A gentleman who had a dog of a most endearing disposition, was obliged to go on a journey periodically once a-month. His stay was short, and his departure and return very regular, and without variation. The dog always grew uneasy when he first lost his master, and moped in a corner, but recovered himself gradually as the time for his return approached; which he knew to an hour, nay to a minute. When he was convinced that his master was on the road, at no great distance from home, he flew all over the house; and if the street door happened to be shut, he would suffer no servant to have any rest until it was opened. The moment he obtained his freedom away be went, and to a certainty met his benefactor about two miles from town. He played and frolicked about him till he had obtained one of his gloves, with which he ran or rather flew home, entered the bouse, laid it down in the middle of the room, an I danced around it. "When be bad sufficiently amused himself in this manner, out of the house he flew, returned to meet his master, and ran before him, or gambolled by his side, till he arrived with him at home. " I know not (says Mr. Dibdin, who relates this anecdote), how frequently this was repeated; but it lasted till the old gentleman was infirm, and incapable of continuing his journeys.
Colonel Hamilton Smith, in the "Cyclopaedia of Natural History," mentions a curious instance of fidelity and sagacity in a dog. He informs us that "in the neighborhood of Cupar, in the county of Fife, there lived two dogs, mortal enemies to each other, and who always fought desperately whenever they met. Capt. R was the master of one of them, and the other belonged to a neighboring farmer. Capt. R's dog was in the practice of going messages, and even of bringing butchers' meat and other artides from Cupar. One day, while returning charged with a basket containing some pieces of mutton, he was attaked by some of the curs of the town, who, no doubt, thought the prize worth contending for. The assault was fierce, and of some duration ; but the messenger, after doing his utmost, was overpowered and compelled to yield up the basket, though not before lie had secured a part of its contents. The piece saved from the wreck he ran off with, at full speed, to the quarters of his old enemy, at whose feet he laid it down, stretching himself beside it till he had eaten it up. A few snuffs, a lew whispers in the ear, and other dog-like courtesies, were then exchanged; after which they both set off together for Cupar, where they worried almost every dog in the town; and, what is more remarkable, they never afterwards quarreled, but were always on friendly terms."
That society and culture soften and moderate the passion of dogs cannot be doubted, and they constantly imbibe feelings from those of their master. Tims, if he is a coward, his dog is generally found to be one. Dogs are, however in many respects, rational beings; and some proofs of this will be given in the present work. They will watch the countenance of their master—they will understand words which, though addressed to others, they will apply to themselves, and act accordingly. Thus a dog, which from its mangy state, was ordered to be destroyed, took the first opportunity of quitting the ship, and would never afterwards come near a sailor belonging to it. If I desire the servant to wash a little terrier, who is apparently asleep at my feet, he will quit the room, and hide himself for some hours. A dog, though pressed with hunger, will never seize a piece of meat in presence of his master, though with his eyes, his movements, and his voice, he will make the most humble and expressive petition. Is not this reasoning?
Both the wild and domestic dog, appear to be possessed of and to exercise forethought. They will bury or hide food, which they are unable to consume at once, and return for it But the domestic dog, perhaps gives stronger proofs of forethought; and we will give an instance of it A large metal pot, turned on one side, in which a great quantity of porridge had been boiled, was set before a Newfoundland puppy of three or four months old. At first, he contented himself by licking off portions of the oatmeal which adhered to the interior, but finding this unsatisfactory, he scraped the morsels with his fore-paws into a heap, and then ato the whole at once. "We had a dog, who, having scalded his tongue, always afterwards, when given his milk and water at breakfast, put his paw very cautiously into the saucer, to see if the liquid was too hot, before ho would touch it with his tongue.
Dogs have frequently been known to hunt in couples ; that is, to assist each other in securing their prey :
At Palermo, in Sicily, there is an extraordinary quantity of dogs wandering about without owners. Amongst the number, two more particularly distinguished themselves for their animosity to cats. One day they were in pursuit of a cat, which, seeing no other place of refuge near, made her escape into a long earthen water-pipe which was lying on the ground. These two inseparable companions, who always supported each other, pursued the cat to the pipe, where they were seen to stop, and apparently to consult each other as to what was to be done to deceive and get possession of the poor eat. After they had stood a short time they divided, taking post at each each end of the pipe, and began to bark alternately, changing places while so doing, thus giving the cat reason to suppose that they were both at one end, in order to induce her to come out. This manceuver had a successful result, and the cheated eat left her hiding-place. Scarcely had she ventured out, when she was seized by one of the dogs ; the other hastened to his assistance, and in a, few moments deprived her of life.
In the small town of Melbourne, in Derbyshire, cocks and hens may be seen running about the streets. One day a game cock attacked a small bantam, and they fought furiously, the bantam having of course the worst of it. Some persons were standing about looking at the fight, when my informant's house-dog suddenly darted out, snatched up the bantam in his mouth, and carried it into his house. Several of the spectators followed, believing that the poor fowl would be killed and eaten by the dog; but his intentions were of a more benevolent nature. Alter guarding the entrance of the kennel for some time, he trotted down the yard into the street, looking about to the light and left, and seeing that the coast was clear, he went back again, and once more returned with his protege in his mouth, safely deposited him in the street, and then walked quietly away. How few human beings would Lave acted as tins dog bad done !