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sensation, I told him he must not move again, but put down his head once more, and keep quite steady. I did not fail this time. Surely if the dog could do his part so well I ought not to shrink from mine. The necessary cut was made firmly, the ugly excrescence was off, and the dog, instantly sensible of the relief, bounded down, jumped upon me; and danced about, rejoicing and barking loudly. The commotion he made brought most of the family into the room, and the congratulations and rejoicings were general.
“There still remained more to be done: the bleeding had to be staunched, and the caustic applied; but there was no difficulty in this, though it invoked a return to the sofa, and a little further suffering. The only symptom of resentment the animal showed was rather amusing. After his eye had been bathed with the sponge, he seized upon that innocent agent, shook it angrily, and tore it, which we allowed him to do without any urgent interference in its favour.
“I may as well add, that this last excision was effectual for a long time. It was never repeated, for when the excrescence formed again, it spread so completely over the whole eyelid, that no further remedy was possible.
“I do not dwell very much on the various tricks and accomplishments with which it would be easy to fill a chapter, such as shutting a door or gate, and going back to latch it if not perfectly done; acting the game of "Seek and find, with a penny, or anything, hid in the most out-of-the-way place; asking for things, fetching and carrying, joining at the tea table with perfect decorum, answering of questions, and such like, because these things do not imply any peculiar development of what I may call moral intelligence and elevation of
character, which were the especial characteristics that so distinguished this dog from others I have known. Some of these accomplishments I taught to other dogs, his successors, though with much greater pains and difficulty; and there was always this difference, that they required in some measure the word of command; whereas Neptune never needed to be asked in any other than an ordinary tone such as one would use to a docile child.
Walking on the shore on one occasion with a companion who was quite a stranger to the dog, I happened to say to him, “You are very wet, suppose you roll on that sand and dry yourself.' My friend was startled when the dog proceeded at once to do so, rolling and shaking himself, and rolling again and again, till comfortably dry. Occasionally, people would remark that there was something uncanny and not natural in his evident comprehension of a conversation that might be going forward while he was lying on the rug or walking by one's side. I remember an anecdote in Lockhart's *Life of Scott' concerning one of the Abbotsford favourites, which had overheard his master tell to a friend an incident to his (the dog's) disadvantage, and immediately slank away ashamed. I have no difficulty at all in believing this, having seen several instances of the like kind, or even more remarkable, in the dog Neptune.
* The animal has been now long dead, but his memory is regarded by all who knew him well with something of the respect we should pay to a human subject. He certainly possessed one peculiar instinct which I have not noticed in any other case. He was given to me, as I have stated, when a little woolly object of six weeks old, sent by a dear and
kind relative from a distance, in a basket, by the carrier. Some years after, the donor, my uncle, came to us, and naturally wished to see the dog, who at once showed very great delight on seeing him; lying down at his feet, and even licking his boots. This we thought remarkable, as the dog was savage, and disliked strangers, but we afterwards found that this recognition extended to all members of my father's family, whom he invariably at once greeted as friends, making them the only exceptions to the rule of receiving with distrust and dislike all strangers who went to him when chained up. We never could account for this peculiarity, but there was no mistake about it, and I can only conclude that it proceeded from an instinctive discrimination. My relatives on the mother's side did not share this distinction.”
De Boillieu tells us in his Labrador life:
“ The house dog has a peculiar sagacity. I trained one to keep house in a noiseless manner. If myself or steward was not at home, and a visitor called, the dog would allow him to walk in, sit down, light and smoke his pipe, as if unconscious of his presence; but if the visitor attempted to leave the house, the dog was up in an instant, and placing himself in the doorway, showed a set of teeth of dazzling but appalling whiteness. The frightened fellow again returns and takes his seat, the dog once more lies down, and thus the pair are seen on the return of one of the household. A visitor once served that way takes care to look through the window on his next call to see if any one is at home.
“ The dogs sent to England with rough, shaggy coats, are useless on the coast, the true-bred and serviceable dog having smooth, short hair, very close and compact to the body. I sent a fine specimen of these to England, but unfortunately the vessel which bore it was wrecked on the north coast of Ireland."
That dogs communicate hereditary tendencies is proved by pointer puppies of a few months steadily standing fowls or game.
In the Monthly Review,' vol. 48, p. 177, it is mentioned that “Philip Thicknesse had a Newfoundland dog, who had been taught a great many tricks on board a man-ofwar, and a puppy of hers," he says, “inherited many of them untaught.”
Dogs have also their eccentricities. In about the year 1812, there died at Rossana, in the county of Wicklow, apparently of old age, a long and rough-haired brown terrier, who swallowed crooked pins whenever they were given to him. If he received a straight pin, it was observed he would bend it with his teeth before swallowing it. The pins did not appear to have any effect on him, unless it was upon his temper, which was very cross-grained. During dinner he was allowed to lie under the table, but any foot pushed into his domain was grabbed instanter; he once startled the Bishop of Ossory in this manner. There ought to have been a postmortem examination, but there was not. The author is perfectly satisfied of the accuracy of these details, as they were received direct from an unimpeachable authority, who was well acquainted with the dog.
In the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica' is recorded an instance of a foxhound committing suicide. This, with one exception, is the only statement of a case of that nature the author has met with. The other, from an original source, is as follows: The landlady of a hotel at Honfleur had a little Havanna dog which suffered from some complaint, and to cure it a seton was passed through its neck. The animal's annoyance and misery were great, it was extremely restless, and escaping at last from the house, rushed frantically to the sea, close at hand, and swimming out a little distance put its head under water and drowned itself. This was said not to be its first attempt at self-destruction. Dogs most undoubtedly know death, and do not see their fellow companions killed without manifesting apprehension of the fate themselves.