This section is from the book "Breeding, Training, Management, Diseases Of Dogs", by Francis Butler. Also available from Amazon: Breeding, training, management, diseases.
Some years ago, while traveling up the Mississippi river, in common with other passengers on the steamer we were attracted by the docility and intelligence of a Pointer dog. Tins excellent animal, would voluntarily return mislaid books, hats, or other trifles to their owners, and seemed to desire to render himself popular by doing such kindly offices. The trick he performed, however, which created most surprise, was taking notes from gentlemen to their wives in the ladies' cabin. This ho would do whenever called upon. The person sending the note, would simply call the dog, and his master would give him the directions what to do, and we believe he never made a mistake. The dog would take the paper in his mouth, go among the lady-passengers and hunt around, and finally put the note in the lap of the person for whom it was intended.
The son of Dr. Dwight relates, that his father, the greatest theological writer our country has ever produced, was indebted to a dog for his life, the faithful animal obtruding in his pathway, and compelling his horse to turn out of the road he was traveling. In the morning the Doctor discovered that if he had pursued his journey according to his intent, he would have been dashed down a precipice, where to escape with his life would have been an impossibility.
An English gentleman discovered, one morning, that some miscreant had cut off the ears and tail of a favorite horse. A blood-hound was brought to the stable, which at once detected the scent of the villain, and traced it more than twenty miles. The hound then stopped at a door, whence no power could move him. Being at length admitted, he ran to the top of the house, and, bursting open the door of a garret room, found the object he sought in bed, and would have torn him to pieces, had not the huntsman, who had followed he dog on a fleet horse, rushed to the rescue.
A Miss Childs, a keeper of a tavern in London, quite recently possessed a black and white spaniel which performed tricks almost surpassing belief. This dog could play at games of whist, cribbage, and dominoes. In playing these games the dog was placed behind a screen, and had the cards all arranged before him ; over this screen he watched his antagonist, and reached with his mouth the suite required. Out of a pack of cards he would instantly select the best cribbage and whist. On the names of any city, county, or town being placed by printed cards before him, the dog would, without hesitation, fetch the one requested, and at the bidding of any one present, and in the absence of his mistress. He could, by the aid of printed cards, tell how many persons might be in the room, how many hats, or the number of coins any one might throw on the floor. After being taken out of the room, if any one present touched a card, the dog on his return would designate it. So numerous, indeed, were the evidences of intelligence exhibited by this dog, that it was impossible to resist the impression that he was possessed of reason.
The following anecdotes of an astonishing dog called "Dandie," are related by Captain Brown:—
"Mr. M'Intyre, patent-mangle manufacturer Regent Bridge, Edinburgh, has a dog of the Newfoundland breed, crossed with some other, named Dandie, whose sagacious qualifications are truly astonishing, and almost incredible. "When Mr. M'Intyre is in company, how numerous soever it may be, if he but say to the dog, "Dandie, bring me my hat," he immediately picks out the hat from all the others, and puts it in his master's hand. "Should every gentleman in company throw a penknife on the floor, the dog, when commanded, will select his master's knife from the heap, and bring it to him. A pack of cards being scattered in the room, if his master has previously selected one of them, the clog will find it out and bring it to him. A comb was hid on the top of a mantle-piece in the room, and the dog required to bring it, which he almost immediately did, although in the search he found a number of articles, also belonging to his master, purposely strewed around, all which he passed over, and brought the identical comb which he was required to find, fully proving that he is not guided by the sense of smell, hut that he perfectly understands whatever is spoken to him. One evening, some gentlemen being in company, one of them accidentally dropped a shilling on the floor, which, after the most careful search, could not be found. Mr. M'Intyre seeing his dog sitting in a corner, and looking as if unconscious of what was passing, said to him, "Dandie, find us the shilling, and you shall have a biscuit" The dog immediately jumped upon the table and laid down the shilling, which he had previously picked up without having been perceived. One time having been left in a room in the house of a lady, he remained quiet for a considerable time ; but as no one opened the door, he became impatient, and rang the bell; and when the servant opened the door, she was surprised to find the dog pulling the bell-rope. Since that period, which was the first time he was observed to do it, he pulls the bell whenever he desires; and what appears still more remarkable, if there is no bell-rope in the room, he will examine the table, and if he finds a hand-bell, he takes it in his mouth and rings it. His master, one evening having supped with a friend, on his return home, as it was rather late, he found all the family in bed. He could not find his boot-jack in the place where it usually lav, nor could he find it anywhere in the room after the strictest search. He then said to his dog, " Dandie, I cannot find my bootjack; search for it." The faithful animal, quite sensible of what had been said to him, scratching at the room-door, which his master opened. Dandie proceeded to a very distant part of the house, and soon returned, carrying in his mouth the bootjack, which Mr. M. now recollected to have left that morning under a sofa.
A number of gentlemen, well acquainted with Dandie, are daily in the habit of giving him a penny, which he takes to the baker's shop and purchases bread for himself. One of these gentlemen, who lives in James's Square, when passing some time ago, was accosted by Dandie, in expectation of his usual present. Mr. T- then said to him, " I have not a penny with me to-day, but I have one at home." Having returned to his house some time after, he heard a noise at the door, which was opened by the servant, when in sprang Dandie to receive his penny. In a frolic Mr. T-gave him a bad one, which he, as usual, carried to the baker, but was refused his bread, as the money was bad. He immediately returned to Mr. T's, knocked fit the door, and when the servant opened it, laid the penny down at her feet, and walked off, seemingly with the greatest contempt Although Dandie, in general, makes an immediate purchase of bread with the money he receives, yet the following circumstance clearly demonstrates that he possesses more prudent foresight than many who are reckoned rational beings. One Sunday, when it was very unlikely that he could have received a present of money, Dandie was observed to bring home a loaf. Mr. M'Intyre being somewhat surprised at this, desired the servant to search the room to see if any money could be found. While she was engaged in this task, the dog seemed quite unconcerned till she approached the bed, when he ran to her, and gently drew her back from it Mr. M. then secured the dog, which kept struggling and growling while the servant went under the bed, where she found 7½d. under a bit of cloth; but from that time he never could endure the girl, and was frequently observed to hide his money in a corner of a saw pit, under the dust.