Dandie, the Miser by W. H. G. Kingston

Dandie, a Newfoundland dog belonging to Mr McIntyre of Edinburgh, stands unrivalled for his cleverness and the peculiarity of his habits. Dandie would bring any article he was sent for by his master, selecting it from a heap of others of the same description.

One evening, when a party was assembled, one of them dropped a shilling. After a diligent search, it could nowhere be found. Mr McIntyre then called to Dandie, who had been crouching in a corner of the room, and said to him, “Find the shilling, Dandie, and you shall have a biscuit.” On this Dandie rose, and placed the coin, which he had picked up unperceived by those present, upon the table.

Dandie, who had many friends, was accustomed to receive a penny from them every day, which he took to a baker’s and exchanged for a loaf of bread for himself. It happened that one of them was accosted by Dandie for his usual present, when he had no money in his pocket. “I have not a penny with me to-day, but I have one at home,” said the gentleman, scarcely believing that Dandie understood him. On returning to his house, however, he met Dandie at the door, demanding admittance, evidently come for his penny. The gentleman, happening to have a bad penny, gave it him; but the baker refused to give him a loaf for it. Dandie, receiving it back, returned to the door of the donor, and when a servant had opened it, laid the false coin at her feet, and walked away with an indignant air.

Dandie, however, frequently received more money than = he required for his necessities, and took to hoarding it up. This was discovered by his master, in consequence of his appearing one Sunday morning with a loaf in his mouth, when it was not likely he would have received a present. Suspecting this, Mr McIntyre told a servant to search his room—in which Dandie slept—for money. The dog watched her, apparently unconcerned, till she approached his bed, when, seizing her gown, he drew her from it. On her persisting, he growled, and struggled so violently that his master was obliged to hold him, when the woman discovered sevenpence-halfpenny. From that time forward he exhibited a strong dislike to the woman, and used to hide his money under a heap of dust at the back of the premises.

People thought Dandie a very clever dog—as he was—but there are many things far better than cleverness. It strikes me that he was a very selfish fellow, and therefore, like selfish boys and girls, unamiable. He was an arrant beggar too. I’ll say no more about him. Pray do not imitate Dandie.