Such is the animal which the brutality of man subjects to so much ill-treatment; its character depends very much on that of his master, kindness and confidence produce the same qualities in the clog, while ill-usage makes him sullen and distrustful of beings far more brutal than himself.
We have had many opportunities of observing how readily clogs comprehend language, and how they are aware when they arc the subject of conversation. A gentleman once said in the hearing of an old and favorite dog, who was at the time basking in the sun,—': must have Ponto killed, for he gets old and is offensive."
The dog slunk away, and never came near his master afterwards. Many similar anecdotes might be brought forward, but I will mention one which Captain Brown tells us lie received himself from Sir Walter Scott.
" The wisest dog I ever had," said Sir Walter, "was what is called the bulldog terrier. I taught him to understand a great many words, insomuch that I am positive that the communication betwixt the canine species and ourselves might be greatly enlarged. Camp once bit the baker, who was bringing bread to the family. I beat him, and explained the enormity of his offence; after which, to the last of his life, ho never heard the least allusion to the story, in what ever voice or tone it was mentioned, without getting up and retiring into the darkest corner of the room, with great appearance of distress. Then if you said, "the baker was well paid," or, "the baker was not hurt after all," Camp came forth from his hiding-place? capered, and barked, and rejoiced. When he was unable, towards the end of his life, to attend me when on horseback, he used to watch for my return, and the servant would tell him "his master was coming down the hill, or through the moor," and although he did not use any gesture to explain his meaning, Camp was never known to mistake him, but either went out at the front to go up the bill, or at the back to get down to the moor-side. He certainly had a singular knowledge of spoken language." An anecdote from Sir Walter Scott must be always pleasing.
Mr. Smellie, in his "Philosophy of Natural History," mentions a curious instance of the intellectual faculty of a dog. He states that "a grocer in Edinburgh had one which for some time amused an I astonished the people in the neighbourhood. A. man who went through the streets ringing a bell and selling pies, happened one day to treat this (log with a pic. The next time he heard the pieman's bell he ran impetuously toward him, seized him by the coat and would not suffer him to pass. The pieman, who understood what the animal wanted, showed him a penny, and pointed to his master, who stood at the street-door, and saw what was going on. The dog immediately supplicated his masts:- by many humble gestures and looks, and on receiving a penny be instantly carried it in his mouth to the pieman, and received his pie. This traffic between the pieman and the grocer's dog continued to be daily practiced for several months."
The affections which some dogs show to their masters and mistresses is not only very often surprising, but even affecting. An instance of this lately occurred at Brighton. The wife of a member of the town council at that place had been an invalid for some time, and at last was confined to her bed. During this period she was constantly attended by a faithful and affectionate dog, who either slept in her room or outside her door. She died, was buried, and the dog followed the remains of his beloved mistress to her grave. After the funeral, the husband and his friends returned to the house, and while they were partaking of some refreshment the dog put his paws on his master's arm, as if to attract his attention, looked wistfully in his face, and then laid down and instantly expired.
In giving miscellaneous anecdotes in order to show the general character of the dog, we will mention the following very curious one :
During a very severe frost and fall of snow in Scotland, the fowls did not make their appearance at the hour when they usually retired to roost, and no one knew what had become of them ; the house-dog at last entered the kitchen, having in his mouth a hen, apparently dead. Forcing his way to the fire, the sagacious animal laid his charge down upon the warm hearth, and immediately set off. He soon came again with another, which he deposited in the same place, and so continued till the whole of the poor birds were rescued. Wandering about the stack-yard, the fowls had become quite benumbed by the extreme cold, and had crowded together, when the dog observing them, effected their deliverance, for they all revived by the warmth of the fire.
Mr. Bell, in his " History of British Quadrupeds," gives us the following fact of a dog belonging to a friend of his. This gentleman dropped a louis d'or one morning, when he was on the point of leaving his bouse. On returning late at night, he was told by his servant that the dog had fallen sick, and refused to eat, and, what appeared very strange, she would not suffer him to take her food away from before her, but had been lying with her nose close to the vessel, without attempting to touch it. On Mr. Bell's friend entering the room, the clog instantly jumped upon him, laid the money at his feet, and began to devour his victuals with great voracity.
" It is a curious fact, says Mr. Jesse, that dogs can count time. I bad, when a boy, a favorite terrier, which always went with me to church. My mother thinking that he attracted too much attention, ordered the servant to fasten him up every Sunday morning. He did so once or twice, but never afterwards. Trim concealed himself every Sunday morning, and either met me as I entered the church, or I found him under my seat in the pew." Mr. Southey, in his "Omniana," informs us that he knew of a dog, which was brought up by a Catholic and afterwards sold to a Protestant, but still refused to eat any meat on a Friday.