaking never
overlooked a fault of this kind with any of his servants. If a man was
too ready with the whip, or in any way too severe in the correction
of kennel faults, he was sent away at once, _without a character_. As
he was not fitted to have the care of animals, the Master would not
help him to another situation. It is only by following such a line of
conduct that unsuitable hunt servants can be kept from jeopardising the
fair fame of those to whose good offices every hunting man and woman in
the country owe so many of the pleasantest hours of their life.



V

  “_But why dost thou compare thee to a dog,
  In that for which all men despise a dog?
  I will compare thee better to a dog:
  Thou art as fair and comely as a dog,
  Thou art as true and honest as a dog,
  Thou art as kind and liberal as a dog,
  Thou art as wise and valiant as a dog._”


While the foxhound and harrier and their brothers of the chase work
in company, and--within the limits allowed by the guiding spirit
of the huntsman--under the leadership of one or more of their own
kind, in another branch of sport we find the perfection of a dog’s
individual action in the field. If we watch the early training of the
young pointer or setter we can trace the development of the dog’s
powers of mind under the hand of his instructor. If the latter has
the intelligence and the patience necessary for his task, and the
ambition to make the most of the opening powers that give to his touch
the unerring response of a musical instrument of varied strength
and different tones, we shall see this under the most favourable
circumstances.

In the first place, the natural characteristics of the young pupil,
as they have been shown in puppy games and family intercourse, will
be made due allowance for. The puppy of strong, decided character
will have different treatment meted out to it from that given to one
of timid mind, and, it may be, less robust physique, or results will
show us clearly what is wanting. A harsh word or unrestrained action
on the part of the instructor will in a moment turn a bright-eyed and
eager dog into a cowed, and, it may be, sullen creature, who has for
the time being, at least, lost all interest in the proceedings that
promised so well. He must have perfect confidence in the justice of
the man in whose hands he is. This confidence is the foundation on
which the affection of later years will be built. Without the one it
is impossible to have the other. If owners and, above all, keepers
only knew it, the way in which their dogs respond to their treatment
is the surest index of their own characters. If they are slovenly in
their work, the want of thoroughness will surely be reflected in their
dogs, and this in spite of any attempts to cover their own defects by
unconsidered sternness to their charges. The man who only cares for
his dogs as a necessary part of the accessories of a day’s shooting
will never get more than eye service from them. As he knows nothing
of the dog’s character, and treats him as if he had no special traits
that mark him off as an individual, such a master cannot hope for any
response but such as fear of punishment can give him. The dog, if he
survives the training given under such circumstances--if, that is to
say, he does not fall under the condemnation of being worthless in the
field--will only work when directly under his master’s eye, and while
he knows that chastisement prompt and severe will fall on any failure.
In his work, as work, he will take little or no interest; and it is
safe to say that such a dog will never show of what he might have been
capable under more discriminating treatment.

The youngest dog that comes under training has the same instinctive
knowledge of human character that a child has. Not all, perhaps, would
show the nice appreciation of temperament displayed by an older dog
that belonged to the father of one of my friends. Shot was a black and
white pointer with a long head and ears, and a conformation of head
nearer that of a foxhound than of an ordinary dog of his kind. He was a
firstrate dog on birds, and conducted himself with the greatest decorum
in the field. But one day his high spirits carried him out of his usual
self-restraint. He was racing along at such a pace that he dashed into
a covey of birds and flushed them. It did not need his master’s angry
voice to bring home to him a sense of his misdeeds.

[Illustration: “CONSCIENCE MAKES COWARDS OF US”

SHOT]

As the birds rose, Shot stopped short, his tail went between his legs,
and with only a momentary pause he set off wildly to save himself from
chastisement. Making straight for a neighbouring bog he waded through
it, up to his neck in mud, till he reached a dry spot. Then he sat
up and regarded his master serenely, secure in the knowledge that he
could not be followed. His owner, a man of quick temper, though much
too fond of his dogs to give any of them more than a well merited
reminder not to offend again, was not unnaturally angry at the turn
affairs had taken. “Oh, you lop-eared cur, if I could only get at you!”
were the words that travelled to Shot’s ears, as he sat entrenched
in his fastness. He stayed quietly where he was, therefore, till
the passing storm had blown over. As soon as his master turned his
attention again to the birds, Shot knew he might return safely. He lost
no time in leaving his island, and wading back through the mud he took
up his duties as if nothing had happened. So well did he work that at
the end of the day he received nothing but praise for the excellence
of his conduct. The fault had faded from his master’s mind, and when
it was recalled only excited admiration of the dog’s intelligence that
had saved him from untoward chastisement. A beating, and still more
a savage beating, at the end of a good day’s work, would have given
Shot a new view of his master’s character that would have gone far to
destroy the good fellowship existing between them.

But in a puppy, as in a young child, no fault should be overlooked. The
great mistake so many commit in training, is in making the necessary
correction of minor failings too severe. They are not always careful,
either, to make the punishment follow immediately on the fault, but
chastise, with a strength measured by their own impatience, the young
creature from whose unformed mind all sense of delinquency has passed
away. How can a puppy be expected to understand the reason of a harsh
rating, or hard blow, for a lack of due response to such an outlandish
sound, to untutored ears, as “Toho,” when all remembrance has passed in
the excitement of watching some later action of his master that calls
forth his keenest interest as he tries to fathom its meaning? Still
less chance has he in these first essays of the business of life if
other dogs are sharing his instructor’s attention with him. He is then
being treated as a chattel, and yet expected to give the individual
response that only an intelligent being can give. If he does not do
like the others at the word of command, and the master’s first thought
is given to continuing the exercise for those who respond rightly, what
chance is there that the young dog will understand the meaning of his
correction, after he has followed with fascinated gaze and possibly
intelligent co-operation the later parts of the lesson? If the man
would only _think_, he would recognise that he was asking from his
pupil an effort of mind that is quite beyond his range. It is from the
heart sickness caused by the knowledge of terrible acts of vengeance
wreaked on defenceless pupils, by thoughtless and cruel masters, that I
venture to speak thus plainly. The suffering that is sometimes crowded
into the first twelve months of a puppy’s life is terrible to think of.
And how many good dogs are thus ruined for life, and are condemned as
worthless before they have even had a chance of showing their powers!
If the owners of shooting dogs would only remember that the dogs which,
under judicious treatment, will give the best result as workers are
those which, from the possession of the very gifts that give them their
value, will understand and resent most keenly any acts of oppression
and injustice that cloud their young days, they would save their
pockets by getting the services of many a good worker, whose life has
been ended by a bullet through his brains.

But if the puppy’s training has been carefully and successfully carried
out in the privacy that is such an important factor of success, the
considerate and individual care meted out to him does not by any means
end here. The dog has learned to obey the various words of command, and
so far has responded to his training. But his experience up to this
point has been free from conflicting interests. He has concentrated
all his attention on the lessons with nothing to distract his mind.
But when he takes his place in the field the case is very different.
Yet how often do we hear a young dog rated, or see him beaten, for
a fault that should have been corrected gently. He has, if he has
been wisely treated, finished his education under the very conditions
that obtain in the field when the shooting season begins. He has
mastered every detail of his work, but how few owners make allowance
for the excitement that takes possession of a dog when he first has
part in a serious day’s shooting! If he is thrown with other dogs,
his difficulties are increased tenfold, but supposing that he only
accompanies his master for a quiet day among the turnips, and with no
companion save a retriever, he knows as well as his owner does that
the circumstances of his work are now quite different from all that
has gone before. His master is intent on making a good bag, and if
the pointer or setter was not capable of understanding the difference
between serious business and the previous training foreshadowing it,
he would be incapable of giving the intelligent co-operation that is
expected of him. He is excited, therefore, and eager, it may well be
too eager, to please, and if in the ardour of his own feelings the
sportsman has no thought and consideration for his dog, the latter’s
early training may very likely be spoilt after all.

It is, alas! well known that keepers and their masters will often give
an erring dog a punishment with their gun, one of the most brutal forms
of chastisement possible. Restraining their savage anger till the dog
is at some thirty yards from them, they pepper the poor creature with
shot in the hind quarters as he is hurrying forward. From the point of
view of common sense, as well as of humane feeling, this is the most
futile form in which the anger of the master can show itself. First
and foremost, there is the suffering entailed on the dog, for to my
own knowledge some animals have lost their lives from the injuries
inflicted on them.

And yet what good and faithful work many dogs will give to careless and
even cruel owners! A very handsome, upstanding black and white setter,
who belonged to a farmer of morose temper, was one of these. The dog
was not properly fed, and in spite of his thick coat he excited the
commiseration of some people, a part of whose property adjoined the
land rented by the farmer. The members of this family were lovers of
sport in all its forms, and they often saw the setter at work, and knew
that he was particularly staunch on game. One day Prince was following
his master about the farm on agricultural interests bent, when, as
they passed some heathland, the dog lighted on a covey of partridges.
He instantly became rigid, but knowing well that sport was not at the
moment the point of interest in his master’s mind, he looked round to
see if he was being observed. The master’s hand was raised, and Prince
obediently dropped. Then the farmer hurried home to fetch his gun. At
the end of between twenty and thirty minutes he was back, and found
Prince still at his post. At a word, the dog was up, and his master
secured a brace of birds. Another time when Prince had been lent to the
son of the neighbouring landowner, the dog retained his position for
full fifteen minutes before the gun came up. It is sad to think that
such a dog should have had more than his share of blows and curses, and
but little of the affection that would have made his life happy.

But if the same gentle restraint is about the young dog in the field
that has hitherto attended his training, the response he will give to
his owner’s wishes will be little short of marvellous. For the most
striking point about the dog’s work in the field is that he carries it
out without any physical gain to himself, beyond his enjoyment of the
exercise it gives him and the delight the scent of the game affords.
The only reward he looks for is one that appeals to his imagination
and affection only. While he ranges the field for the hidden game he
must have a clear conception in his mind of the results that will
follow his successful point. It will bring to his master the pleasure
for which he has come out. But here his own share in the work ceases,
and it is another dog that will dash in and carry the trophy to his
owner. It is well known that many dogs show such a clear appreciation
of the respective duties of the various partners in the sport that
they will refuse to do their share if the gun does not account for a
satisfactory number of birds. Could anything say more plainly that if
their own part of the work is well done they expect equal skill to be
shown by their fellow workers?

A setter who showed such nice discrimination belonged to a man who
was a firstrate shot. This man had the generosity to lend his dog not
infrequently to friends, and it was when the dog was working for an
indifferent shot that he showed his disapproval of work to which he was
not accustomed. If his temporary master missed two birds running, the
setter always turned away and made straight for home. In no case was he
ever known to condone such a failure. One miss he would overlook, but
two in succession he could not and did not tolerate.

No more cutting reproach can be given to any indifferent sportsman than
the silent turning away of a well trained and intelligent dog from
the sport in which his master is not taking his due share. And what
in many cases is the immediate result of an action on the part of the
dog that shows such an amazing appreciation of things as they are? The
insult is felt, only to give point to the man’s natural exasperation
at his own failure. The dog is not made to feel that his exercise of
intelligence is understood, but that to please his master he must go on
with his work. He is instead rated, or even beaten, for the desire he
has shown to give it up, and what wonder if, feeling the injustice of
the punishment that has followed his own good service, the dog turns
sulky and refuses to try again. If the man were not so absorbed in his
own determination to have sport, good, bad, or indifferent, as to have
no thought to give to the dog’s point of view, he would pursue a juster
course and one more likely to give him the result he desires.

The field work of the pointer is differentiated from that of his near
relation, the foxhound, in every essential detail. True, he has the
same excitement that is the hound’s great joy in the field of hunting
up to his game. But even here he has to be taught to seek for his
birds with head well in air, instead of keeping his sensitive nose on
the ground. For this part of his duty, he has to work out the problem
before him entirely without help from his fellows. Then as soon as he
signals to his master by the customary point that game is at hand,
nothing but a passing glimpse of the birds as they rise comes to reward
his work. Instead of the run for a kill that brings the successful
chase of the hound to a close, the pointer or setter has to remain
content with the knowledge that the physical enjoyment of touching the
game has fallen to the retriever, and that the trophy itself has been
taken possession of by his master.

We have all heard of the long discussion that from the days of Colonel
Thornton’s celebrated pointer Dash has been carried on respecting the
infusion of foxhound blood into the pointer kennel. With this matter I
have no concern, but I am reminded of a very curious instance of hound
work that more nearly resembled the pointer style than that of the
foxhound. Yet Druid, the hound in question, was one of pure foxhound
blood on both sides. He was a son of Rufford Denmark, and many of his
brothers and sisters are to be found in the Hound lists of the late
Mr. Merthyr Guest, which lists I have had the privilege of studying.
The dam of Druid was Woodbine, a daughter of Mr. Garth’s Wildfire, and
she strained back to the wonderful hound Ruby (1864), the mother of
the Blackmore Vale pack, that was dispersed on Mr. Guest’s resignation
of the Mastership, in the year 1900. One who hunted with the Blackmore
Vale for many years, and was one of the hardest riders of a hard riding
field, says of Druid,[4] he “had a curious way of catching a scent.
He would stand on his hind legs with his nose high in the air, and
sometimes even jump from the ground in his eagerness to catch it.” The
hound was, this writer adds, “a most reliable hound” in his work.

Another incident in the pointer or setter’s duty when he is working
with other dogs demands as much intelligent comprehension as his point,
and an equal amount of self-control. This is the “back” he is expected
to give, immediately one of his companions is at the point. He knows
that his fellow is in the enjoyment of the “grateful steam” that is
one of the few lawful pleasures he can hope for from the day’s sport.
Yet he may not move a step towards the spot where the pleasure lies.
He must too give up his own anticipations of a similar joy, and wait
while others are having the fun. Now, if we think of this for a moment
from the dog’s point of view, we shall see what a high exercise of
self-control he must bring to bear on this part of his duty.

This has always seemed to me one of the most surprising results of the
effects of training on the higher mental powers of the dog that has
ever been achieved. Of course we know that pointers and setters may be
taught to retrieve, and a setter may do the work of both pointer and
retriever, but here I am only speaking of the special tasks allotted to
the former. And with such intelligent co-operation as he is expected to
give, has not the dog a right to the considerate and gentle treatment
that will alone encourage him to give of his best? I would plead with
every sportsman that takes a gun in hand not to cast a slur on his own
manhood by unworthy conduct to a faithful worker, to the exercise of
whose skill his pleasure owes so much.

From the point of view of the thinker, a nice psychological problem
presents itself, as to the powers of the dog’s mind that are brought
into play during a day’s shooting. There is, first of all, an
intelligent response to the training that has been given him, when he
is left to carry out his work by himself. For though a faint whistle
may from time to time come to carry some direction from his master,
the exigencies of the shooting field demand that he should be left
in the main to his own resources. But far above this in intellectual
effort is the imagination that must be brought into play to give him
the conception, he undoubtedly has, of the different parts that go to
make up the whole of the day’s sport. If he did not realise the parts
of the work he does not see, as well as those that are the result of
his own exertions, it would be impossible for him to show resentment
at the sport not being brought to a successful termination. The report
rings out when the birds rise, whether the shot is to bring success or
failure. In any further steps, the dog has no share, but the mental
picture that is imaged on his brain must not be marred, or he will take
the very means to mark his sense of the disturbance that a human might
do if he were put into the position of the dog.

A very extraordinary instance of intelligent co-operation with the work
of the guns is told me by one who has had a life-long experience in the
breeding and training of shooting dogs. In the course of a day’s grouse
shooting in Caithness, two black pointers were out and working in their
usual good style. But one bird could not be found. The keeper was at
last joined by the guns in his search, but no efforts could discover
the bird the dogs told them was there. When the search was given up in
despair, the keeper noticed that only one of his dogs went to his work.
The other went back and sitting down regarded her master anxiously. The
man saw her take her point and go up to dead. Then she disappeared from
view, but instantly reappearing, she drew herself up to her full height
with the dead bird in her mouth. Holding it for a moment for her master
to see, she then dropped it and sat down beside it. Hurrying up, the
keeper found that the bird had crept into a narrow hole in the ground,
where the efforts of all the party had been unable to find it.

Leaving thus the more serious aspects of the shooting dog’s life, let
us turn to an amusing episode in which a retriever seemed to show a
sense of humour. Cruiser, a curly coated dog, was one of those good
tempered, easy natured creatures that are always ready to give a
helping “paw” in anything that is on hand. The mistress of this dog
could, on the occasion in question, well have dispensed with his
assistance. Among the many animals she gathered round her in her
country home was a troop of young ducklings. The aim of these little
things’ lives was to get into a certain pond, from which, as it had
deep walled sides, it was very difficult to get them out. Late one
Sunday evening this lady discovered that the gate leading into the
field where the pond was situated had been left open, and all the
ducklings had made haste to take advantage of their opportunity.
Usually when such a catastrophe occurred, half the household were
summoned to take part in the work of rescue. But on Sunday evening no
one was available, and with Cruiser at her side his mistress took up
the business single-handed. With the help of the retriever and a long
pole she collected the brood in a corner of the pond near the hatches,
and then put the pole across behind them, to keep them from getting
back into deep water. She then lay down on the bank, and by stretching
her arm down could just reach the truants. Taking one of the fluffy
heads gently in her hand, she swung the duckling up to the bank beside
her. This she repeated again and again, till every limb ached. The
ducklings seemed to be multiplied by tens, and at last in despair of
ever getting them all out, she sat up to rest and count the number she
had rescued. A glance showed her the reason of her unending work. As
each duckling came up, Cruiser caught it skilfully and gently in his
mouth, and carrying it to the side of the pond dropped it delicately
in. When his mistress stopped working, his own amusement came to an
end, and he too sat down to wait for better times, which in this case
at least did not come to him.



VI

  _He has not lived in vain, whose magic art
  Portrays God’s creatures in the nobler part.
  He has not lived in vain, whose teaching tends
  To human sympathy with our dumb friends._


A fact that is brought home to us very early in the house dog’s life,
in which we see the dawning of a personal sense of responsibility in
his mind, is the self-control he learns to exercise. As he responds
to the training that is brought to bear on his undeveloped powers, he
gives the first faint evidence of a moral sense, the violation of which
causes him to feel shame, as well as fear of the consequences of his
act.

A wild and wayward little being, he responds with ever increasing
facility to the lessons that are to fit him for his position in life.
He wrangles with his fellow puppies, and fights with them for a share
of the food for which his appetite craves, and in his contests and
his play shows to the attentive observer the dawning of the natural
characteristics that go to make him a being distinct from all others
of his kind. Little by little his innate love of mischief and the
curiosity that prompts so many puppy crimes, are curbed and checked by
the restraints imposed on him by the nature of his surroundings. He
learns that disaster in the form of correction awaits him if he gives
play to his natural cravings, and the dawn of his reasoning faculties
is shown in his efforts--by no means always successful--to govern the
impulses that his puppy mind learns to realise are not to be indulged
in with impunity.

A friend who was living with me in India had two well-bred fox-terrier
puppies given to her when they were only a few weeks old. She undertook
their training, and had a somewhat lively experience with them. Her
Ayah was devoted to the playful little fat balls, but had no more idea
of discipline for them than she had for her own children. By some
needful lessons their owner had taught them that boots and sponges and
other toilet accessories were not to be destroyed with impunity. When
the puppies were with her, therefore, they soon left the forbidden
things severely alone. During her absence they were not allowed in her
bedroom, and if left alone were shut into the safe shelter of an Indian
bathroom. But the Ayah was ready to give them anything they wanted, and
one day, when they were between two and three months old, she admitted
them to their mistress’s room, while she went off to her house to
dinner.

Not long after their owner returned and found signs of havoc in the
shape of a torn up sponge and a sadly mutilated shoe. Not a puppy,
however, was to be seen, and the bathroom being empty, the Ayah
was summoned to account for their disappearance. Then a search was
instituted, and from different places of concealment two frightened and
manifestly shame-stricken little animals were drawn. They were shown
the results of their handiwork, and a lesson for future guidance was
given them in the form of admonitory finger taps, though their mistress
had hard work to preserve even a semblance of gravity, as she looked
at their ridiculous little cowering forms. But the puppies had had a
lesson, the severest of their young lives, that they did not forget.
They learned to respect their owner’s belongings even in the freedom
of solitude, and the shame they showed when brought face to face with
the evidence of their misdeeds bore good fruit in the form of exemplary
self-restraint even in the pursuit of mischief. For these puppies had
never been beaten, and the dread of a stern word, or the touch of an
admonishing finger, was not sufficient to account for their action
in hiding themselves from their mistress. They must have had a sense
of wrong-doing, mingled with the fear of reproof that showed their
training had indeed been satisfactorily begun.

Independently of the love that young dogs show in puppyhood to their
owners, their friendship for others of their own kind comes early in
their stage of development. A friendship begun in puppyhood will often
last through life. An instance of this was seen in two fox terriers,
litter brothers, by name Rattler and Royal. These dogs were not sent
out to walk, but spent their young days together in their home kennels.
Their affection for each other was soon remarked, for contrary to the
general conditions obtaining among young terriers, they were never
known to fight together. When they arrived at years of discretion they
took their place with the older dogs, in the sporting pack to which
they belonged. Here the friendship of their younger days became even
more marked. Neither Rattler nor Royal could be induced to go out,
even for the delights of hunting, without the other. When they were at
work in the field they were always together, and in company they would
return. No day was ever too long for the brothers, and they were always
to the fore in any work there was on hand. Often when hunting was over,
Rattler would manage to slip away from the pack, and taking refuge in
some handy covert, start working on his own account. Royal would soon
notice his absence, and if not looked after would run back to find the
truant. Then the two would have a royal time, and hunt the woods at
their own sweet will till exhausted nature could do no more. It was
believed that a hearty meal of rabbit not infrequently ended the day’s
pleasures for them, and then under the shelter of a bramble bush they
would curl up together and sleep the sleep of the worn-out hunter.

[Illustration: THE INVALID AND HIS NEW FRIEND

ROY AND JACK]

An instance of strong friendship between an older and a younger dog is
seen with two pets, one a very handsome King Charles and the other a
fascinating, most alert little Yorkshire terrier, who are members of
a household where the dogs take no unimportant place. Roy, the King
Charles, was an old and valued friend before the puppy Jack came to
keep him company. At the time of the latter’s arrival Roy was suffering
from a long and painful illness, and as an invalid he claimed and
received more than his usual share of attention from his friends.
The care with which Jack was prevented from disturbing the sufferer
roused the puppy’s keenest interest in him, and it was observed that
Roy himself showed no disposition to be offended at the new-comer’s
presence. Little by little Jack was left free to go to Roy’s basket
when he pleased, and no sooner was a cry of pain heard from the older
dog than the puppy would rush to him and kiss him, and then look
round for help for his suffering friend from those present. In return
for these attentions Roy allowed Jack to play with his favourite toy
without demur, though his friends were ready to protect his plaything
from the other, while Roy was too suffering to take part in the games.
The invalid would, however, show his disapproval of the too zealous
attentions of his guardians by a low growl whenever Jack was deprived
of the coveted toy, and from his basket would watch the games of the
active puppy with a gentle interest.

Soon further signs of a good understanding between the dogs were shown.
Roy, who is the autocrat of the household, spends the night with the
cook, an old and valued servant, who has a quite passionate affection
for the imperious little beauty. In the morning, the next step of Roy’s
daily pleasures is a visit to his mistress, who being an invalid has
her breakfast in bed. The little spaniel lies on her bed until she
gets up, and when he is there, not even his friend Jane is allowed to
interfere with him. But one day when Jack arrived in his mistress’s
arms to pay a visit to the invalid, Roy was all anxiety for him to
share his position with him. As this was the highest mark of favour he
could show, it was felt that from henceforth the care in keeping Roy
from the pressing attentions of the puppy might be relaxed.

With the exception of my own Skye, Roy has the most varied vocabulary
in the way of language that I have ever heard from any dog. He makes
his wants and wishes known to his friends with the greatest ease.
Being a very determined as well as intelligent little person, it is
but seldom that he does not get his own way. He has a large circle of
friends and admirers outside his own family, and I think his devoted
attendant, Jane, could scarcely be induced to accept an invitation out
to tea, if Roy were not included in the party.

In the many severe illnesses that Roy has suffered, his life has
undoubtedly been saved by the gentle patience with which he has
submitted to remedies. He never resents anything that is done for his
future comfort, and will submit quietly to handling that causes him
great present pain with an evident appreciation of the reasons that
dictate his friends’ efforts on his behalf. As Roy in his younger
days had no home playfellow, he developed an amusing attachment to
self-elected pets. The first object of his young affections as a
plaything was a muff, that was shaken, tossed, and rolled about, till
its comely proportions were reduced to bare skin. This with unwavering
affection was always taken to bed to be slept on, till in an evil hour
for him, the cook took the somewhat doubtful looking object in hand.
She washed and mended it, with the laudable intention of making it a
sweeter bedfellow; but for Roy its charm had gone, and he discarded it
with a finality from which there was no appeal.

Now Roy, being as I have said, a privileged person, always has his
chair put for him at the dining-room table, where he sits beside his
mistress at mealtime, showing a decorous attention to the business in
hand. His plate is before him, and at a certain point, his own portion
of the food is put ready for him. Being an imaginative dog, Roy has
many little “make-believes” with his playthings, and occasionally the
ball that has succeeded the muff in his affections is carried into
the dining room and put on the edge of his plate. The first time this
happened, it was supposed to have been a mistake on Roy’s part, and the
ball was removed from its position. But its owner had not brought it
there without some unknown purpose in his little mind, and he prepared
forthwith to rectify his friend’s blunder. Leaving his chair and the
food that had just been put before him, he bustled off to recover the
lost treasure, and having put it back in its former position he ate his
dinner quietly. It is only now and then that the ball is thus honoured,
but on these rare occasions its presence is necessary to Roy’s comfort,
and his sense of the fitness of things must not be outraged by its
removal.

Roy’s little housemate Jack, though still in his early youth, has
already some well marked characteristics. He has a talent for
collecting his family and keeping them together in a walk that is
worthy of the powers of a sheep dog. His great accomplishment is
begging, which he exercises on his own initiative and in a most
effective manner. With him this habit takes the place of language. If
he wants anything he sits up immediately on his hind legs, and with a
wealth of expression in his eyes waits for his friends to attend to
him. As the desired answer is sure to come, Jack’s faith in his method
is unbounded. A little upright waiting form is not infrequently found
in position before a closed door. Though the desired answer may be long
in coming, Jack has every confidence that perseverance will win the day.

Between Whankey and Floss, the former a black and tan rough terrier
and the latter a fox-terrier, who are both mentioned elsewhere,
there existed the closest possible friendship. Though Whankey was an
established favourite in her home before Floss arrived, a firm alliance
soon sprang up between them. But the good feeling that marked their
own relations was not extended to other dogs. No other of the many
terriers owned by their mistress would they allow in the house. Even
Jubilee, an older dog, who was passing her last years in the shelter of
her owner’s home, was never permitted to pass the swing door that led
from the kitchen regions into the front hall. If she ever appeared in
the doorway, Whankey and Floss would be sure to spot her, and advance
in warlike attitude, bristles up and uttering warning growls. Jubilee
would respond in form, but would in the end give way to the superiority
of numbers and withdraw to her own domains.

The two house favourites were always with their mistress, and both
slept in her room at night. But each had her own allotted place on bed
or chair, and they showed a nice sense of the social amenities, as a
foundation of lasting friendship, by never taking a position belonging
to the other. When Whankey died, Floss was inconsolable, and spent
her time in looking for her lost friend. After a while she would pass
hours together on a certain chair that used to be considered Whankey’s
property. Here Floss would sit upright with an expression of misery on
her little face that often induced her mistress to try and comfort her.
But such efforts Floss resented, and she would snap and show marks of
anger that she never displayed to her owner under other circumstances.
Though Floss lived for some years, she still kept up the old embargo
on the presence of other dogs in the house. Several times her mistress
brought up some young puppies from the kennels, thinking that Floss
would relent in favour of their youth and innocence. But Floss was
unbending, and she was so unhappy at their presence that the young
things were always sent away. To the end of her life Floss remembered
Whankey. If the latter’s name was mentioned, she was immediately all
attention, and if any one called “Whankey!” in a low voice, Floss would
spring up and rush to the door, wagging her tail, and barking to be let
out to look for her friend.

The highest form of disinterested affection we find in dogs, as in
humans, in the love of a mother for her offspring. A friend, who was
in South Africa with her husband during the late war, was at Ladysmith
some months after the raising of the siege. She went out to Bulwana,
and near the spot from which “Long Tom” had wrought such havoc among
our people, she found a poor half-starved dog and her two puppies. The
mother and one of the little things fled at the approach of strangers,
but the other puppy, who was too weak to walk, clung to the kindly
visitor who was probably the first human being she had ever seen. To
leave the little thing in that desolate spot meant death for her, so
the lady succeeded in getting down the steep side of the plateau with
the puppy in her arms, and carried her all the way back to Ladysmith.
Here she had no difficulty in finding a good home for the little
stranger, as many people were anxious to have the care of a dog whose
birth dated from the time of the siege. Efforts were made to find the
starving mother and her other puppy, but these were unavailing. A short
time after, however, another visitor to the scene of “Long Tom’s”
exploits, found the younger dog, but the mother, who had managed to
save her offspring, had lost her own life in the struggle.

Another instance of maternal love was given by a black pointer, one of
those now known as the Black Prince breed. The dog was a very fine one
and was much prized by her owners. In a litter of otherwise healthy
puppies this dog had one weakling. The latter she would not allow to
be with its stronger brethren. She was seen to carry the little one
who was unable to hold her own in the rough and tumble of puppy life
into a separate compartment. There she cared for it patiently and
affectionately, and if it was put back with the others she instantly
removed it from the dangers of companionship. This, I think, is the
most touching example of motherly love in an animal that I have ever
heard of. The poor dog’s care, however, was unavailing, and when the
little sufferer died, she carried the dead body to a neighbouring
hedgerow, and there dug a hole and buried it. The last scene of the
tragedy was observed by a boy, who had taken the keenest interest in
the efforts made to save the puppy’s life, and who is now the owner of
the celebrated kennels of which the mother was an inmate.



VII

  “_Not hopeless round the calm, sepulchral spot,
    A wreath presaging life we twine:
  If God be love, what sleeps below was not
    Without a touch divine._”


Of the memory of past events and of recollection of places revisited
after the lapse of years, we have many wonderful instances in dog life.
Stella, a handsome well-bred fox-terrier, of strange experiences in the
wilds of Africa, was a striking example of a memory that survived some
thrilling adventures far from the bounds of civilisation. This little
dog left her English home when she was only a few months old, and with
her new master set sail for Africa. Stella was a smooth terrier with
a bright tan head, and throughout life was a fat, comfortable looking
little creature.

Stella’s evidence of memory of the place where she had spent the early
months of her life was shown when she returned from the first of her
adventurous journeys. She came home with her master after an absence
of rather over a year, and accompanied him on a visit to her former
mistress. It was a dark winter’s night when the travellers arrived at
the station, from which a drive of three miles would take them to the
house whither they were bound. The little dog’s only preoccupation was
to keep with her master, and the first part of the last stage of their
journey by road passed quietly. But as the carriage came within a short
distance of the house, Stella grew restless, and showed such anxiety
to get out that at last she was put down to run the rest of the way
on foot. But neither the darkness, that to humans would have made the
choice of a way a matter of difficulty, nor the time that had elapsed
since Stella as a puppy had been in the country before, prevented her
from recognising her old landmarks and the former conditions of her
life. At the entrance to the drive she left the carriage, and, taking
a short cut across the park, arrived at the front door and finding her
way in, turned into the drawing room, and paying no attention for the
moment to those who were waiting for the expected travellers, made
straight for the water dish from which she had often quenched her
thirst in early youth. Her mistress saw her dash in at the open door,
and go as straight for the corner where the dogs’ dish always stood,
as if it was only yesterday that she had found it there. Stella’s
unexpected appearance was the signal to the waiting friends that her
master was near at hand. In a few minutes the latter drove up, to find
that his little favourite had shown her recollection of the scenes and
surroundings of her youth, and was there in her old home to add her
welcome to those of his other friends.

The so-called “Homing-instinct” of dogs I touch on with diffidence.
Of the many truly wonderful instances of this power that we hear of
from time to time, few are narrated in a manner to compel conviction
of the facts being quite as they appear to the easy acceptance of the
narrator. With these, however, I have nothing to do, though in a few
cases I have come across examples of remarkable journeys over unknown
countries made by different kinds of dogs. I think it is in such
instances that we find evidence of a perfection of one or more of the
senses, to which we have no parallel in our own experience. Yet what a
strange difference there is in humans, in their power of finding their
way when in unbeaten tracks! Here, as we know, a savage, untutored and
guiltless of the faintest breath of civilisation, will succeed where
the highest efforts of the white man’s powers of mind avail nothing.
The lynx eye of the native will let nothing escape him. The turning of
a leaf from its natural position, the all but imperceptible impress
of a foreign body on the sandy soil, will tell him what may save the
life of the representatives of a higher civilisation, whose fate is
perchance confided to him. The powers of sight and smell, that tell so
many things to the Indian as he follows the trail through the trackless
forests of North America, and the unerring instincts that will carry a
native of Central Africa, or of the desert lands of Asia over the sandy
wastes, where to the European the unbroken desert gives no faintest
clue to his position, are closer to those we find in our dog friends
than any power we possess.

Yet among average men and women of normal intelligence and culture, the
greatest possible difference will be found in their “sense of country”
as it is often called.

In dogs there is at least as much difference in their power of reaching
home. Some will be hopelessly lost within a mile or two, while others
will make some wonderful, unaided effort to get back to their friends
that is crowned with complete success. It is of hounds that such
stories are generally told, and from the manner of their life, and
the wide range of their work, this is not surprising. I have never,
however, come across any well authenticated instance that will compare
with the marvellous tales of common report. It is hard to explain how
an unentered hound could have found her way over one hundred and twenty
miles of unknown country. Yet this happened to a young dog that was
sent by the Master of the Four Burrow Hunt to the kennels of the Devon
and Somerset Staghounds. The hound was bred at the Scorrier kennels,
and as his working days had not begun he had not learnt the country in
the neighbourhood of his home. When he was sent to his new quarters he
travelled by cart and train the whole way. On the night of his arrival
at Exford he jumped over the kennel wall and disappeared. No one saw
anything of him on the journey on which he started, so far as his
friends could learn, but ten days later he was back at Scorrier.

A similar instance occurred with another hound that was brought to the
Devon and Somerset country to hunt the wild red deer. When the late
Master of the Eggesford country gave up his position, his pack was
sent by train to Rugby to be sold. Here the Master of the Staghounds
bought several couple, which were duly taken by train to Dulverton,
and thence by cart to the kennels that are in the middle of Exmoor. On
their arrival one hound escaped, and the next day she turned up at the
Eggesford Kennels.

Another instance of the same kind, for the strict accuracy of which
I can vouch, is told in Miss Serrell’s account of the Blackmore Vale
Hounds.[5] “A remarkable instance of the homing instinct was displayed
by a hound named Rakish, with whose wonderful feet and legs Mr. Guest
was so much struck that he bought her. She came from the South Dorset
kennels, of which hunt Mr. Featherstonhaugh Frampton was then the
Master. At Moreton station Rakish was put into the Guard’s van with a
collar and chain on, and she travelled twenty miles in a northeastern
direction to Wimborne, and thence twenty-eight miles towards the
northwest to Templecombe, her journey ending two and a half miles
farther on, at Milborne Port. She was taken out at Milborne Port
Station, but no sooner was she on the platform than she snapped her
chain and made off. For a day or two she was seen occasionally near the
place, but after that was neither seen nor heard of, until Mr. Guest
received a letter from Mr. Frampton saying that Rakish had reappeared
at her old kennels. Nothing was ever known of the manner in which she
found her way home, a distance of twenty-two miles as the crow flies.”

The nature of the surroundings of a modern Skye terrier’s life do not
give him the advantage of the knowledge of country possessed by working
hounds. Yet a young Skye, only eight months old, and when taken to
London for the first time, found his way from a crowded thoroughfare,
across Hyde Park, which to him was unknown ground, to the home to which
he had been taken on his arrival from the country. The dog’s mistress
was staying in a flat at Albert Gate. A day or two after her arrival
she took the Skye with her in her carriage, when she went on a shopping
expedition. On leaving the carriage in Oxford Street she gave strict
orders to her coachman not to let the puppy escape during her absence.
The little thing had the brougham to himself, and no sound was heard
from him. At last the man got down and opened the door to make sure
that his charge was all right. Quick as thought the puppy slipped past
him, and dashed off down the crowded pavement in the direction of the
Marble Arch. When his mistress heard what had happened, she gave him
up for lost. But that evening the house porter found a little waiting
figure sitting at the door of the lift, for the lost terrier had found
his way back.

A similar instance I know of in connection with a striking looking
little dog, who passed many happy years in a good home at Bath. This
little creature was a cross between a Maltese and a Pomeranian, and
what gave him a very unusual appearance, was that in front he had the
points of a Maltese, while behind he had the tightly curled, gaily
carried tail and the form of his Pomeranian ancestors. Bobbie was only
eight months old when he was lost in one of the crowded thoroughfares
of London. As his then owner was living in a suburb, where he had
recently changed houses, it seemed impossible that the little thing
should find his way home. Nevertheless, on the following morning when
the house was opened, the wanderer was found sitting on the doorstep.
All through his life Bobbie was in the habit of going off for walks on
his own account, and though at Bath, where his days were mostly spent,
he was sometimes seen at a great distance from his home, he always
found his way back.

He had many engaging little ways and was very devoted to his mistress,
who showered love upon him. He always had a saucer of milk given to him
by his owner at afternoon tea. But when she was out and any one else
gave him the milk, he would not touch it. A very sad looking little
figure would establish itself at a short distance from the saucer, and
regard the dainty wistfully. It was not till his mistress returned and
he had given her his usual warm welcome that Bobbie would fling himself
upon the saucer and drink up the milk. When he wanted anything, Bobbie
had a fascinating little way of making his wishes known. Taking up his
position close to his mistress, he would sit upright and wave his paws
quickly in the air until his wants were attended to. In many other ways
he showed that he was a dog of character. It was the custom in his
home for one of the maids to go to the post every evening, and it was
Bobbie’s daily joy to accompany her. But he understood the business
on which she went, and not even the delight of the walk would tempt
him till he saw that she had the letters in her hand. Yet Bobbie’s
evening run was considered good for him, and if there were no letters
his mistress would put an envelope into the maid’s hand, saying, “There
are the letters,” and Bobbie, satisfied that all was right, would
spring up with a bark and rush downstairs with all his usual eagerness.

[Illustration: BOBBIE]

Pat, a Scotch terrier, once performed a mysterious journey on his own
account, and though it has nothing to do with the “homing instinct,”
well-directed determination, no slight amount of skill, and an
intelligent comprehension of the situation were required for its
success. Pat’s home was in an island off the coast of Argyll, and he
was the special favourite of the nursery party. The island is a large
one, and it was a fairly long drive from the house to the pier, at
which steamers called. Every year the family went South, to spend a
time at Bournemouth, or some other of the South-coast watering places.
One or two of their dogs went with them, and one year the children
pleaded for Pat to be of the selected travellers. But the elders
decided against him, and Pat was consequently left behind when the
family started. In the steamer the children and nurses took possession
of the cabin allotted to them. No sooner had the boat moved off from
the pier than a wriggling, apologetic little form came out from a dark
corner of the cabin. Pat was greeted with tumultuous affection from
his delighted playfellows, but how he had got there no one could say.
The men servants had seen nothing of him with the luggage carts, and
it was felt to be impossible that he could have concealed himself in
the wagonette. There was, beside, the difficulty of his having boarded
the steamer without being seen by any member of the crew or by his own
family. Pat’s exploit could never be explained, though the success with
which he carried it out made him dearer than ever to his young owners.

An instance of a similar kind of determination not to lose sight of
his friends was shown by a powerful black lurcher, named Tip. This dog
was a cross between a greyhound and a retriever, and belonged to a man
whose home was at Fleet, in Hampshire. On the day when the Basingstoke
market was held, Tip’s master was in the habit of getting a lift in a
passing cart, that he might attend the market. His dog always ran under
the cart and attended his master while he transacted his business.
The return journey the man made by rail, from Basingstoke to Fleet,
a distance of some ten or twelve miles. He left his dog to shift for
himself when he took his own place in the train. Tip would stand on the
platform and watch his master off. Then jumping down on to the line
he set off in pursuit of the train. That he never left the line is
proved by the fact that he did not come to grief by any train passing
the opposite way, and Tip would pass Winchfield, the only intermediate
station, without relaxing his speed. He performed the journey in a
marvellously short time, and from Fleet Station he made his way to
his home on the common, which he reached shortly after his master had
arrived.

Some of these performances we must acknowledge to be beyond our range,
without the aid of gifts that we feel are our own special prerogatives.
If we could put ourselves into a bodily form similar to that of the
dog, and at the same time divest ourselves of our higher powers of
mind, we should have to acknowledge that some special canine sense
was needed to get us out of our difficulties. We cannot set the dog’s
solution down to mere cleverness, though doubtless the workings of his
little mind often go far beyond what we attribute to it. Of simple
“cleverness” so called, a small red greyhound was a striking example.
The story has more than a flavour of poaching about it, but is an
evidence of individual efforts of intelligence on the part of the hero.
This dog, whose name was Rover, came into the possession of a friend
of mine in a curious way. The lady was staying with her brother, who
was a keen sportsman, and from him she heard the history of a poacher
in the neighbourhood, who had been giving the keepers a very lively
time. The man owned a little red dog, who was an extraordinarily clever
night-worker, and the hares were sadly on the decrease in consequence.
One evening, after dinner, an urgent message was brought to the master
of the house that a man, who would not give his name, implored him to
see him. The request was granted, and in a few minutes the servant
returned to ask the lady to go out to her brother. Here she found him
in conversation with a respectable looking young man, who was holding
a small greyhound in a leash. Turning to her, her brother said, “This
man has brought up the little varmint I was telling you about. He wants
me to take him, but I tell him that he is no good to me.”

In appearance Rover was certainly not the sort of dog to appeal to
a shooting man, but the sister’s sympathies were soon enlisted. She
listened while the dog’s owner explained that he had got himself into
such serious trouble that he was about to leave the country, and he was
so fond of his dog Rover that he wanted to find a good home for him
before he left. He added that he did not want anything for the dog,
but only to get him into good quarters. My friend being what she was,
it was a foregone conclusion that she should offer to take Rover, but
she expressed a doubt of such a small creature being able to catch a
hare single-handed. This implied slur of his favourite seemed to put
the young man out greatly, and he declared that he had never seen the
hare who could get away from Rover. The lady’s opinion, however, was
not shaken, but she took the dog to an empty dog box and fastened him
up for the night. The farewell between the dog and his master was very
touching, for there was evidently the warmest affection between them.
The poor little animal stood whining and tugging at his chain, while
his master’s footsteps died away in the distance, and it was only when
the last sound had faded that he retired disconsolately into his house
and curled himself up.

The next morning his new owner went down into the yard early to see
how her dog had fared. To her great astonishment she saw a large hare
hanging on the wall above his box, and Rover securely fastened up, but
looking very stiff and dirty, came slowly out to greet her. When this
was reported to her brother, he was much amused. It seemed that the
disbelief shown of the dog’s powers had so rankled in the poacher’s
mind that he had come back in the middle of the night and taken Rover
out for the last of their many midnight wanderings. A hare that the dog
had caught was left in the yard as a testimony to his prowess.

Rover in due course went home with his mistress, and before long his
owner determined to test his powers for herself. Taking Rover with her,
she went to a neighbour on whose lands hares were said to be plentiful,
to ask permission to try and find one. The permission was granted, but
her friend added, “You will never catch one with that little thing.”
Nothing daunted, however, Rover and his mistress took the field, with
the land owner’s keeper and his old retriever. Field after field was
tried unsuccessfully, and at last the word for home was given and Rover
was put on his leash. In the middle of a large stubble field Rover’s
mistress heard a shout behind her, and, turning, saw the keeper waving
his hat frantically, and pointing with his stick to a hare that was
coming straight towards her.

Rover spotted it at once, and struggled and strained so violently to
get away that it was a matter of some difficulty to release him. Off
he started in hot pursuit, and followed his quarry across the field at
racing pace, till the hare began to near the hedge. This the dog, by
cutting off a corner cleverly, managed to reach before her, and turned
her back. Away they went again the full length of the field, Rover
repeating his manoeuvre at the end and cutting the hare off from
her refuge. Back once more they raced, until the hare finding herself
baulked every time she was within reach of her smeuse, grew desperate.
The next time Rover tried to intercept her she made a frantic effort to
pass him. But Rover was too quick for her, and making his rush, rolled
her over and killed her.

His owner and the keeper meanwhile had been rushing up and down the
field, with the old retriever at their heels, till they had run
themselves to a standstill. They then had perforce to wait and watch
the issue. When the long struggle was over, the keeper ran up and
picked up the hare, finding poor little Rover panting hard from his
exertions lying full length beside her.

As soon as the man had recovered his breath he turned to the lady and
gave his view of the situation as follows: “Now, ma’am, don’t you ever
let that little devil out of your hand. Why, if some o’ they poaching
chaps were to lay hands on him there wouldn’t be a hare left in the
country.”

Though Rover’s training was open to suspicion from the point of view
of the law, there was no doubt of his having responded well to it. He
had, moreover, from his own intelligent appreciation of the work he was
called on to perform, added just those details that gave it an artistic
finish.



VIII

  “_The faithful dog, in life the firmest friend,
  The first to welcome, foremost to defend;
  Whose honest heart is aye his master’s own,
  Who lives, breathes, fights, and dies for him alone._”


The sense of the ego in the dog is, I think, clearly shown in the
feeling of personal responsibility he exhibits. If we had not the
feeling of being responsible in our own persons for the carrying out of
duties, often far from attractive in themselves, and, it may be, even
repulsive to us, should we put aside our inclinations and sensibilities
to face the disagreeables such duties entail, if we could merge our
personal responsibility in a general sense of the duties of mankind? It
is the consciousness of the individual answer, for or against, that we
must each make, that forces us to face the inevitable, as we realise
it. In the lesser round of the simpler duties that confront the dog,
the same recognition of the claims made on his personal response to
them is shown, and should be accepted as coming from the same source.

We cannot study the life story of any dog without finding at least
some instance of his recognition of duty as duty. Its carrying out may
entail personal discomfort, or even danger, but he goes forward without
hesitation or craven fear. In the life of Billy, a small wire-haired
lady fox-terrier, who answered to this incongruous name, several such
actions are to be seen. Billy is the very small daughter of well-bred
parents, and belongs to a lady whose home is in Ireland. She was
originally the property of a little son of the house, whose young life
ended in boyhood. His wee dog was very precious to his young master,
and during his last illness showed her response to his affection by
spending long hours with the sufferer. One of the last requests the
dying boy made was that Billy might be allowed to remain indoors at
night for the future, instead of being sent to the stables to sleep.
Such a petition was, of course, granted; and when her master’s short
life ended, Billy was lifted from the bed and found the most loving
guardians in the mother and sister of her former owner.

In return for the love lavished on her, Billy is a most vigilant little
guardian. In her basket she now spends the night in the kitchen. One
Sunday evening on going in to take up her position for the night, Billy
found a large kettle on the fire boiling over and sending a stream of
water on to the floor. The maids being out, there was no one to appeal
to in the kitchen regions, so Billy bustled off to the drawing room
to her mistress, and by whining and catching hold of her dress and
pulling at it she tried to show that all was not right. While her owner
was wondering what she meant Billy grew more importunate. Seizing the
lady’s skirt between her teeth she did her best to pull her mistress
up; and then, rushing to the door, she paused and looked round to see
if she were being followed. Then her mistress rose and went to see
what was the matter. When she reached the kitchen the reason of Billy’s
call was clear; and the dog, having done her duty, jumped into her
basket and curled herself up for the night.

[Illustration: BILLY]

Another time Billy rushed into her mistress’s room with such signs
of frantic eagerness to be followed that her appeal was responded to
immediately. Leading the way into one of the rooms, Billy flew to the
hearthrug, where a live coal had fallen from the fire. A large hole
was already burnt in the rug, and the carpet was smouldering in most
dangerous fashion. Without Billy’s summons the consequences must have
been serious, for flames were on the point of breaking out.

Yet again Billy came to the rescue; and though on this occasion
possible jealousy of the cat concerned in the story may have added to
the zest with which she performed her duty, she nevertheless did the
obvious and proper thing. Billy was settled for the night, but it was
not long before she discovered that a cat had been shut into the larder
by mistake, and was making the most of her unwonted opportunities. As
usual, she rushed off to bring her mistress to the rescue. As Billy’s
vigilance was now acknowledged and valued, she had little trouble in
persuading her owner to come down. She led the way to the larder and
calmly waited. The cat was discovered busy with a plump chicken; and
who shall say what feeling of satisfaction came to Billy’s soul, while
she watched the ignominious flight of the startled thief, to sweeten
the sense of a duty successfully carried out?

Not many dogs, even of Billy’s unusual beauty, have had such striking
testimony paid to their good looks. Billy was in the charge, for
the time being, of her young mistress, when an American gentleman
was so struck by the dog’s appearance that, with many apologies to
her guardian for his intrusion, he ventured to ask if she could be
persuaded to part with her pet. He would be delighted to give a cheque
for £20 in exchange for the dog. The offer was politely refused, and
the would-be purchaser then offered a blank cheque, to be filled
in by the owner for any sum she pleased, if she would let him have
Billy. Touched by the genuine admiration shown for the dog, it was
then explained to the enthusiastic American that there were tender
memories of a dead brother, to whom Billy had once belonged, that made
it impossible to consider the noble offer made for the favourite’s
transfer.

A very strong sense of duty was shown by Floss, the little terrier of
eventful history, of whom I have spoken several times. She delighted
in a day’s shooting, but looked upon it as her business to mount
guard over anything in the shape of dead game. One day she was tested
severely. A hare was killed early in the proceedings, and as the guns
were going a long way to the next beat, the hare was hung on a tree
and left. Not long after Floss was missed, and no one could remember
where she had last been seen. Thinking, however, that she had probably
run a rabbit to ground and would follow, the guns went on. At the end
of the day a beater was told off to fetch the hare. When he reached
the tree there was a little white form keeping guard over the trophy
overhead. But Floss did not know the beater, and warned him sharply off
her preserves. The man tried persuasion, caresses, and threats in turn,
but to no avail. Floss was ready to use all her powers in the defence
of her friends’ property, and the man went back to tell the tale of his
failure. Then one of Floss’s friends went to find her and the missing
hare. As soon as she saw him Floss ran to meet the new-comer with every
mark of pleasure. She watched him take down the hare, and then trotted
home contentedly by his side. Not even the sound of the firing that
told her she was losing so much of the day’s fun had been able to tempt
Floss from the path of duty.

A curious sense of the cares of guardianship Floss showed in regard to
the many masks and brushes that adorn the walls of her mistress’s room.
Every night before she curled herself up to sleep, she was observed to
sit upright and look round the walls. If one of the usual trophies had
been removed from its place, she would jump up and proceed on a tour
of inspection through the house to find it. As soon as she discovered
it, she barked again and again till some one arrived to see what was
wanted. Then she waited till her treasure was restored to its usual
place, and immediately this was done she settled herself down for the
night. A visitor to the house, who was much struck with Floss’s careful
guard, used to go into the room at night and pretend to touch some of
the furry treasures on the walls. Floss would be up and on the alert
in a moment. Flying at the rash intruder, she showed herself ready to
defend her mistress’s property till the pretended examination came to
an end.

The strongest personal note of another fox-terrier’s character was an
indomitable will power. What he wanted he would have, if any efforts of
his could secure it. A more independent, self-sufficing little person
it would be hard to find. Even as a tiny puppy, before he had left his
mother, he took the ordering of his young life in his own hands. His
future mistress, accompanied by her brother, went to see the litter, of
which Tyke was one, in order to choose a puppy for herself. When the
strangers came up to the family group, the young things took no notice
of them, with the exception of Tyke, who sat up and barked lustily. One
of the visitors was so taken with the hostile demonstration of the tiny
creature that he exclaimed to his sister, “That’s the little beggar for
you.” To this the lady agreed, and in due time the terrier passed into
her possession.

Now Tyke was not perfect from the point of view of beauty. He was
spindly in form, and had a tail that curled in reprehensible fashion.
Over one eye Tyke had a black patch that was the only touch of colour
on his smooth white coat. He soon made his presence felt in his new
home, and whenever he did not get what he wanted without delay, he
would sit down and, putting his head in the air, give a succession of
piercing howls. The noise he made was such that for the sake of peace
some one was sure to hurry up to see what was wanted. Whether it was a
door that needed to be opened, or whatever at the moment might disturb
the comfort of the puppy, he thus took his own means of ensuring its
removal.

From the first he was attached to his mistress, though he gave her
brother an almost equal place in his affections. To go out for a day’s
rabbit shooting with the latter was one of his greatest joys. While
he was engaged in his favourite sport, Tyke got a nasty blow on one
of his fore legs. He was so severely hurt and the wounded leg had
swollen so much, that there was no thought of taking him for the next
day’s shooting. Tyke, as an invalid, was being taken care of in his
mistress’s room. But no sooner did he hear the usual preparations for
a day among the rabbits being made, than he pushed open the door of
the upstairs room, and tore down to the hall in impetuous fashion, as
best he could on three legs. But Tyke’s enthusiasm cost him dear. As
he turned a corner in the staircase in a headlong rush, he missed his
footing and rolled down to the bottom of the last flight of steps. On
the way he snapped the bone of the injured leg about halfway up.

Tyke’s mistress, who was in the hall at the moment, picked him up, and
her brother, seeing what had happened, put down his gun and rushed out
to the stables to get a horse put into the dog-cart, to carry Tyke off
to have his leg set. In his mistress’s arms the dog was taken by his
two friends to the family doctor, who lived about four miles off. They
were sure that the latter would attend to their favourite for them.
In this they were not mistaken. They fortunately found the Doctor
at home, and enlisted his sympathy on behalf of the little sufferer.
His mistress suggested that Tyke should have chloroform, so while
the medical man busied himself in getting ready a bandage, he handed
the chloroform and some cotton wool to his amateur assistants. But
Tyke seemed insensible to the effects of the anæsthetic, and grew so
excited over the attempts to make him take it that the idea was at last
abandoned. Tyke’s self-control was equal to the demands made on it, and
he remained perfectly quiet throughout the operation, gently licking
his mistress’s hand, as a sign of comprehension and of gratitude for
the efforts made in his behalf.

During the time that Tyke was an invalid, he came in for a carriage
accident of a somewhat sensational kind. He was so unhappy at being
left at home when his friends were out of the house that his mistress
generally carried the little thing with her wherever she went,
comfortably tucked under her arm. One morning, when a friend had to be
driven to the station, the horse, whose business it was to do this work
not being available, an old chestnut hunter named Bessie was pressed
into the service. The wagonette was to be used and the man was to
drive, so the two ladies and Tyke took their places in the back part.
The mare did not take kindly to her new duties, but after a good deal
of fidgeting about at the start, drew the party safely to the station.

On the return journey, Bessie was startled by a dealer’s cart that
came rattling up behind her at a great pace. Laying back her ears she
started off at a mad gallop, and the coachman, in his efforts to get
a hold on her, pulled one rein harder than the other. Bessie’s head
being thus turned towards a fence, she made straight for it. Being a
capital jumper--as indeed her owner’s hunters were required to be--she
landed well on the top of a broad bank. But here she was reminded of
the unwonted encumbrance that hampered her movements. The two front
wheels of the carriage she had carried on to the bank, but the rest of
the conveyance remained hopelessly behind. After struggling vainly for
a few seconds to keep her footing, Bessie rolled back into the ditch,
where carriage, horse, and man were mixed up in hopeless confusion.
Tyke and his mistress fortunately had made their escape, for the
latter, with the dog in her arms, had, while the mare was striving to
balance herself on the bank, taken a flying leap over the closed door
into the road, where she landed happily on her feet. Looking round
for assistance, she saw that the cart, that had been the cause of the
mischief, had followed, and the driver was contemplating the scene of
confusion in the ditch. Catching hold of his horse by the head, the
lady told the man to go to the assistance of her coachman. At last,
hatless, and with his coat nearly torn from his back, but, to his
mistress’s great relief, without serious injuries, the coachman was
extricated from the débris. Then more people arrived on the scene, and
the poor mare was got up. She, too, had, in a marvellous way, escaped
further injury than some cuts about the head, but the carriage looked
like a huge spilt box of matches.

It was not long before the bone of Tyke’s leg joined, and when the last
bandage was taken off it was seen that the injured leg was as straight
as the other. His love for a day’s shooting was as keen as ever, and
his attachment to his owner’s brother was so marked that the former
was always afraid her dog would be carried off by him. When a visit
of her brother’s was coming to an end, she determined, therefore, to
leave Tyke at home when she drove down to the station on the morning
of his departure. The dog was left shut into her bedroom, and the
journey to the station passed without incident. But the dog-cart had
only just turned homewards when Tyke’s mistress caught sight of a
small creature tearing down the hill in front of her and clearly bound
for the station. She knew it must be Tyke, so flinging the reins on
the horse’s neck she jumped down just in time to catch the fugitive.
He was promptly put into the dog-cart and driven home, and for once
Tyke’s efforts to get his own way were defeated. A maid servant was, of
course, responsible for his release. When she opened the door of the
bedroom Tyke slipped past her, and, finding the front door open, he had
made straight for the station, covering the three miles in less time
than the horse had taken.

To one of the neighbouring country houses, situated some three miles
off across the fields, Tyke was a constant visitor. He had often
gone over there from his home for a day’s shooting, and this was a
performance after Tyke’s own heart. It was not long before he took to
making visits there on his own account, for he found the time dull at
home on the days when his mistress was hunting. Tyke would consequently
make his way over, and then sit down and howl at the front door until
he was let in. The gentleman to whom he specially attached himself
on his visits was in the habit of having a late breakfast before he
started for a day’s shooting. Such an arrangement suited Tyke to
perfection. He could see his mistress off on a hunting morning, and
still be able to reach the house in time to share in the breakfast and
start in good order for the day’s work. This over, Tyke would return
home with his temporary companion, and there, curling himself up in
front of the fire, he would rest peacefully for some hours till he
had slept off his fatigue. As soon as he woke, he considered it time
to return home, and announced his wishes in the usual manner. The
prolonged and continuous howls that echoed over the house, if he found
himself shut in, made his friends glad to clear the way for him. But
all were fond of the strange little creature, and one very wet night
they determined to keep him with them till the morning. Tyke seemed to
acquiesce in the proposed arrangement, and the household retired to
bed. But after a time Tyke came to other conclusions, and lifted up
his voice in such piercing fashion that at last the butler came down
and opened the front door for him. At four o’clock in the morning his
mistress was roused from sleep by Tyke’s well-known calls under her
window. In the quiet night air the shrill summons was enough to rouse
the household, and she therefore got up obediently and let him in.
Tyke must have taken an optimistic view of the general complaisance
of humans, as he curled himself up in his accustomed place for the
remaining hours of the night.

He combated successfully arrangements that were not to his mind when
another day’s shooting was in question. His shooting friend was going
with a party after pheasants, and Tyke, when he paid one of his usual
morning visits, found that after breakfast he was no longer wanted. He
was, indeed, handed over to the care of his friend the butler, who,
fastening a lead of string to his collar, gave him into the charge of
the local postman. The latter was going as far as the village, about
a mile from Tyke’s home, and the butler--with memories of Tyke’s past
exploits in his mind--declared that he was well able to find his way
home from the village. The postman undertook the charge, and trudged
off, holding the string carefully. The dog was no trouble to lead, and
after a time his guardian paid no more attention to him. Great was his
horror, therefore, on arriving at the village where the dog was to be
set free, to find only a collar trailing on the ground behind him. Tyke
as usual had taken his own means to carry out his wishes, and having
adroitly popped his head out of his collar, he returned forthwith to
the house from which he had been sent.

[Illustration: “ARE THEY COMING?”

TYKE]

The troubles of the postman however did not end here. His was a slow
working and a conscientious mind. He was in possession of a dog
collar, on which was inscribed the name of the lost dog’s owner. This
he understood was felony, and in much perturbation of mind he made
his way to the house of one of the church-wardens and told his fears.
He gave the collar into the custody of this respectable guardian, and
begged him to assure Tyke’s mistress of his innocence in the matter.

It needed very little to make Tyke understand any proposed arrangements
for the day, and to take his measures accordingly. At last his friends
had to be very careful what they said before him. He was lying one
morning asleep before the fire, in the room in which his mistress was
sitting, when the latter’s brother came in with a letter in his hand.
“I have been asked to shoot at S. to-day,” he observed to his sister.
“Will you drive me over?” “Yes,” was the answer, “but Tyke must not go.”

Tyke, who had started up all attention when the visitor entered the
room, slipped out instead of resuming his old place, as soon as he
found what was going to happen. When the dog-cart came round and his
two friends got in there was no sign of him. But when they reached the
end of the long drive, across which a public road runs, they caught
sight of Tyke’s head peeping out from the bushes on the top of the bank
facing them. Directly he saw that he was noticed, and having satisfied
himself that his friends were really coming, Tyke scampered off across
the fields, paying no heed to the calls that followed him. When his
mistress arrived at S., there was a sedate looking little dog sitting
by the front door waiting for her.

Tyke’s life was a long and a merry one. It ended peacefully, for one
morning it was a little lifeless form that his friends found lying in
his basket.



IX

“_There can be no question at all that the dog is capable of a kind
of fidelity, which presents all the characteristics of loyal and
passionate devotion. When that is the case ... there appear to be the
germ of true moral and spiritual quality._”


In the obedience that we claim and receive in such full measure from
our dogs, an element of thoughtful discrimination is often shown in
the response they give to our orders. Instead of following directions
blindly they display a nice sense of the possibilities of the situation
when all does not turn out as expected. In his behaviour a collie,
who had been trained as a sheep dog, showed a power of reasoning that
would have done credit to any human. The dog had gone to Scotland with
his master, who was living at the time at Holyrood, where he filled
the post of equerry to his relation, the High Commissioner of the day.
On going into a large shop in one of the principal thoroughfares in
Edinburgh, his owner told the collie to wait outside the shop door
for him. The dog lay down obediently, and time passed without the
reappearance of his master. The latter had indeed forgotten his dog,
and had gone out by a door on the other side of the building. At length
the collie, feeling that all was not right, got up and trotted back
to his master’s rooms. Here he was seen by the valet, but he would
not allow any one to touch him, and having satisfied himself that
his master was not there, went back to his place in front of the shop
door. Business detained his owner till the evening, and when at length
he went home, he heard from his man of the dog’s visit, and remembered
that the poor collie had been told to wait for him at the shop. Calling
a cab, he drove off to the place where he had left him and found the
dog obediently waiting for his return.

It is evident that when the dog realised that his master’s visit had
been unduly prolonged, he thought that he might have been forgotten,
and therefore took the obvious course of one possessed of reasoning
power, of going to see if his owner had returned home. But he was
mindful of his trust, and finding that his master had not gone back
without him, he was satisfied that the order given him must be carried
out to the letter. A more intelligent appreciation of the circumstances
in which he was placed it would be hard to find.

Another and a wonderful instance of reasoning power in carrying out
an order was shown by a collie, who was one of the performers in the
sheep-dog trials held some years ago at the Alexandra Palace. A great
crowd had gathered to watch the proceedings, and each dog had to
single out three sheep from the flock, and drive them to a hillside
about half a mile distant. On the hill was the pen into which he was
to drive them. One fine collie had three wild and frightened sheep in
charge, and for a long time he tried in vain to round them into the
pen. They refused to face the opening, and again and again scattered
in wild confusion whenever the collie tried to drive them in. The
spectators watched his efforts with breathless interest. Suddenly the
collie dropped as if exhausted, and lay with his back to the sheep, who
were standing some little distance from the opening into the pen. He
was panting with his exertions, and as he lay prone on the ground he
seemed to have given up the game and to take no further interest in his
charges. But the onlookers saw that every now and again he worked his
body slowly backwards along the ground, the movement being so gentle
that the sheep did not take alarm at it, though they moved gradually
further away from him and consequently nearer to the pen. When the
oft repeated manoeuvre had brought them sufficiently near, the dog
sprang to his feet and, twisting round with a shrill bark, drove
the sheep with a sudden rush inside. A chorus of cheers showed the
spectators’ appreciation of the clever way in which he had surmounted
the difficulty. No man could have shown more patience in compassing
the desired end, or have taken a more subtle method of overcoming
opposition.

A clear evidence of reasoning power was the source of great delight
to the many friends of a little dog called Nanky Poo. The name shows
that the little favourite had foreign blood in her veins, and though
Nanky Poo could not boast of pure descent, her mother was a Pekinese
spaniel. The daughter was black, with white front and toes. She had a
head that did credit to her mother’s side of the family, had a tail
that curled over her back, and was too long in the leg in proportion
to her size. But in spite of all blemishes in appearance, Nanky Poo
was as fascinating a little specimen of her kind as any dog-lover need
wish to know. In her country home, the spaniel used to have her basket
in the front hall, which was used as a sitting room during the summer
months. Here Nanky Poo was shut in, during her owner’s absence from
the house. She was too small and too precious to be allowed to meet
the possible dangers of woods and fields without a guardian at hand to
protect her. But if she was left alone long, Nanky Poo found the time
tedious, and whenever the front bell rang, and the man came to open
it for the expected visitors, she would slip past him and make her
escape. It sometimes happened that when the summons was answered no
one was found waiting at the door, nor was any one to be seen in the
drive. When it became of frequent occurrence for the man to be summoned
on a fruitless errand, some of the household determined to solve the
mystery, and, unknown to Nanky Poo, kept a watch upon her through the
glass door. When the little thing got tired of solitude she was seen
to get out of her basket and go to the wall on one side of the hall.
Here a dainty paw was lifted to the bell wire that ran round the wall
but a few inches from the ground. Nanky Poo pressed the wire down in
business-like fashion, and when she was satisfied that she had brought
about the desired result, she ran to the door that communicated with
the house and took up her station in front of it. With her head on
one side, she sat listening intently for the sound of approaching
footsteps, and by the time the servant arrived she was ready to take
advantage of her chance of liberty. Nanky Poo had a short but happy
life, with a mistress who was devoted to her.

A high form of intellectual development must be allowed to those
dogs who are always ready in an emergency to help themselves out
of a difficulty, or in any other way to conform to the unexpected
requirements of the moment. Such power has been shown by Bobbins, one
of the old Scotch bobtail cattle dogs, throughout her life. Bobbins
is a most fascinating dog, both in appearance and manner, and is of
a gentle, loving nature to her friends. She is a blue grey with tan
markings, and has a wonderful coat that resists the most inclement of
weather. Though Bobbins came from her home in Lundy Island at an early
age, and with her present owner has had none of the work in guarding
sheep or cattle that is the ordinary portion of her kind, she still
shows a keen appreciation of the duties to which she was bred.

[Illustration: BOBBINS]

Not long ago Bobbins was with her mistress in the fields when they
came upon some men at work. One of the men was trying to prevent some
heifers from forcing their way through a gate, that led into the field.
Her mistress called to Bobbins to go to the man’s assistance. Just
as the dog reached him the heifers charged through, and for a moment
Bobbins’s mistress feared her dog would be killed in the mad rush
of the young things. Bobbins was quick to see her danger, and threw
herself flat on the ground. One of the heifers who was coming straight
at her jumped over her prostrate form. No sooner had she passed than
Bobbins was on her feet, and, heading the rushing heifers, turned them,
and drove them safely through the gate.

Another story that shows Bobbins’s readiness to adapt her methods to
the needs of the moment is told by Miss Serrell, and once again I
will quote from her.[6] Bobbins was giving her assistance in the work
of driving a refractory bull, which refused to answer to the dog’s
repeated jumps at his head. Changing her tactics, Bobbins suddenly ran
behind him, “seized him by the tail, and hung on so persistently that
she was swung in the air, as the bull whirled round in his efforts to
get at her. Failing to dislodge her, the animal at last took fright and
beat a precipitate retreat.” The bull apparently nursed a sense of his
wrongs, and one day charged Bobbins unexpectedly, and all but caught
her. The dog only escaped “by turning head over heels and rolling
cleverly to one side.” Then she proceeded to take her revenge for the
unprovoked onslaught. Before the bull had time to turn, Bobbins was
snapping at his heels, and perhaps fearing a second attack on his tail,
the creature made off, and for the future he and Bobbins preserved an
attitude of armed neutrality.

It is of Bobbins that the delicious story is told of a judge who, not
being acquainted with the breed to which the dog belonged, put her down
as “a bearded collie.” When his attention was drawn to the fact that
the so-called collie had no tail, the worried judge made a reply that
deserves to be immortal. “If she has not a tail, she ought to have
one.” Needless to say that with such shortcomings Bobbins carried off
no award of merit from the show.

Another member of the wonderful dog family that Bobbins’s mistress
gathers round her is a pure white smooth fox-terrier named Roy. This
dog is a son of Racer’s, who was a distinguished member of the sporting
pack, whose exploits on land and water their owner has recounted. Roy
has the sporting instincts that marked his sire, and nothing in the
way of vermin comes amiss to him either above or under ground. But he
recognises the limitations of what is lawful in the chase, and respects
the inhabitants of the home poultry yard. Yet even they contribute to
the pleasures of life for him. As soon as he is let out for his morning
run, Roy dashes down the kennel steps and through the yard, scattering
the game fowls in all directions as he makes for the gate leading into
the fields. The more the birds fly and scream, the better pleased is he
with this beginning of the morning’s joys, but he has too keen a sense
of duty to offer to touch them.

In the summer months it is no unusual thing to see a number of ordinary
barn-door fowls scattered among the home game-chicks. The former are
bought by the owner of the place from the cottagers round, who are
afraid to keep them for fear of their falling a prey to prowling foxes,
and thus spoiling their season’s return. The first time Roy found such
unaccustomed mongrels among the dark brown aristocrats of the yard, his
duty appeared to him in a pleasanter light than usual. It was clear
that such nondescript sort of animals could have no right there, and
his mistress was apprised of something unusual going on by the sound
of a great commotion in the yard. Hurrying from the kennels to see
what was the matter, she met Roy with one of the strange birds in his
mouth. She stooped to take it from him, and restrain him from further
depredations. But Roy had no idea of wasting time in the delightful
occupation that duty for once opened out to him. Dropping the chick,
he scampered back before his mistress could secure him. Another trophy
of the chase was brought and laid at her feet, and this time Roy
was caught and a lead slipped on as the surest means of curbing his
enthusiasm. Roy was now clearly puzzled. His mistress was angry, and
told him sternly he was not to meddle with the new-comers. Yet, as he
understood things, these were intruders, and had no more right to a
place in the yard than from an æsthetic point of view they added to its
appearance. He stood looking wistfully up into his mistress’s face,
his stern carried low, but wagging it gently, as he always does when
he is found fault with. Poor Roy, the aspect of the day had indeed
changed, and the problem that confronted him was hard to solve. He
had tried to do his duty in clearing his own ground of unauthorised
trespassers, and he was being scolded for his pains. It was hard indeed
that such an unwontedly delightful duty should not be appreciated by
his usually discerning mistress. But though the reasons that dictated
her conduct were beyond him, he understood the order given. For the
future, the homely creatures must be allowed to join in the general
rush that signalised his rapid passage across the yard, and he never
again attempted to touch them. The carrying out of his personal
responsibility in guarding his mistress’s property must have seemed
beset with unknown dangers to him from that time.

The duty attached to his position as guardian of his home also presents
itself sometimes in attractive form to a thoroughbred mongrel named
Boy. This dog is, in his home circle, said to be a Russian poodle. In
colour he is white with black markings, and has a silky, curly coat
and tail. He has a round head, in which there is plenty of room for
brains, and a pair of very intelligent eyes. Belonging to his owners
is an old and very fat Dalmatian who answers to the name of Tip. The
latter is not allowed in the house, but is always finding means of
ignoring the prohibition. Boy, whose own position is assured, feels
called on to resent the intrusion. As soon as he catches sight of Tip
on forbidden ground, he flies to tell his mistress what has happened.
Then comes Boy’s full sense of virtue rewarded. While Tip is stealing
away dejectedly from the coveted comforts of the house, Boy shows his
delight in the situation by dancing about in glee, and letting off a
series of joyous barks.

[Illustration: BOY]

Boy is a great ratter, and with his first exploit in this line
is connected an early foreshadowing of the serious views as to
guardianship he now holds. In this case untold joys were found that
proved too strong to be resisted. Boy was only a few months old when
his mistress shut him up in a room into which a rat was known to
find its way. In due course the rat appeared, and Boy, yielding to
his hereditary instincts, fought and eventually killed it. But he
knew nothing of the life history of the strange creature whose span
of existence he had ended. Was it not a pet of the mistress whose
belongings he was bound to guard? When his owner came in to see how
things had fared, she was met by a shame-faced little creature, who
crawled to her feet and begged forgiveness for the crime he believed he
had committed. Since then Boy has learned much about rats in general,
and suffers no qualms when he has laid low one of their mischievous
tribe.



X

  “_To come to speech they have it questionless,
  Although we understand it not so well,
  They bark as good old Saxon as may be,
  And that in more variety than we._”


A natural freak among dogs is Bettina Corona, of high sounding title.
This small creature contains in her tiny form as many blemishes from
a show point of view as any terrier--so called--that has ever lived.
In weight she is only eight pounds, and in her photograph can be seen
the bandy fore legs, the prick ears, the woolly curling coat, and
altogether ridiculous tail that go to make up her physical attractions.
But a lion’s heart is in that small body, and she is a sportswoman to
the core, while a more fascinating little will-o’-the-wisp bundle of
mercurial attractions it would be hard to find.

Bettina Corona was born in the Coronation year of King Edward VII,
and her pedigree is of the longest. Her sire is one of the greatest
champions of the kennel-world, and was sent to America at a very high
price. But in compassion to her high relations, let us draw a veil
over her family history, and concern ourselves only with her very
interesting little person.

She is very compact and sturdily built, and has such a powerful jaw and
rare set of teeth as to make her a very formidable creature to give
offence to. Her curly coat is of quite extraordinary thickness, and
resembles that of a sheep. So luxuriant is its growth that like a sheep
she has to be shorn in the course of the summer, or Bettina with her
active ways would be in danger of her life. Bettina’s time of beauty
then is in the winter, when she is a mass of woolly curls from the tip
of her aggressive little nose to the end of her gaily carried stern.

The amount of digging that Betty can get through is surprising, and
in the orchard, where she spends a part of each day, she passes hours
digging for field mice. Nothing indeed comes amiss to her in the way
of game. She has followed a rabbit through all the turns and twists of
a very large earth, and either killed or bolted it. Even cockchafers
and stag beetles do not come amiss, for want of larger prey, and these
she crunches up with a terrible finality. Her greatest enemies are,
however, cats, and she will literally go through fire and water to
reach them. Amongst her many feline foes is a fine long-haired tabby,
half as big again as herself, who rejoices in the name of Jim. Now
Jim is a great poacher, and one morning Betty lighted on him as he
was returning from a midnight prowl. Jim was carrying a young rabbit,
from which he evidently contemplated making his breakfast. But Betty
had other views, and after a very noisy, skirmishing sort of fight,
succeeded in getting possession of it. She then marched triumphantly
into the house, carrying the prize, and making herself as big and fussy
over it as she possibly could.

Another time she did not come off so well, as she rashly caught Jim by
the tail as he was vanishing through the stable door. Swinging round on
her, Jim fixed his claws on each side of her head, and seized one of
her ears with his teeth. But Betty was game, and refused to release her
hold. Fortunately the coachman was at hand to come to her aid, and with
the stable broom tried to get in between them. The commotion soon drew
her mistress to the spot, and she made frantic grabs at the struggling
Betty. At length, Betty was seized by the neck and pulled off, and her
mistress fled with her, while Betty fought and yelled to get back to
the fray. Jim being now perfectly infuriated turned on the coachman,
but the broom being well handled, he was finally swept out of the
stable and the door closed. It was a very long time before the other
combatant calmed down, and Betty spent the rest of the morning rushing
about wildly and hunting for the enemy.

[Illustration: BETTINA CORONA]

When Bettina emerges from the seclusion of the wired-in orchard, she
has a long lead attached to her collar, as this is the only way of
keeping her out of mischief. Her constant endeavour is to jerk the lead
out of the hand of her captor, and one day, having escaped from her
mistress’s vigilance by this means, she rushed headlong into a cottage.
The scene that followed defies description. A black and white cat sat
in peaceful enjoyment by the fire, and near by was an infant slumbering
in its cradle. Betty flung herself with her usual impetuosity on the
cat, and the terrified animal, in its efforts to escape, sprang into
and out of the cradle as a first effort. Betty cleared the cradle
in a flying leap, and, pinning the victim on the far side, a fierce
fight began. The chairs and other articles of furniture were sent
flying in all directions, as Betty’s lead wound itself round them in
her mad struggles. The mistress of the house, brought hurriedly from
her domestic duties, seized a chair as being the handiest weapon, and
with it uplifted rushed on the fighters, while three terrified children
clung screaming to her skirts. At this juncture, Betty’s owner appeared
on the scene, and making a snatch at the uplifted chair with one hand,
she succeeded in grasping Betty’s lead with the other, and swung the
delinquent off her feet. Half choking, she was forced to release her
hold of the cat, and poor puss straightway fled up the staircase into
safety.

The startled woman received compensation for her fright and trouble,
and, as Betty was borne off she turned her attention to the baby, who,
disturbed from its sleep, had been doing its best to add to the general
confusion.

Bettina’s great delight is to escape into the woods, where she will
stay in a very ecstasy of hunting till she is captured and brought
back. She and the two other house dogs, Bobbins a Scotch bobtail, and
Bosky a beautiful wire-haired fox-terrier, all make a mad rush for the
dining room as soon as the gong sounds for luncheon. Betty generally
wins the race, but one day when she had been excited by the constant
yapping of a dog in a distant covert, she turned at the foot of the
stairs and, rushing through the open door that led to the kitchen
regions, tore through the back premises and disappeared to freedom
and hunting. The butler waiting by the dining-room door saw her turn,
and knowing her proclivities and the care with which she was guarded,
rushed after her. The cook, too, had seen her flight from the kitchen,
and joined in the chase. But Betty was disappearing like a flash of
greased lightning down the drive, and pursuit on foot was clearly
useless. The man jumped on his bicycle, and pursued the fugitive alone.

At the end of the carriage drive, Betty, finding herself hard pressed,
turned out of the road and scrambling through the hedge, made at top
speed across the arable field that lay between her and the covert
whither she was bound. The going was heavy, and the man soon found
himself in difficulties as he sped on foot after her. Happily there
was a plough at work in the field, squeaking loudly as is the way of
Dorset ploughs--for what Dorset ploughman does not scorn to oil his
shares? Bettina was immediately all attention, and hurrying up to see
what strange animal was making the noise, the ploughman promptly put
his foot on her lead, and stopping his horses waited for her panting
pursuer to come up. A very snappish and disappointed little creature
was then carried back to the house.

Yet Betty is very good-tempered with the dogs she knows, and romps and
plays merrily with them. Her greatest favourite is Bobbins, and with
her she has endless games. So strong is she that the tiny thing will
jump up at her friend’s head, and dragging her over on her back will
hold her down and pretend to worry her. She can lift the larger bobtail
completely off the ground, and all her tricks the other takes in good
part. They are often to be seen curled up together, with Betty’s head
pillowed on her friend’s back.

An instance of good memory Bettina once showed in connection with a dog
of my own. This dog had been on a visit with me to Betty’s home, and as
the poor dog was ill at the time, the volatile Betty and her pressing
attentions were too much for him. The two dogs had consequently been
kept much apart, with the result that the aim and object of Betty’s
existence was to get to him, and he roused her keenest interest. Some
five months afterwards I was there again, but without my dog. When I
came into the house I met Betty, and she rushed at me in her usual
impetuous way. Scarcely staying, however, for my pat of greeting, she
tore upstairs to the bedroom that I had occupied on my previous visit,
and searched every corner of it to see if my dog was there. For several
days she insisted on renewing her search from time to time, as she
clearly thought the dog was being kept from her as he had been before.
The instant linking in her little mind of the expected presence of the
dog with my own appearance showed that Betty’s memory is enduring.

Another practical joke among dogs was one with whom a friend had a
bowing acquaintance in a Midland town, where she was keeping house for
a brother. This dog lived in a long street of suburban houses tenanted
by workmen. He was a pretty little dog, with a fine silky coat and
a sharp nose, a cross probably between a small spaniel and a black
Pomeranian. He used to have great games with the children in the street
where he lived, the favourite form of amusement being for the children
to try and secure something--a stick or cap--that the dog held. The way
the little thing’s eyes sparkled as he proved more than a match for
many of his playmates, was as effective as any laugh. His popularity
was evidently great, and my friend, who often passed by his house,
never saw him anything but furry and jocose and on the best of terms
with his surroundings. On one occasion, indeed, he was found doing a
little bullying on his own account, though not without provocation. A
child, whose face and appearance were far from prepossessing, always
went down the street in terror of his life. A stone, thrown in wanton
mischief at the dog, had roused the latter’s ire, and no sooner did the
child appear in sight than a little black imp, barking wildly, would
rush out and, circling madly round his enemy, disappear, only to pop
out from some unexpected corner and renew the attack further on.

When the muzzling mania was abroad, the lady was anxious about the fate
of her little friend. It was evident that his owner was away all day,
and that the dog took his amusement at will from the doorstep. She
was glad to see him as merry hearted as ever and not a little amused
to find that the new regulations were so far understood by him that he
preferred a policeman to any other playmate. He delighted in presenting
his unmuzzled face, and being chased, and somehow, possibly because
the policemen were not entirely untouched by the joke, he was a much
hunted but never caught dog. But in time the imp himself needed more
excitement, and then came discreet visits to the police station. It was
summer, and the doors stood invitingly open, and it was no uncommon
sight for a little black unmuzzled head to come peeping round the
doorpost, and a shrill, impertinent bark to dare the inmates to the
chase. As the police station was at some distance from the dog’s home,
it seemed as if he was drawn there by the knowledge that a spice of
real danger heightened the enjoyment of the game.

Not so irresponsible a member of the canine race, or one who did
violence by her appearance to the feelings of well-bred relatives,
was a beautiful fox-terrier named Venus. Yet more than once this
terrier showed a strong and apparently unfounded dislike to strangers.
Venus was a hound-marked dog, with tan head and black-marked body,
and she was of a playful and confiding nature that endeared her to
a large circle of friends. She always accepted any acquaintance of
her mistress, and though in some cases she only showed the tolerance
that the laws of hospitality and good manners demanded, to others she
extended a warmer welcome. In all cases she seemed to make up her mind
about a stranger at the first glance. One day a guest arrived to
luncheon, and Venus was as usual curled up in a favourite position in
the drawing room. The noise of the opening door roused her, and after a
momentary look at the stranger, who was advancing to greet her hostess,
Venus sprang to the ground and rushing to the visitor, jumped up and
caught her firmly by the sleeve. Fortunately the little teeth only met
in the sleeve itself, but the lady was terrified and shaking Venus off,
she exclaimed that she hated dogs and they were never to be trusted.
Venus’s mistress was utterly taken aback at the onslaught, for such
a thing had never happened before. She captured the little criminal
promptly and sent her off to be shut up until her visitor should have
left the house. After many apologies calm was restored, and the party
adjourned to the dining room.

But the maids of the household had not heard of Venus’s disgrace, and
one of them going into the room where she was, set her at liberty.
The tiny feet instantly pattered downstairs and made their way to the
dining room. Through the open door the dog sped unnoticed by any of the
party, and, singling out her former victim, made straight for her and
again fastened on to her arm. The second offence was worse than the
first, and the frightened visitor was only reassured when her hostess
returned with the key of the door of the room into which she had locked
the dog.

The strangest thing about the occurrence was that Venus had never seen
the lady before, and the only explanation of her conduct seemed to be
that a glance told her the stranger was to be regarded as an enemy,
inasmuch as she had no love for dogs. It is certain that we poor humans
would save ourselves much suffering and many painful disillusions if we
had the same intuitive knowledge of those who, under the amenities of
social usage, secretly regard us with disfavour.

The second time that Venus put her mistress to shame, she had more
apparent ground for her action. In this case she was in a strange
house, where she was visiting with her mistress. A lady entered the
drawing room, who was perfectly unknown to the terrier, though she was
on terms of intimacy with the members of the household. As soon as the
usual greetings were over, the visitor turned her attention to the dog.
Standing in front of the couch where Venus lay curled up, she exclaimed
in a teasing voice, “Do you call that thing a terrier?” and laughed in
a manner clearly insulting to a well-bred dog.

Venus lay quietly watching her, but her eyes glowed like two little
balls of fire, and as the laugh ended she made one spring, and,
fastening her teeth in the visitor’s dress, shook and worried it with
every appearance of anger. The offender was borne off in disgrace and
was shut up in her owner’s bedroom, there to reflect on her misdeeds.
Some days later the same lady came to the house again, and no sooner
was she inside the door than with a rush Venus was upon her, and
worrying her dress in the way she had done before.

The gentle, amiable nature of the dog made these onslaughts all the
more remarkable, for the delicate marks of her attention she bestowed
on her friends were such as endeared her to them. To any one who was
admitted to her favour--and to others she simply showed a well-bred
indifference--she would carry a tiny stick, or failing that, or any
small article she could find about the room, she would abstract a small
piece of coal from the coal box, and going up to the selected person,
would offer it, with every appearance of conferring a favour. Should
any one, however, attempt to take the not always tempting morsel from
her, she would refuse to part with it, and intimate that her playful
condescension was not to be imposed on.

Venus had a way of extending the love she felt for her mistress to some
of her belongings that occasionally led to embarrassment. Whenever the
dog was left at home during her owner’s absence, she always searched
for a pair of old slippers sacred to the use of the bedroom, and made
use of one of them for a pillow. If she grew tired of staying in one
room, Venus would carry her prize downstairs and, putting it down in
front of the drawing room fire, curl up on it and await her mistress’s
return. One day, when the latter came home late from hunting, she
was told that some friends were awaiting her in the drawing room. On
entering the room, she saw to her dismay a pair of dilapidated slippers
occupying a prominent position in front of the fire, and Venus in high
spirits doing the honours. As a mark of special favour she had offered
one of the slippers to a lady who was a great friend of hers, and who
was thoroughly enjoying the joke.

Her owner could not account for the anger she showed to the two
strangers who received such startling marks of her disfavour. She must
often have been in the society of other people who were not to be
counted among dog-lovers, and she never, except in these two instances,
swerved from the usual dignified indifference she extended to all who
were not admitted to the circle of her friends.



XI

“_To snarl, and bite, and play the dog._”


These words are typical of our master poet’s attitude towards the dog.
Treachery, cunning, and quarrelsomeness are the traits he dwells on
when he mentions dogs, and we search his plays in vain for any trace
of his appreciation of the noble gifts and heroic virtues that bind
the dog so closely to those who love him. At most we find such guarded
praise as that given by Shallow in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” where
he says of Master Page’s greyhound, “Sir, he’s a good dog and a faire
dog, can there be more said? He is good and faire.” Or again, when one
of the sporting dogs, who always receive the kindliest treatment at his
hands, is made the means of a sarcastic thrust of comparison with one
of a higher species. This occurs in the “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” when
Launce declares in praise of his mistress, “She hath more qualities
than a water-spaniel, which is much in a bare Christian.”

We can but feel that a poet who could paint the most delicate shades
of moral feeling, with the same master hand that plumbs the darkest
depths of the human heart, might have done what no other writer of any
time could do for us in the delineation of the dog’s mind, if only
he had brought his sympathetic interest to bear on it. But a dog for
Shakespeare was only one of the lower animals, whose evil qualities
outweighed his better gifts, and who was at most an uncertain, if not a
questionable companion.

The story of the bet made between Lord Nugent and Sir Henry Holland[7]
shows how difficult it has always been to believe in the limitations
of the poet in this respect. Lord Nugent, who was recognised as the
greatest Shakespearean scholar of his day, declared that throughout
Shakespeare’s writings no passage could be found “commending directly
or indirectly the moral qualities of the dog.” Sir Henry Holland
demurred to the statement, but after a year’s search was fain to
acknowledge its truth, and to pay the bet of a guinea which he had
been confident of winning. In all our reverence for and delight in
Shakespeare, we feel that his want of appreciation of the dog is one of
those weak spots in the armour of genius that shows its possessors to
be, after all, but of the same clay as ourselves.

Yet there are dark spots in the histories of our favourites, though
in many cases these are attributable to defects in early training, or
to harsh treatment. Some too are caused by illness, or by abnormal
conditions of brain and nerve, of which we can only guess the existence.

My own household was once the scene of a terrible act of vengeance by
a bulldog, who is said to have the unamiable trait of nursing injuries
for a long time. Lion was confided to me by a friend, and remained
with me for some three months. He was gentle and friendly with me
from the first, and was on good terms with my other dogs--I then had
a Skye and a Basset hound--and with every one in the house. As he had
been used to sleeping indoors, he continued to do so, and never showed
the slightest ill temper with any one. My cook was devoted to all the
dogs, and as she fed them and often played with them in the garden,
they were on the best of terms with her. She was very good tempered,
and could be trusted implicitly to be kind to them. She could never,
however, be made to see that it was unwise to play with the dogs when
they were busy with a bone, and was rather proud of the fact that they
would never resent it if she teased them by taking their bone from
them and throwing it to a distance, or otherwise interfering with
their enjoyment. Lion seemed of such a gentle nature, in spite of his
ferocious appearance, that I had no special fear with regard to him,
though I often told Mason that I wished the dogs to be left severely
alone, to the enjoyment of their daily treat.

One evening when I returned home, I heard that Lion had been growling
at the cook, and having taken up a position outside the kitchen door,
he refused to allow her to pass him. I went into my study and called
the dog by name, and he immediately trotted round the house and came in
at the glass doors. He came up to me for his usual caress after I had
been away, but I saw that his eyes were red, and had a fierce light in
them that I had never seen a trace of before. I noticed, too, that he
regarded my friend, who had come in with me, with such an unfriendly
look, that I exclaimed, “Helen, I think you had better leave me alone
with him.” This, however, my friend refused to do, as she thought Lion
meant mischief.

I was on the point of telling the dog to come with me into the garden,
when I saw the cook cross the lawn to fetch something from the kitchen
garden, which Lion’s hostile demeanour had prevented her from doing
earlier. I exclaimed, “How foolish of Mason not to keep away,” and the
words were not out of my mouth, when Lion caught sight of her, and the
heavy brindled form at my feet shot through the air silently from the
study steps. To my horror, the next second I saw him hanging by his
teeth to the upper part of Mason’s arm. The small, slight form of the
cook tottered, and then fell on to the grass, and the deadly teeth
were so near her throat that I trembled lest she should be killed. Not
a sound marred the peaceful stillness of that summer evening, but the
horror of the silent tragedy I shall never forget. Calling to my friend
to get assistance I rushed into the garden, while Mason’s terror lent
her strength to struggle to her feet, and stagger towards me, with
the enormous brute still hanging to her arm. Lion’s eyes glared, and
my terror was increased as I thought that he had gone mad. He had no
collar on, and my efforts to choke him off were quite ineffectual. As I
struggled with him, I remember wondering where he would seize me when
he left his hold of cook, for I knew I had not strength to hold him.

The moments seemed hours as they passed. Again Mason fell, and once
more staggered up, but nothing slackened the deadly grip in which she
was held. Happily she did not faint, and the brute did not attack her
throat. Would no one ever come to our assistance? Just as a hum of
voices told me that help was at hand, Lion’s teeth relaxed, he fell
from his terrible perch, and to my infinite relief he walked away and
lay down, without taking any further notice of either of us.

The poor sufferer was very plucky, but after first aid had been
rendered, it was found necessary to take her to a hospital where she
could have the best advice and nursing that could be given her. Slowly
she got over the shock, and struggled back to health and the use of her
arm, and at the end of two months a visit to the seaside quite set her
up, and she was able to return to me.

Lion, of course, was no longer in the house. He had been left in
possession of the garden, while Mason was being attended to, and it
was not till past midnight that I was free to think about him. In the
meantime, his master had been summoned, and before venturing into the
garden we examined Lion’s appearance with a strong light from the
kitchen window. There was no trace of excitement about him, and he
seemed to have recovered his normal calm. He wagged his tail when he
was spoken to, and came up under the window when called. I had sternly
refused the offer to kill him, made by those who had come to my help in
the first instance, as I felt I must know if the poor cook was at least
safe from the horrors that might have followed Lion’s mauling, if he
proved to be mad.

At the midnight conference held over him we decided to shut him into
a stable, and keep him under supervision till we could be sure on
this point. As there was likely to be trouble with the stable door,
of which a decrepit lock often defied the best efforts of those who
did not understand its eccentricities, I insisted on going to open it,
while the dog’s master kept his attention on the culprit. Lion came
up to us quietly when we went out, and allowed his master to pat him,
but the weird horror of that short walk in the dead of night, with the
pattering feet behind me, is a thing not to be forgotten. Would one
of those deadly springs suddenly overpower us? But the tragedies of
the day were over, and Lion in the course of a few days found a new
master, who was undismayed by the gruesome record of his misdeeds, with
which he was made fully acquainted. His new owner found him gentle and
affectionate, as I had done, but he watched him carefully, and some
fifteen months later, when he thought he saw signs of excitement about
him, I believe Lion’s life came to an end.

Whether some playful teasing had roused Lion’s anger against his friend
the cook, and thus led to his terrible act of vengeance, I never knew.
Mason always declared she had done nothing but play with him and the
other dogs, as she always did when she was free in the afternoon. To
all my questions as to whether she had taken a bone from him, I could
get nothing but an assurance that she had been very careful since I
had warned her, and thus no direct explanation of the disaster was
ever forthcoming. I inquired diligently for details of Lion’s earlier
life; but here again I could learn nothing of any value. He had changed
hands frequently, and the experiences of his early days were shrouded
in obscurity. I may admit that I have never since then had anything to
do with bulldogs, and that among dogs, the bulldog is the only one I
cannot regard with favour. The terrors of my experience with Lion have
prejudiced me against all others of his kind.

Jealousy is often shown by dogs, but when this comes from the strength
of their affections, which can brook no rival in their owner’s hearts,
is it to be counted among their bad qualities? We must here take into
account the comparatively low standard of the dog’s moral development,
in the answer we give. Certain it is, that in the crimes to which
jealousy often leads dogs, a sense of shame for the misdemeanour into
which the force of their feelings has hurried them is almost always
shown.

A clear instance of this was given by a Skye terrier, the object of
whose dislike was a kitten. The Skye’s master was a man who possessed
that strange power over animals that is only given to the few even
among those who love them. He was, too, a scrupulously truthful person,
and neither particularly imaginative nor of a philosophical turn of
mind, so that any story that came from his lips is worthy of credence.
Buzz, the Skye, was for a long time the only indoor pet in this
household. Then a kitten was introduced by the mistress, and Buzz’s
master took some notice of the new arrival. Buzz, though a perfect
little gentleman in his behaviour to the kitten, showed every sign of
being distressed by her presence. He would creep away under cover of
the furniture and was generally very depressed, but as he never showed
the least inclination to touch the kitten, it was thought he would soon
be reconciled to her.

One day the kitten disappeared, and all search for it was unavailing.
It was noticed that Buzz seemed more dejected than ever, instead of
rejoicing at her departure. On the following morning, when the master
of the house went out for his smoke and stroll round the garden after
breakfast, Buzz went with him as usual. Instead of displaying his
accustomed vivacity, however, he attracted attention by the depressed
fashion in which he crawled along at his master’s side. At last he
showed signs of interest, and made his master understand that he wanted
him to follow him. He then led the way to a rose bush, and flinging
himself impetuously on the bed, poor Buzz began to dig, looking up from
time to time to make sure that his master was close beside him. At last
the dead body of the kitten came to light. Buzz then left his work,
and rolling over on his back, waved four fat paws in the air, in the
fascinating way these terriers generally ask for pardon.

It was concluded that Buzz had killed the kitten and hidden the sign of
his crime, and his conduct gave ground for the conviction. It might be,
however, that the little intruder had been the victim of an accident,
and that a servant was responsible both for that and the burial, but
in any case the dog showed plainly that he knew what had happened,
and could not rest till he had told his master. The simple action of
asking pardon when he discovered the body seemed to point to his having
had a share in the tragedy. Who shall say that the sense of shame Buzz
showed at his own or another’s misdeed was not a clear evidence of the
moral sense that is the guide of our own actions?

Another and more remarkable instance of the effects of jealousy on
a dog, I will take from that mine of good stories contained in Miss
Serrell’s book.[8] Whankey, the hero of the story, was a black and tan
wire-haired terrier, a dog of such beauty that she was pronounced to
be faultless in make and shape. She was too of a singularly engaging
and affectionate disposition. To her mistress her attachment was very
great, and as Miss Serrell says, “She could never tolerate anything for
which I showed affection.”

“At one time,” the narrator goes on, “I kept a large head of poultry
which Whankey looked on with great disdain. She would never go near
them, and her anger knew no bounds when once, being pressed for room, I
had a trip of young game chicks brought up and cooped on the lawn.”

“All went well for a time, Whankey affecting to ignore their presence.
One very precocious young cockerel, however, soon took to leaving
the others and marching up the steps of the verandah in front of the
drawing room windows. One day he ventured to come close and look into
the room, when Whankey was instantly on the alert and growled angrily
at the intrusion. Growing bolder as he came to know the verandah
better, the cockerel at last walked through the window into the room
where I was sitting at the time. Whankey showed such anger at his
audacity that I was glad to throw the bird some crumbs and get him back
on to the lawn, and as Whankey then quieted down no more was thought
about the matter.

“The following day, when I returned from a drive, I found Whankey in
her usual place in the drawing room with the window open, and noticing
some earth on her nose and paws, I said to her, ‘What have you been
burying, Whankey?’ On this, instead of greeting me, she got up and
walked out of the room. In the evening when the chicks were penned in
their coop there was a hue and cry; one was missing, and this turned
out to be the little pert cockerel. A few days afterwards his body
was found buried under the shrubs at the far end of the garden, and
of course there were all sorts of conjectures as to the manner of his
death. Some were of opinion that a stray cat had done it, but the
mystery was not cleared up till many months later....

“The following spring I had seven dark-coloured ducklings brought
up from the farm and put on the lawn, together with five very nice
white ones, which, as they were about the same age as mine, I bought
to go with them. I had the white ones wired in when they were first
brought home till they should get accustomed to their quarters, and
every day after luncheon I used to take some scraps out and feed them.
This proceeding excited Whankey’s jealousy to the highest pitch, and
she used to walk round the wire with her bristles up, and growling
savagely. One Sunday morning before I started for church I opened
the wire and left all the ducks to run about together, and Whankey
was as usual in the drawing room with the window open. On my return
a tragic tale was unfolded. The gardener had met Whankey carrying a
dead white duckling in her mouth, and he had watched her go with it
to the asparagus bed, lay it down, and proceed to dig a hole. The
gardener picked up the duck and brought it into the house, and Whankey
immediately went indoors and ensconced herself in my bedroom. I went
to the lawn to see what had happened, and there found the seven dark
ducklings all huddled together and looking very frightened, and not a
white one to be seen. Further search showed that all the latter had
been killed and buried in different parts of the asparagus bed, and
there was no doubt but that Whankey was the culprit, not only in the
matter of the ducklings, but in that of the cockerel the year before.”

The extraordinary thing about this performance was, as Miss Serrell
points out, that the terrier picked out only those ducklings of which
her mistress had taken special notice in order to reconcile them to
their new home. She must have killed each of the detested rivals
separately, and then carried the body a considerable distance from the
front lawn to the middle of the kitchen garden, and there concealed
the evidence of the crime. In fact, it was clear that Whankey had had
an active morning’s work before her mistress returned from church,
and that the little brain had not been idle was proved by the perfectly
planned scheme of vengeance.

[Illustration: A SUNDAY MORNING WORK

WHANKEY]

Whankey did not show any touching sorrow for her crime, and perhaps
considered that the end of clearing rivals from her path justified the
means she used. In fact, she could not be considered as a repentant
sinner, though she never liked to hear her exploit alluded to. If any
one said to her, “Whankey, where are the white ducks?” she “would
always get up and walk away growling.”

The growls would seem to show an unrepentant frame of mind to the
end. She wished the subject to be forgotten, but the cockerel and the
ducklings were beyond the power of annoying her. The price we are
content to pay for a great relief is sometimes a large one.



XII

  “_For know that in the soul
  Are many lesser faculties that serve
  Reason as chief. Among these, Fancy next
  His office holds. Of all external things,
  Which the five watchful senses represent,
  He forms imaginations, airy shapes;
  Which Reason joining or disjoining, forms
  All that we affirm, or what deny,
  And call our knowledge._”


While a dog is clearly incapable of any appreciation of a picture as
a work of art, the presentment of a man or animal will appeal to him
as that of a solid figure. Here we are brought face to face with the
limitations of the dog’s mind that is unable to follow our own powers
on to the higher planes of their development. Yet that he is far from
being devoid of imagination, his behaviour when he is brought face
to face with his own reflection in a looking-glass will show. My own
Skye was clearly puzzled when as a young dog he first saw himself in a
looking-glass that was let into the door of a sideboard. He sat down
and gazed earnestly at the quaint little face looking at him from the
glass. Then he got up and moved nearer, wagging his tail in pleasure
at meeting with a companion of whose appearance he seemed to approve.
Bounding a little to one side he showed that he was ready for a game,
and waited for the other to come and join in the fun. When no response
came to his invitation his tail dropped, and at a little distance he
sat down again and renewed his attentive survey of the figure facing
him. A sense of something that he could not fathom apparently oppressed
him, and presently he got up and came and lay down at my feet, sure
that no unknown danger would be allowed to follow him there. He made
many attempts during the next few days to persuade the unresponsive
little dog to come and share his play, and as the reflection of his
moving form confronted him, he would give a joyous bark at having at
last roused the other into life. But with all his efforts he could
not find the barking, jumping little figure, and at last one of his
rushes brought his nose in sharp contact with the glass. This evidently
gave him a shock, and after drawing back for a moment and scanning
the strange thing curiously, he advanced, and putting out his tongue
touched the glass with its tip. Now there was no doubt that something
uncanny was before him, and with every manifestation of terror he fled
to me for protection. He avoided the glass in future, and if put down
in front of it would refuse to look at it, and would shrink away,
frightened, from the thing he could not understand.

With her King Charles, a friend had a similar experience. In this case
the dog discovered his reflection in a long cheval glass on the floor
of his mistress’s bedroom. For some time he gambolled about in front
of it, but at last, wanting to find the dog who refused to come out to
him, he ran behind the glass to see where he was. Finding a blank space
where his senses told him the waiting figure ought to be, his whole
demeanour changed. He was frightened, and all his eagerness for play
leaving him, he became limp and depressed and went to his mistress for
protection. Nothing would ever induce him to look into a glass again,
and even in the safe shelter of his owner’s arms he would cower down
and hide his face against her shoulder when he was invited to admire
his own reflection.

In the same way, as soon as a dog has discovered that a picture is
really a flat surface, and that the figure he sees there has no solid
form, the thing loses all attraction for him. When an excellent
painting of the master of the house was brought home, where a poodle
and a collie were the household pets, both dogs recognised it at once.
They jumped about in great excitement, and invited their owner to take
them for the walk they always associated with his appearance among
them from his study. When no response came, and they were not allowed
to jump up with the usual marks of excitement, the picture had no more
interest for them than a scented soap plum has after the first taste
for an inquiring child.

In a house where a Blenheim spaniel lived, she could not bear to be
taken into the dining room where the walls were hung round with family
pictures. Some of these ancestral portraits were of stern appearance,
and for one of them the children of the house had a great dread,
saying that its eyes followed them about the room. When the spaniel
was some eight or nine months old she first made acquaintance with the
portraits. She showed every symptom of terror as she gazed at them,
and singled out the children’s special dread for her fiercest growls of
disapproval.

Whether an unusual degree of imagination, or a love of fun pure and
simple, was the cause of very unusual conduct in a bull-terrier, I
will leave others to decide. Possibly both imagination and a fondness
of practical jokes were at the root of this strange creature’s love
of dressing up. Such a trait is not unusual in poodles, who have a
special aptitude for tricks of all kinds, but I have never heard of
another bull-terrier with the same taste. This dog delighted in showing
off, and the greater the laughter he excited, the better pleased he
was with his performance. His favourite articles of attire were a
bonnet and cloak, under which his grim face and broad shoulders were
very effective. During one of his exhibitions to a group of admiring
friends, whose laughter came as a pleasing evidence of success, he
suddenly saw a strange dog strolling over his private grounds. With
a fierce growl he sprang after the intruder. The latter, hearing the
growl, turned in the direction from whence it came, but the strange
sight that met his gaze was too much for his nerves. What could this
large bonnet and fluttering cape over the little flying legs mean?
With a howl of terror the stranger fled, and the terrier returned
complacently to take up his performance at the point at which it had
broken off.

A strange mixture of imaginative power and common sense was the
distinguishing mark of a Blenheim spaniel, named Sylvia. In birth and
appearance Sylvia was an undoubted aristocrat, and in character she was
haughty to the verge of snobbishness. From her early youth she showed a
detestation of poverty in any form. She would never go into a cottage
if she could help it, and her family declared that she showed much
greater pleasure in starting for a drive in a brougham or Victoria than
in a humbler pony cart.

Sylvia had a strong will in her fascinating, tiny form. If she did not
understand the reason of an order given to her, she would oppose it
with all her strength. So excited would she become, if the attempt to
exact obedience was persisted in, that it seemed as if a fit would be
the consequence of perseverance in correction, and the little culprit
usually had her own way. But she was not a disobedient dog on the
whole. It was only when the meaning of the correction was not clear to
her that she would die rather than give in to it. The easiest available
means of punishment for such acts of insubordination was to shut her
up in the travelling basket, in which she had arrived at her new home,
till she had recovered her normal state.

When a journey with her mistress was in prospect, the latter regretted
the use to which the travelling basket had been put. The probable
effect on Sylvia of attempting to put her in, when no disciplinary
effort was needed, was discussed in the family, and when the time came
for the attempt to be made, her mistress gave herself a clear hour for
the coming struggle.

The basket was brought out and stood in the big dark panelled hall,
and in low spirits her mistress called Sylvia to her side. But Sylvia
had realised that it would not do to run the risk of being left behind,
so throwing aside all past associations with the basket as a place of
correction, she disconcerted her mistress by running up and jumping
straight into it. Even then she wished to see the arrangements for
her departure complete, and would not be satisfied till the lid was
fastened down and she was left safely secured till the time of the
start arrived. It was not for a little dog possessed of common sense to
indulge in tantrums, when such unknown joys were at stake.

When travelling, Sylvia showed a similar self-restraint and
appreciation of the situation of the moment. She would be taken out of
her basket, and allowed to roam the railway carriage or amuse herself
at the window. But it was only necessary for her mistress to whisper
to her, “It is the next station, Sylvie,” and she would instantly
jump into her own special travelling carriage, so as to be ready to
accompany her party when they left the train. So effective was the
behaviour of this little red and white silken coated beauty that
strangers were much impressed by her sweetness and intelligence. A
fellow traveller once said to Sylvia’s mistress that he would willingly
give twenty pounds down for so sweet-tempered a dog, as he wanted her
to console a little Blenheim widower that he had at home. The bereaved
one went every day to howl at the grave of his lost love, but such a
vision of beauty and amiability as Sylvia could not fail to comfort
him. As the latter’s mistress refused the offer, she had visions of
her “sweet” dog bustling and snapping at the little widower, till
she had reduced him to the state of submission her imperious nature
demanded from her associates.

Sylvia was taught many of the usual tricks in her young days, but
she was by no means ready to show off whenever she was wanted to. If
her mistress called on her for a performance, which the little thing
foresaw might be a longer one than she felt ready for, she would dash
up when called, throw herself down, and do “dead dog” for a second,
jump up and thrust first one paw and then the other into her owner’s
hand, stand for a passing moment in trust attitude, then snap up an
imaginary biscuit and run away. After this no further calls could be
made on her complaisance by sensible folk.

In later life Sylvia turned instructor to her adoring family. She
devised a trick of her own for their benefit. When she wanted anything
to be done for her she lay down in a conspicuous position and did “dead
dog.” It was for her friends to find out what she required. One thing
after another was suggested, but there was no movement from the little
waiting form, till at last the right guess was made. Then Sylvia sprang
to her feet with a shrill bark, and demanded the instant carrying out
of the suggestion.

There was a strain of sentiment in Sylvia that showed itself in a
passionate affection for all young things. Babies, children, and even
young hares were equal objects of adoration to her. Though all the
early part of her life was passed in the country, Sylvia took to town
pleasures as if born to them. The tiny thing often went to concerts
and other entertainments safely perched in her mistress’s arms. She
never broke the rules of the strictest decorum. No bark or fussiness
disturbed the even calm of her manner, or the haughty indifference
she showed to the presence of strangers. Her special delight was to
be taken to one of the large confectioners, when tea was in question
for her friends. Here, seated on a chair at one of the small tables,
Sylvia’s eyes shone with delight when a sponge cake was put in front
of her, and she proceeded to make her own dainty meal in a way that
was sure to give her the respectful admiration and attention her soul
loved. On the occasions when she was left at home, the maids declared
that Sylvia would not take her milk unless it was brought to her in the
drawing room.

The extremity of passion into which Sylvia would throw herself on
occasions was counterbalanced by a surprising tenderness for, and
comprehension of, sickness or suffering in any form among her special
friends. No dog could be more fascinating in the gentle sympathy she
displayed than the little Blenheim. Her eyes had a wealth of tenderness
in them, while with the daintiest caresses she made her little efforts
at consolation. When the health of her mistress’s mother was failing,
she singled her out for special attentions. One of the ways in which
she showed her affection for the invalid was very charming. Taking up a
position at her feet, Sylvia would hold her feathery little paws firmly
in front of her, and wait to be asked to “give a paw.” To some the
invitation would be refused, while others had one paw daintily extended
to them, her own mistress coming in for no more attention at this time
than any one else. But directly the invalid asked gently for the favour
she would thrust both paws into her hand with an effusion of manner
that never failed to give pleasure to the sufferer.

But such soft moments only came to lighten the contrast of her ordinary
demeanour. To the end of her life she was passionate and headstrong,
and in her care of her mistress she was stern and unbending. I have
had more than one mark of resentment from her, when I unwarily came
up to take leave of her owner while she had Sylvia in her arms. Her
mistress might not be touched in her presence, and to the rule Sylvia
made no exception. In illness she was almost impossible to manage, for
she would fight against remedies like a wild animal. When an injury to
her leg required the attention of the veterinary surgeon, her doctor
never escaped from a dressing of the wounded member without at least
one bite to remind him of the occasion. There is no doubt that Sylvia’s
great personal beauty carried her over many rough places, where a less
favoured dog would have come to grief.



XIII

“_A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he
loves himself._”


Among the higher gifts of the dog that culminate in the devotion to his
owner that is an adumbration of the religious sense in ourselves, the
discrimination between right and wrong takes an important place. If
the dog succumbs to sudden temptation it does not need an expression
of anger or even the presence of his owner to make him feel shame at
his lapse from virtue. Those who can have no fear of harsh or hasty
correction will show it to the full as much as others to whom the
unconsidered blow is one of the daily experiences of their life. While
the effects of past training must of course account for much in the
dog’s attitude, it is not possible that in the unusual circumstance or
unforeseen emergency that has put the dog in the way of temptation,
such training can be the only cause of the moral sense he shows. It is
because he has failed in the performance of one of the simple virtues
that bound his knowledge of ethics that he feels shame for his failure.

I was much struck with a sense of right and wrong _as such_ that a
wire-haired fox-terrier, named Bosky, showed. This little dog is a
charming pet, gentle, affectionate, and dainty in her ways, but not
even by her best friends can she be said to shine in intelligence. Her
beautiful form and her show points have indeed been secured by much
inbreeding, and it is to this that Bosky owes a nervous temperament
that entirely unfits her for any of the rougher give and take of
life. If a cat even looks at her round a corner she is paralyzed with
fright, and if she comes across one at closer quarters she will scream
herself almost into a fit with terror. Even in her home, where she is
a favourite with all the household, Bosky will never leave the safe
shelter of her mistress’s room, whenever the latter is absent. If any
one comes in at the front door while her owner is out, a little white
head will be seen peeping through the railing halfway down the stairs,
but unless Bosky is sure her mistress is there she will go no further,
and will fly back to her usual shelter if any one comes up to speak to
her.

Yet this little dog, whose brain power is of the smallest, has a clear
idea of right and wrong. It is the custom of the maid to take a cup of
Benger’s food to her mistress’s bedroom after the latter has gone up to
bed. Bosky, who by that time is already in the place where she passes
the night, always has a few spoonfuls given her in the saucer as soon
as her mistress has finished. One day when I was staying in the house,
my hostess came with me to my room and stayed talking for some time. In
the meantime the maid had put the cup in her room as usual, and then
gone away. When my friend was leaving me, a startled scream from Bosky
echoed through the silent house as soon as my bedroom door was opened.
The little thing had been lying on the mat outside, and directly her
mistress appeared she opened her lips with a cry of terror, and fled
downstairs into the darkness of the front hall.

[Illustration: BOSKY]

When her mistress entered her room she saw what had happened. The
tempting cup had been standing on a table beside the bed. Its contents
had long since grown cold, and Bosky had taken her share from the top
of the cup instead of waiting for her usual portion. But repentance
had followed swiftly on the crime, and she fled from the room and took
up her station at my door, to put herself out of reach of further
temptation. The most striking point about her conduct was that, though
nothing but a few words of reproach came as a punishment for her theft,
Bosky would never again be left alone in the room with the cup of
Benger. She generally came with her mistress into my room; but if she
had gone straight to bed when we came upstairs, she would always jump
up when the maid came in with the cup, and take refuge by my door.

Such conduct seems to show, as I have said, an appreciation of
wrong-doing as being contrary to the line of conduct that ought to
be followed. For, though in this particular case the dog could not
have feared punishment at the hands of her mistress, she yet showed
undoubted terror at her theft being found out. It is hard to know what
thought could have been present in her mind. When we see a little
street Arab instinctively lift his arm across his face to ward off a
possible blow at any unexpected or sudden word from a stranger, the
action tells us a pitiful tale of the child’s experience. But if in the
dog there is no such individual experience to cause his fright, may
not the sense of impending misfortune following a lapse from virtue
be an instance of tribal memory? In the history of his forbears,
punishment has followed swiftly on wrong-doing. Has it become an
instinct of the race that this should be so?

Even this, however, does not explain the sense of wrong-doing that is
at the root of his conduct. In the case of the terrier, she might well
have looked on a portion of her mistress’s food as being her right; for
she knew she had it given to her unfailingly. Yet she recognised that
she might not take it herself, and the enjoyment of the coveted dainty
was soon clouded by a sense of guilt.

From my own point of view, and with a full recognition of the part
that training and tribal memory may play in the ordering of the
dog’s conduct, I think that such an instance shows the dawning of a
moral sense that gives the dog the very highest claims to humane and
considerate treatment at our hands. Although to some this will appear
too high a line to take, we can but feel that whatever the solution may
be, it brings us face to face with something in the dog’s mind that
causes him to act in a manner altogether worthy of a human.

And when we turn to the passionate devotion a dog is capable of, we
again find things that are hard to fathom. The most striking case, in
some ways, that I have met with is that of a clever little cross-bred
terrier. This little dog, Jimmy by name, belonged to one of the
daughters of the house, where the father was a confirmed invalid
and the mother in delicate health. The latter took little notice of
the dog, though she was kind and gentle to him, as she was to all
animals. When the master of the house died suddenly his widow was
quite broken down with grief, and nothing that her daughters or her
medical attendant could do would rouse her from the state of collapse
into which she fell. In her fragile state it seemed that the shock
would kill her. But Jimmy was struck by her suffering, and he showed
such passionate distress at her misery that the gentle sufferer gained
self-control as she strove to comfort him.

From that time, during the remaining years of her life, Jimmy never
left her. He would even turn on his mistress if she offered to remove
him from her mother’s side. When his chosen friend was confined to her
bed, as she often was for weeks at a time, Jimmy would not be separated
from her, and if he found the bedroom door shut against him, he would
fling himself against it and beat it with his paws in a fury, till it
was opened. Then, after only one day when the invalid was not able to
take her usual place in her family circle, she died, and Jimmy seemed
instantly to recognise what had happened. He was still faithful to his
visits to her room in the days that followed, but instead of demanding
admittance he would lie down and quietly wait to be let in. When he was
admitted there was no mad rush to the bed, but he crept in and took
his place with the watchers beside the coffin. What happened during
those silent watches, I must give in the simple words of Jimmy’s
mistress. “As I used to sit with Jimmy on my knee in the darkened room,
he seemed to be following something I could not see with wistful eyes.
Naturally you will think it was a fly on the wall, or some such thing
that Jimmy’s gaze was following. But I assure you, I tried every test
I could think of, and there was nothing. Yet the awe-stricken look in
Jimmy’s eyes as they gazed out over the room, I can never forget. How
much I would have given to see what he saw!”

What made Jimmy’s conduct the more remarkable was that he had never
before been known to keep quiet for any length of time together. He was
an active, excitable little dog, full of strength and movement, and
giving play to his enjoyment of life with noisy exuberance of spirits.
But after the death of his chosen friend he fretted silently and with
such faithful memory that his mistress at one time feared she would
lose him. In time, however, he turned to her for consolation, and the
loving care that had always been his was now intensified by the memory
of his love for one whom his owner mourned deeply.[9]

[Illustration: JIMMY]

The following instance of a dog’s devotion I take from the charming
appreciation of the late Lord Lytton that has recently been brought
out by his daughter, Lady Betty Balfour.[10] The charm of the story,
as told by the dog’s master, is the cause of my breaking through the
rule I have followed in this book, of only giving anecdotes that I have
collected at first hand.

The hero of the story was a Pyrenean dog named Goblin, who was Lord
Lytton’s constant companion during the last years of his life. Only a
few months before our ambassador died at his post in Paris, he took
a short holiday on the seacoast of the North of France. With him, of
course, went Goblin, and his master, in a letter to a friend, gives the
following account of an incident that touched him deeply.

“I must tell you that Goblin has an invincible dread and horror of
water. Never yet have I been able, by any persuasion or threat, to
induce him to dip his paw into lake or river, sea or pond. Well
yesterday, as soon as I got here, I went to take a bath in the sea,
and I took Goblin with me. As the bathing place is just in front of
the hotel, I made sure when I got into the sea he would either find
his way home or else wait for me on the beach, and I did not concern
myself about him. The tide was flowing in, and I was therefore able to
swim out some distance from shore without risk of being drifted too far
by the tide. When I was already a good way out and had just turned my
face landwards to swim back, imagine my surprise to perceive that the
faithful beast was swimming out to me in a very fussy, floppy style.
He, too, was already some way from shore, but he made slow progress
against the waves, though his poor little paws beat them with desperate
rapidity. He was panting and snorting loudly, and there was a look of
unutterable anguish in his yellow eyes, which were all the while fixed
steadily on me. He had evidently fancied I was going to be drowned,
and that it was his duty to save me or perish with me, or else that I
was meanly and cruelly abandoning him and at any risk he would not be
left behind. This moral agony had conquered his physical horror of the
water, as Aaron’s rod swallowed up those of Pharaoh’s magicians, and
affection had cast out fear.

“Now, three weeks before leaving Paris, I had dreamt a bad dream which
made a great impression on me, and in my dream I had seen Goblin
drowned. Suddenly the thought rushed upon me that this bad dream was
about to be fulfilled, and I think that in that moment my own fears
became greater than Goblin’s. I made for him as fast as I could, took
him in my arms, and holding him before me like a baby, swam back with
him till we were in shallow water again.

“Ever since he has been in tearing spirits, cocks his tail higher than
before, and is evidently proud of his exploit, which appears to have
greatly raised him in his own opinion, as it has certainly done in
mine; I believe he is persuaded that he saved my life. However, when
I went to bathe again this morning, I took Todd, my valet, with me,
and whether it was Todd’s reassuring presence, or the certainty he had
acquired from yesterday’s experience, that I should presently return,
I can’t say. But this time nothing would induce Goblin to go after me
again into the water. Every time I called to him, or Todd urged or
coaxed him forward, he shook his head knowingly, as if to say ‘No, no;
I am not to be taken in a second time. I see through your tricks now!’”

The faithful dog, we read, “long survived his master and was a beloved
friend to the family.”

Noble Goblin. He loved and enjoyed his life, but was ready to sacrifice
it in his master’s service, or to save himself from the deeper horror
of long years to be spent without him.

Once again I break through my rule to give an old, old version of the
story that in modern form tells of the dying service of Gelert to his
master. Who has not been touched by the simple recital of the dog’s
devotion, that was so misjudged by man?

It is in the Folk Tales of the Himalayas[11] that we find the far-off
echo of Gelert’s story, which still lives among the fireside legends of
the hill tribes of Northern India. These stories were, as Mrs. Dracott
tells us, taken down as they were told to her by the Paharee women, and
she gives them as nearly as possible in the words of the narrators. The
temple built on the slopes of those far-off, snow-capped mountains,
keeps alive in the hearts of the simple village folk the history of a
dog’s fidelity that met with bitter injustice at the hands of his owner.

“About eleven miles from Raipur, near the village of Jagasar, is a
temple built to the memory of a faithful dog of the Bunjara species,
and this is the story of how it came to be built.

“Many years ago a Bunjara Naik, or headman of the class of Bunjaras, or
wandering traders, owed money to a ‘Marwari,’ or money-lender at Raipur.

“When pressed for payment, the Bunjara, who was then standing near
the Marwari’s shop, said, ‘Here is my gold necklace, and here is
my faithful dog; keep both till I return to my camping ground near
Jagasar, and fetch you the money.’

“The necklace and the dog were then left as security, and the man went
his way.

“That night the Marwari’s shop was broken into by thieves, and many
valuables stolen, among them the golden necklace; but before the
thieves could get clear away with their stolen property, the dog got
up and barked and leaped about, and made so much noise that the Marwari
and his men got up, caught the thieves, and recovered the property,
which was of considerable worth.

“The Marwari was very pleased, and out of gratitude for what the dog
had done determined to cancel and forgive the debt of his master, the
Bunjara. So he wrote a paper to cancel it, tied it to the dog’s neck,
and let it go, saying, ‘Carry the tidings to your owner.’

“Early next morning the dog trotted off, and was nearing the camping
ground which was his home, when the Bunjara saw him, and, very
displeased, he took a stick and struck the poor dog across the head,
saying, ‘You brute, you could not remain even twenty-four hours with
the Marwari, though my honour was at stake.’

“The blow killed the dog on the spot, and as he fell the Bunjara
noticed the slip of paper round his neck, and on reading it found what
joyful news his dog had brought to him. Not only was the debt forgiven,
but the reason for it was also stated on the paper.

“The grief of the Bunjara was great, for in spite of his hasty temper
he loved his dog, as all Bunjaras do. He repented his hasty act, and
wept most bitterly over his favourite, vowing that he would try and
expiate his deed by building a temple to the faithful dog’s memory with
the money he had recovered.

“The small temple now standing on the spot where this took place
testifies to the fulfilment of that vow, and a small dog carved in
stone indicates why the Dog Temple was built.

“To this day it is deeply revered by all the villagers around, and the
story of that faithful dog is often repeated to show how intelligent
and true a dog can be.”

Yes; faithful, true, loving to the death, understanding our moods and
sorrows, and sympathetic in all the troubles as well as the joys of
life, the dog has proved himself to be. Shall not our recognition of
his many virtues be at least on a plane with the simple faith in his
powers of heart and mind that the little hill temple is a witness to,
among the untutored natives of the wild tribes of Northern India?



XIV

                          “_Are we devils? Are we men?
  Sweet St. Francis of Assisi, would that he were here again!
  He that in his Catholic wholeness used to call the very flowers
  Sisters, Brothers--and the beasts whose pains are hardly less than
    ours._”


If the foregoing studies of dog life make clear the right of a dog to
be treated as a being whose powers of mind are nearly akin to our own,
how should this affect our behaviour towards him? Not to pamper him,
assuredly, and thus check the free exercise of his higher powers and
qualities and encourage the selfishness and greed, the germs of which
are to be found as well in canine as in human nature. The dog has his
own place in the natural order of things, and our aim should be to give
to the higher and better part of his nature the fullest development and
training our powers enable us to do. When we hear of a lonely woman
whose sole friend was her dog taking her own life in despair at her
companion being reft from her, and brought to an untimely end, we pity
her in that her views of life had been warped and distorted by the
dreary loneliness of her lot. But apart from such an extreme example
of putting our faithful little friend on a platform to which he has no
right, there are many who might take to heart with advantage, both to
themselves and to the animals under their care, the quaint indictment
of an old writer: “These dogges are ... pretty, proper and fyne, and
sought for to satisfie the delicatenesse of daintie dames’ ... wills,
instruments of folly for them to play and dally withal, and tryfle away
the treasure of time, to withdraw their mindes from more commendable
exercises and to content their corrupted concupiscences with vain
disport (a selly shift to shunne yrcksome ydlenesse).” As the book from
which these words are taken is said to be the earliest one on dogs
written in the English language, it shows that it is no new thing with
us for women to err on the side of foolish spoiling of the intelligent
creatures who are worthy of a better fate.

It is often asserted that animals as a body have no “rights,” properly
so called, that must be taken into consideration in our dealings with
them. Such a dictum, as it is often understood, I would combat with
every means in my power. But here there must be a clear understanding
of what we mean by the word “rights.” It cannot, I think, be better
expressed than in the following lines, written by a member of that
body who has been unjustly accused of not giving its support to the
protection of animals from cruel and unfair treatment: “It is true that
they [animals] have not human rights; but as there is in them a nature
demanding a treatment quite above that accorded to wood or iron, plants
and shrubs (as St. Francis says), so it is reasonable to claim for them
rights--animal rights.”

And what are the “animal rights” that the dog, as a fellow citizen
of the animal world, can claim at our hands? Not the cramping
restrictions of excessive and foolish fondness, but a temperate and,
above all, humane appreciation of the fact that his span of life is
given him from the same source as our own. Whence it comes and whither
it goes are questions that all the science of the world, so far, can do
no more than speculate upon. As Christians, the faith that is in us is
not shaken by the difficulties that confront us, when we think of the
beginning and end of our life on the earth; but we know that the gift
of life carries with it grave responsibilities and duties, for the due
performance of which we are each personally accountable. But our duties
and responsibilities towards our fellow men do not limit the ties that
bind us. The same laws that govern our intercourse with our fellows
govern also, in their degree, our relations with the animal world.

The dog, who is brought nearer to us in the intimate relations of
our home than any other animal except the cat, suffers most from any
failure of duty on our part. For the ordering of his whole life from
puppyhood to old age, and from dawn to dark of each day as it comes, is
subject to the influence we bring to bear on it. If we fail to bring an
intelligent comprehension of his wants and of his powers of mind and
body to act on the surroundings we give him, we lessen his joy in life,
or bring untold suffering upon him, in proportion to our own failure in
our duties towards him.

What, then, can be said of those who bring wanton cruelty to bear
on the sensitive body and delicate mental organisation that make him
a trusted friend and companion of the human race? The dog-fights, of
which I have spoken in an earlier part of the book, are now happily
objects of horror and disgust to all but the hopelessly brutal minded.
But much, I fear, still remains to be done in bringing the force of
the law to bear on those who offend in secret, and with but a partial
recognition of the enormities they perpetrate.

Of the far worse horrors of vivisection I am not happily here called on
to deal, with more than a passing notice. Whatever science may have to
say to excuse them, the scenes of the vivisecting room are too dark and
horror-striking to be reproduced for general reading. We know that some
eminent members of the medical profession have pronounced against their
value to the spread of scientific knowledge. We may hope, then, that
such pronouncement of undoubted authorities may have due and speedy
effect in the general recognition of dogs and other animals to the
right to be spared all unnecessary suffering.

The highest claim a dog possesses to the full recognition of his
rights--animal rights--to consideration at our hands, is, from my point
of view at least, his possession of the dawning of a moral sense. Such
a power of discrimination between right and wrong, and the consequent
results of a feeling of satisfaction and elation, or of shame and
regret, as he gives way to behaviour that contravenes his sense of
moral rectitude, or in spite of temptation refuses to listen to the
suggestion of passion or appetite, is, or so it appears to me, proved
abundantly by a sympathetic study of the dog’s actions. A striking
instance of such conscious choice was shown by the little Bosky[12]
when she first fell from the paths of honesty in the presence of a
tempting dainty, then fled from the scene of her lapse from virtue and
from her beloved mistress’s presence; and still more when she refused
to allow herself to be put in the way of temptation a second time. The
Skye[13] showed unmistakable shame and sorrow when he brought to light
the kitten’s dead body. The fox-terrier pups[14] in their Indian home
had an appreciation more or less clear of their infant enormities in
the matter of destroying their guardian’s property, and every dog-lover
from his own experience can recall some instance of the same nature.

We have seen that in the primitive tribal conditions of the dog’s
ancestors, the sympathy, that is the foundation on which all community
life rests, must have been present in those members of the old-world
packs, or the very existence of the tribes, as such, would have been
imperilled. Sympathy with their fellows gave to each member of the
tribe an appreciation of the needs of his fellow members as well as of
his own. Such needs must be respected and cared for, and in the simple
give and take of the rough life of the wandering packs, we find, I
think, the first faint foreshadowing of the moral sense that reaches
its highest expression in the animal world, in our dog friend as he is
to-day. In saying this I do not for a moment claim for our dog more
than the very simplest ideas of duty, as they appear to him in his
relations to his owner and to his fellow dogs, or other animals, for of
the conception of ethics in the abstract he is clearly incapable. To
make such a claim for him would be to place him on our own level in the
possession of mental and moral gifts.

The simplest expression of the knowledge of right and wrong presupposes
no inconsiderable power of memory and of reflection. Of both these I
believe the dog to show himself capable. If he is not, no faintest
adumbration of the moral sense can be his. For before any ethical
appreciation can be shown there must be not merely the memory of a
past event, but a power of reflection on the many converging lines
of presentment to his mind, not only as these affect some person or
thing outside himself, but as they impress his own consciousness.
Such an effort of mind, aided by his affections and other powers that
may be brought into play by the circumstances of the case, give to
the dog the sense of right or wrong-doing that he displays in his
consequent actions. In such simple manifestations of the moral sense,
shame and the fear of detection, or on the other hand self-gratulation
and elation, may be expected to play their part, though without
obscuring the true ethical consciousness that lies at the root of
the expression of feeling. As the dog’s mind knows no higher form of
devotion than that excited by his faulty owner, why should we quarrel
with the crude evidences of a moral feeling our presence excites in
him? Before we played the part of deity to him, he recognised his
duties to his fellows, and in his own manner and degree lived up to
the responsibilities the circumstances of his life demanded. The
fuller blossoming of the possibilities of life for him came with the
companionship of man, and with us it lies to bring these to a full
fruition, or to starve them into a premature blight.

From the earliest times men who have taken a view of their
responsibilities that is not limited to their own kind, have lifted
their voice with no uncertain sound to plead with their fellow men for
a more humane regard for animal life. In the dangerous exhibitions of
the Roman Circus it was men who risked their lives for the passing
gratification of their fellows. These games were followed in a later
age by the bull fights that still linger to the disgrace of the
civilised nations who enjoy them. In the old times St. Augustine,
St. Chrysostom, and others were eloquent in their denunciation of
the gladiatorial combats, and soon after the middle of the sixteenth
century Pope Pius V forbade the faithful in any land to take part in or
attend the bull baiting that was then a favourite form of amusement.
The Pope declared such exhibitions to be “contrary to Christian duty
and charity,” and if any in defiance of his command should lose their
lives in contending with “bulls or other beasts,” they were to be
“deprived of Christian burial.”

We may be thankful that in later times such teaching has been given
by the authorities of the Church in England, in America, and in every
Christian country in the world. Among the Catholic dignitaries, who in
our own country have taken a leading part in inculcating a due respect
for animal rights, Cardinal Manning came prominently forward. In one of
his many addresses on the subject, he says:--

“It is perfectly true that ... the lower animals are not susceptible
to those moral obligations which we owe to one another; but we owe a
seven-fold obligation to the Creator of those animals. Our obligation
and moral duty is to Him who made them, and if we wish to know the
limit of the broad outline of our obligation, I say at once it is _His_
nature and His perfections, and among those perfections one is most
profoundly that of eternal mercy.... And, in giving a dominion over His
creatures to man, He gave it subject to the condition that it should be
used in conformity to His own perfections, which is His own law, and,
therefore, our law.”

Archbishop Bagshawe in speaking on the subject, said: “We have the
duty to imitate the Creator; but the Creator is infinite Mercy, and
to cultivate in ourselves habits of cruelty, when He is infinite
Mercy, is assuredly not fulfilling that duty.” In another land, an
eminent Cardinal has asserted, that “Peccatum est crudelitas etiam in
bestias ponit actionem dissonam a fine et ordine Creatoris.” (Cruelty
to animals is a mortal sin, because it is contrary to the purpose
and rule of the Creator.) From another Catholic theologian come the
words “... in animals there is a something--call it right or call it
claim--which is an intrinsic bar to cruelty, and renders that cruelty
a sin. In other words, there is a real objective counterpart to the
acknowledged sin of cruelty to animals and that is to be found in the
animal’s nature.... That animals are meant, in the Providential order
of things, to educate both the thought and affection of man, is proved
by the fact that they have that influence. The wrong treatment of them
must produce a distorted character, as experience shows. No one will
deny that great and habitual cruelty in a child towards animals is
rightly looked on everywhere as a very bad augury, and is a proof of a
depraved disposition.”

From the pen of one whose historical studies have brought him a
world-wide reputation--the Right Rev. Abbot Gasquet--we learn that
early in the fifteenth century, when the art of printing was still
in its infancy, a book was brought out that, among other duties,
inculcated that of kindness to animals. The book was called “Dives
et Pauper,” and was announced as being “a compendious treatise ...
fructuously treating upon the Ten Commandments.” To quote from the
modernised form in which the Abbot gives the passages, we find the
following: “For God that made all, hath care of it all, and he will
take vengeance upon all that misuse His creatures.” And again, “... so
men should have thought for birds and beasts, and not harm them without
cause, in taking regard that they are God’s creatures.”

And since those far-off days Englishmen and Americans, of all ranks and
various professions, have been ready to urge the rights of our dumb
friends to consideration and humane treatment at the hands of all. The
eloquent words of Canon Wilberforce, from the pulpit in Westminster
Abbey and elsewhere, have in stirring tones brought these duties home
to large bodies of attentive listeners. The terrors of vivisection have
been the theme of his pen in articles contributed to our monthly press;
and in one of them, that appeared in the New Review in the year 1893,
he asks the stern question, “What victory over diseases known to be
fatal can scientific experts point to as the result of vivisection?”
“Meanwhile,” the writer adds, “evidence accumulates that untold
sufferings have been inflicted upon the human race from the erroneous
conclusions adduced from experiments on animals.” Could any darker
picture be drawn of suffering on the part of those who are powerless in
the hands of man, and its hideous reflection on the members of the race
who are responsible for it?

But it is vain to attempt to give complete instances of those who
have done their best to bring the fuller light of a more perfect
understanding on the true relationship of man towards the lower
animals. Their name is legion, even without going beyond the bounds
of our English-speaking land. Poets, churchmen, men of science and of
literature, have all contributed to the noble work of rousing their
fellow men to a fuller realisation of their duties towards their dumb
friends. From France, from Spain, from Italy, and from Austria and
other countries, earnest voices have been raised in the same cause.

Few Englishmen have done more good work in the study of the habits,
dispositions, and nature of animals, than Dr. Lauder Lindsay. In his
most interesting work on “Mind in the Lower Animals” we find the
following passage, which it would be well if the young of the rising
generation were taught to appreciate.

“At least those animals with whom we have most to do, think and feel as
we do; are effected by the same influences, moral or physical; succumb
to the same diseases, mental or bodily; are elevated or degraded in
the social scale, according to our treatment; may become virtuous
and useful, or vicious and dangerous, just as we are appreciative,
sympathetic, kindly disposed towards them.”

If such teaching were given to those who are starting on their way
through life, we might look for a rich harvest of appreciative and
kindly treatment for our dog friend and his companions, in the years
that are to come.

  That loving heart, that patient soul,
    Had they indeed no longer span
  To run their course and reach their goal
    And teach their homily to man?
  That liquid, melancholy eye
    From whose _pathetic_ soul-fed springs
  Seemed surging the Virgilian cry,
    The sense of tears in mortal things.
  That steadfast, mournful strain, consoled
    By spirits gloriously gay,
  And temper of heroic mould--
    What!--was _four_ years their whole short day?



INDEX



INDEX


  Amora (fox-terrier), 124, 125


  Badger baiting, 121

  Bagshawe, Archbishop, quoted, 262

  Balfour, Lady Betty, quoted, 249-251

  Bandy (Dandie Dinmont),
    accidents to, 47, 55, 61, 62
    call paid by, 64
    characteristics of--
      balls, attachment to, 48, 55, 56
      games, passion for, 45, 46, 51;
        fielding, 46-48
      human companionship, preference for, 46
      ridicule, distaste for, 65, 66
      time-reckoning, capacity for, 53, 113
    death of, 66, 113
    episcopal procession incident, 61
    hunting by, 62
    illnesses of, 51, 58
    photographs of, 53, 54
    rifle corps, interest in, 45, 56-58
    Swain, Mr., encounters with, 49, 57, 58
    thrashings of, 65
    verses on, 44, 49-51, 58-60, 67, 68

  Bettina Corona (terrier), 210-215

  Billy (fox-terrier), 187-190

  Bob (retriever), 83, 84

  Bobbins (cattle dog), 204-206, 213-215

  Bobby (Maltese and Pomeranian), 179-181

  Bone on a string experiment, 19, 20

  Bosky (fox-terrier), 213, 243-245, 259

  Boy (mongrel), 208, 209

  Bruce (collie),
    appearance of, 32
    characteristics of--
      independence, 107, 112
      manners--politeness, 32-35, 112
      practical joking, appreciation of, 37, 38
      pugnacity to collies, 37
    death of, 33
    homes of, 40-42
    stealing of, 41
    train-meeting episode, 39, 40

  Bull-baiting, 261

  Buzz (Skye terrier), 228-230, 259


  Collies, reasoning powers exhibited by, 200-202

  Cruiser (retriever), 161, 162


  Dash (pointer), 157

  Dog-fighting;
    _see_ Fighting

  Dracott, A. E., quoted, 252-254

  Dressing up, bull-terrier’s fondness for, 237

  Druid (foxhound), 157, 158


  Environment, influence of, 105


  Fighting of dogs, 71-74, 81, 82, 258;
    strategy in, 128

  Floss (terrier), arrival of, 119-121;
    badger baiting by, 121;
    friendship of, with Whankey, 170, 171;
    sense of duty shown by, 190-192

  Fox-hunting;
    _see_ Hunting

  Frampton, Mr. Featherstonhaugh, 178


  Gasquet, Abbot, quoted, 263, 264

  Gilyak tribe, belief held by, 248 _note_

  Goblin (Pyrenean dog), 249-251

  Grief, expression of, in dogs, 117, 118, 171

  Gubbins (Skye terrier),
    appearance of, 3, 30
    arrival of, 4
    blindness of, 30
    characteristics of--
      courage, 20
      devotion and affection for his mistress, 6, 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 22,
        106, 117
      intelligence, 21-25
      joyousness, 6, 9, 29
      manners, 10, 26
      memory of friends, 29
      mischievousness, 21, 26, 112
      nervousness and sensitiveness, 4, 5, 9, 112
      shame, sense of, 25-27
      time reckoning, capacity for, 27-29
      wilfulness, 11-12
    choice of mistress by, 109-112
    early hardships of, 5
    illnesses of, 7, 13-15, 27
    nicknames of, 30
    show experience of, 7, 8
    sign and sound system of, 17-19

  Guest, Mr. Merthyr, 133, 158, 178


  Hawes, Charles, quoted, 248 _note_

  Holland, Sir Henry, 223

  Homing instinct, 175-180

  Hounds,
    Blackmore Vale pack, 133, 158
    corporate life of, 127, 129, 130, 135, 141
    development of characteristics of, 131
    donkey line episode, 146
    enmities among, 135, 136
    heredity among, 132, 133
    hunting, joy in, 137
    huntsman’s influence on, 130, 141, 144
    kennel life of, 126, 129, 135, 136, 144
    “Ladies first!” 145
    locality sense among, 177
    methods of, at work, 142, 143
    Press, John, anecdotes of, 144, 145
    relationship ties recognised among, 131, 132, 165, 166
    stag-hounds, 143, 144
    training of, 127, 145

  Hunting,
    cruelties in, 138-140
    discipline among hunt servants, need for, 146, 147
    hounds’ joy in, 137;
      their individuality displayed in, 142, 143
    huntsmen, influence of, 130, 141, 144
    killing of the quarry, 137
    M. F. H., influence of, 139
    stag-hunting, 143, 144


  Imaginative power in dogs, 234, 237

  Individuality in dogs, 105, 106, 109, 142, 143, 149, 163, 187

  Inherited qualities, 123, 124, 128, 131

  Instinct, 116, 117;
    homing instinct, 175-180


  Jack (bull-terrier),
    appearance, strength, and size of, 69, 74
    Bob, encounters with, 83, 84
    boxing games with, 84, 85
    characteristics of--
      courage, 69, 108
      devotion to his mistress and her mother, 75, 76, 108
      gentleness, 69
      obedience, 78, 82, 108, 113
    cow incident, 79, 80
    death of, 86
    early life of, 70-73
    tramp incident, 76-78

  Jack (Yorkshire terrier), 166-170

  Jealousy in dogs, 228, 230

  Jell (mongrel), 118, 119

  Jet (King Charles spaniel),
    appearance of, 87
    bull-terrier, encounter with, 90
    burglar incident, 101
    characteristics of--
      artistic finish and cleverness of acting, 89, 95, 96, 100, 107
      book-destructiveness, 88, 89
      epicureanism and selfishness, 91, 113, 114
      joking, love of, 92, 93
      locality, sense of, 98
      manners toward strangers, 98
      thievishness, 88, 89, 94, 97, 100
    chicken-driving episode, 99
    death of, 102

  Jim (cat), 211, 212

  Jimmy (cross-bred terrier), 246-248

  Jokes appreciated by dogs, 37, 38, 92, 93

  Jubilee, 170


  Kennel life;
    _see under_ Hounds


  Lassie (collie), 34, 38

  Lindsay, Dr. Lander, quoted, 265

  Lion (bulldog), 4, 110, 223-228

  Locality, sense of, 98, 174;
    bowing instinct, 175-180

  Looking-glasses, dogs’ attitude towards, 234-236

  Lytton, 1st Earl of, anecdote of dog of, 249-251


  Manning, Cardinal, quoted, 262

  Maternal affection in dogs, 171-173

  Memory in dogs, 29, 215, 260

  Mental powers in dogs, 117, 159, 200-204, 255, 270

  _Mind in the Lower Animals_ quoted, 265

  Mirrors, dogs’ attitude towards, 234-236

  Moral sense in dogs, 125, 163, 246, 258, 260, 261;
    _see also_ Shame

  Muff (cat), 85

  Muzzling order defied by dog, 217


  Nanky Poo (spaniel), 202-204

  Nugent, Lord, 223


  Outlook on life, canine and human, differences in, 115, 122, 123


  Pat (Scotch terrier), 181, 182

  Peter (Ruby Blenheim), 88

  Pictures, dogs’ attitude towards, 236, 237

  Pointers and setters,
    bad shots resented by, 156
    cruelties to, 153, 154
    dead grouse incident, 160
    maternal affection of Black Prince pointer, 172, 173
    methods of, at work, 157-159
    retrieving by, 159
    training of, 148, 149, 151, 152

  Pratt, Mr., 5

  Press, John, 144, 145

  Primeval qualities transmitted, 123, 124, 128, 131

  Prince (setter), 154, 155


  Quarrelsomeness of dogs, 128


  Rakish (hound), 178

  Raleigh (foxhound), 134

  Rama (foxhound), 133-135

  Ratler (fox-terrier), 165, 166

  Reasoning and reflecting powers;
    _see_ Mental

  Responsibility and duty, sense of, 187, 190, 191

  Retriever and ducklings, 161, 162

  Rica (Basset hound), 4, 110, 111

  Right and wrong, sense of;
    _see_ Moral

  “Rights” of animals, 256-258, 262-264

  Rover (greyhound), 183-186

  Roy (fox-terrier), 206-208

  Roy (King Charles spaniel), 166-169

  Royal (fox-terrier), 165, 166

  Running of dogs with carriage or bicycle, 16, 42, 80


  Serrell, Miss A. F., cited, 132;
    quoted, 133-135, 144, 145, 158, 178, 205, 230, 232

  Setters;
    _see_ Pointers and setters

  Shakespeare on dogs, 222, 223

  Shame, sense of, 25-27, 163-165, 243, 245, 246, 258

  Shooting, cruelties in, 154

  Shot (pointer), 150, 151

  Shows, 7, 8, 35, 36

  _Simla Village Tales_ quoted, 252-254

  Smell, sense of, 123

  Stag-hunting, 143, 144

  Stella (fox-terrier), 174, 175

  Strangers, attacks on, 218, 219

  Sylvia (Blenheim spaniel), 237-242


  Thornton, Col., 157

  Time sense in dogs, 27-29, 53, 113

  Tip (Dalmatian), 208

  Tip (lurcher), 182

  Training,
    gentle methods of, 165
    hounds, of, 127, 145
    pointers and setters, of, 148, 149, 151, 152

  Tyke (fox-terrier), 192-199


  Venus (fox-terrier), 217-221

  Verses on dogs, 44, 49-51, 58-60, 67, 68

  Vivisection, 258, 264


  Whankey (black and tan rough terrier), 170, 171, 230-233

  Wilberforce, Canon, quoted, 264

  _With Hound and Terrier in the Field_ quoted, 133-135, 144, 145, 158,
    178, 205, 230-232


UNIVERSITY PRESS, CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.



FOOTNOTES:

[1]

  Lament, ye boys, and mourn, O Common Room,
  Ye gentle ladies, weep for Bandy’s doom
  If dogs ye love; for he, alas! has died,
  The darling of this College and its pride;
  He who with almost a House Master’s might
  Guided the boys of Littlefield aright.
  But yet he loved not Littlefield alone,
  All things Marlburian had he made his own;
  His kindly presence would encourage all
  Who threw, or hit, or kicked the flying ball;
  Were they but keen and vigorous in their play
  His wagging tail would urge them to the fray,
  While his example was a mute reproof
  To all whom sloth or slackness kept aloof.
  Sometimes defiant, resolute, and bold,
  In straining jaws four racquet balls he’d hold;
  Sometimes with sportive bark to greater speed
  And wily nip he’d urge the panting steed.
  So would he wander at his own sweet will
  From Clump or Cricket Field to Granham Hill;
  But when confined by sickness and ill luck,
  He could not brook th’unworthy bonds of Duck:
  The twisted noose that brought to him relief
  O’erwhelmed his master with unending grief.

                                        F. B. MALIN.


[2] With Hound and Terrier in the Field, pp. 229 _et seq._

[3] With Hound and Terrier in the Field, pp. 52, 53.

[4] With Hound and Terrier in the Field, by Alys F. Serrell, p. 226.

[5] With Hound and Terrier in the Field, p. 231.

[6] With Hound and Terrier in the Field, p. 193.

[7] Recollections of My past Life, by Sir Henry Holland, p. 254.

[8] With Hound and Terrier in the Field, pp. 182 _et seq._

[9] While writing this book, I have been struck by the curious faith
of the Gilyaks, one of the tribes to be found on that dark spot on the
face of the earth, the Island of Sakhalin. Mr. Charles Hawes, in his
book, _In the Uttermost East_, says that the Gilyaks believe that the
spirits of the dead hold communication with their living relatives.
They may come to give counsel, or to warn of impending misfortune. No
human eye can see them, nor can the senses of the living detect their
presence. Only to dogs is it given to know of their approach, and this
knowledge they show by a peculiar howling. Mr. Hawes, who in normal
health was, as his book shows, a man of strong common sense and iron
nerves, as any visitor to Sakhalin needs to be, thus tells of his
experience. “My conversion took place ... on the Okhotsk coast, where
my interpreter and I lay awake one night in the tent of an Orotchon....
At about 2 A. M. a low howl began, echoed and varied by thirty
or forty other members of the canine race, a low peculiar cry of pain
growing into a long, drawn-out wail, rising and swelling until at last
it ended in almost a scream.” “An unholy, ill-omened proceeding which
surely nought earthly could account for,” is Mr. Hawes’ reflection on
the occurrence, but he adds, “perhaps the fact that we were ill with
ptomaine poisoning may have predisposed us to thoughts of _Inligh-vo_”
(a village in the centre of the earth to which the spirits of the
departed go). It is curious to note that in the beliefs of these wild
people, the spirits of the murdered and suicides fly to _tlo_ (heaven)
direct, without a preliminary sojourn in the happy hunting grounds of
_Inligh-vo_.

[10] Personal and Literary Letters of Robert, 1st Earl of Lytton,
edited by Lady Betty Balfour.

[11] Simla Village Tales, by Alice Elizabeth Dracott.

[12] See p. 243.

[13] See p. 228.

[14] See p. 164.


      *      *      *      *      *      *



Transcriber’s note:

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.

  Inconsistencies in hyphenation have been standardized.

  Archaic or alternate spelling which may have been in use at the time
    of publication has been retained from the original.

  On page 13, the word “with” was inserted so the sentence reads, “But
    there could be no doubt in the mind of any one who was with him ...”





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