The newspapers of the present week contain an account of a highly prized Newfoundland dog in Wakefield, Mass., after tugging at his muzzle, placed on him in accordance with the law, became despondent, and soon afterward jumped into the pond and drowned himself.
The owner of an old watch dog some where in the State of Wisconsin, seeing that the dog was useless, and rather troublesome in consequence of age, expressed his intention of shooting the old fellow. This was said in the hearing of the dog, and within an hour he was missing, and was found a few days afterwards in a pond near the house, where it was supposed that he had committed "dog-icide " by drowning himself.
There is a dog on Staten Island, that seems to be a sort of physician among the canines in his neighborhood. If what we hear of this dog is true, he is a wonder indeed. It is said that whenever he meets with any other dog that is sick, he will by some mysterious intelligence induce the canine invalid, to follow him to the fields, and there eat of some grasses or weed, that in a few days effect a cure of the sick one. Several persons owners of dogs in the neighborhood, say from what they have witnessed that they believe, what is above stated.
Mr. H. McDonald, in his lecture on oddness gives the following anecdotes about dogs :—
I once heard of a dog, from his earliest puppy" hood would walk twice around his food before touching it, and always to the left. If called away by his owner before he had gone fully around the second time, he would finish the circle from the point or place at which he had left off. On one occasion while his master kept him at a distance, his meat was taken up and laid on a bench. But on returning replaced it in nearly the exact spot it had been taken from, and then finished his ring movement. The diameter of the circles were as nearly uniform, as a man might have them without measurement and were about four and a half feet. I will not attempt to explain or say what was the cause of this oddity. But as the owner of the dog averred that he had not been tauglit,and instinct it could hardly be called, I set it down to a habit acquired by circumstances.
A most curious trick of a couple of dogs I remember to have heard often in my boyhood, and as the family in which the dogs were owned, were neighbors and friends of my Father's family. My memory was thoroughly impressed with the story, which is a true one. The two dogs named respectively Carlo and Ponto, were of the large mastiff breed, and besides being excellent watch dogs, were also safe companions or escorts to take along for protection against insult or attack of any kind. Now it so happened that one of the daughters of the family alluded too, who I shall call Miss Lena, was invited out to an afternoon quilting party, that in the evening was to be turned into a party for singing, and engaging in some of the old fashioned party plays, and of course the young men of their acquaintance were to be present after tea time. It further happened that among these young men there was one who was introduced to Miss Lena, and who during the evening solicited the honor of seeing her home, a request that was readily granted. At the proper Lour perhaps 12 P. M. they started homeward a distance of over two miles, Lena's two four footed guardians, who had waited for her from the middle of the afternoon, joining in the escort. They did not however wag their tails, nor go bounding ahead nor stop to lick their Mistress' Land, as was their wont on other occasions, but simply trotted along behind the young couple in a sullen sort of a way with heads downward, and noses near together, as if in an undertone conversation. But when about a quarter of a mile on the way, Carlo without even a warning, gravely laid hold of Miss Lena's young man escort by the leg of his trousers, and would not permit him to move on any further, and neither the threats, blows, nor coaxings, of Miss Lena, could induce him to let go his hold. The other dog took no part in the arrest, but trotted briskly a few yards ahead, indicating that he was ready for escort duty. The gentleman suggested to the young lady to accept the offer apparently made by Ponto, and that after she had started he would be set free, she did so reluctantly of course, and was soon joined by Carlo. The escort did not deem it healthy to make an effort to regain bis position. Now the question that naturally presents itself is, were the dogs jealous of the attentions of the rival escort, and I think all will admit that such was the fact. If so how did they arrange their plan of revenge, on their rival? Is there a language by which animals can make known their thoughts to each other. It almost seems as if it was so. The story may seem like a very strange one, and though I am certain of its truth, it does nevertheless seem odd even to me.
Some years ago a large Newfoundland dog was honored with a medal, upon which was inscribed " A distinguished member of the Humane Society." Among the well-authenticated accounts of his usefulness is that of rescuing the crew of a vessel driven on the beach of Lydd, in Kent. Eight poor fellows were crying for help, but no boat could live in endeavoring to go to their assistance. At length a gentleman came on the beach accompanied by a Newfoundland dorr. He directed the attention of the animal to the vessel, and put a short stick in his mouth. The intelligent and courageous fellow at once understood his meaning, springing into the sea, he fought his way through the waves. He could not, however, got close enough to the vessel to deliver that with which he was charged; but the crew understood what was meant, and they made fast a rope to another piece of wood, and threw it toward him. The noble creature dropped the one in his mouth, and seized that which, had been cast to him, and then, with a degree of strength and determination scarcely credible—for he was again and again lost under the waves—he dragged it through the surge, and delivered it to bis master ; a line of communication was thus formed with the boat, and all on board were saved.