Dogs I Have Known

by Captain R. Bird Thompson

I was always very fond of dogs, but it was a long time before I was allowed to have one of my own, my parents apparently considering that dogs were composed of two equal portions of hydrophobia and fleas. My first dog was a large brown and white spaniel with a very curious temper. Sometimes he would lie on things in his kennel nearly all day, for no apparent reason. If you tried to pet or coax him it did no good, but if no attention were paid to him he would get out of the sulks and be all right in a short time. He could never be induced to go into the water to swim. I often attempted it by keeping him tied up without food and then loosing him and throwing bits of biscuit into the moat near the house. He would then pick out and eat all the bits that were within his reach by wading, but would not make the least attempt to go for a piece which was out of his depth. I once thought that I had devised a plan by which he must swim, but it failed. It was this. There was a high paling along one side of the moat with a strip of grass about a foot wide between it and the water, and here I put the dog, thinking he would be compelled to swim out, but no! after spending half the day whining and crouching down as if he meant to jump in, he set to work and scratched at the turf and tore at the palings with his teeth until he made a hole big enough to get through. After this I gave up trying to get him to swim. His temper was decidedly peculiar. When I called him to go for a walk, if he approved of the direction taken he would go—if not he would stand and look at me and then go straight home. Once, however, he shewed a very remarkable and amiable trait. I left home and went abroad for a considerable time, and in my absence my father died. The dog at this time had not shewn any sign of attachment to my mother, but immediately after my father's funeral, whenever he was loose, he used to run straight to the drawing-room windows, and, if my mother was there, would remain standing for hours looking in at her; or, if the front door happened to be open, he would go in and walk quietly into the drawing-room. If his mistress were there he would lie down by her chair; up to this time he had never tried to get into the house, and directly I returned he never attempted it again, nor even appeared to notice my mother more than any other friend of his. Poor old Jehou, with all his eccentricities of temper I was very fond of him, and sorry when he disappeared. He went out with the carriage one day, and nothing more was ever heard of him, though rewards were offered everywhere. We were making a call and left him outside, and when we came out he was gone. However, we thought nothing of this, believing he would come home, but from that day forward the old Jehou was never seen by us.

My second dog was magnificent fellow—I never knew or heard of one with such wonderful sagacity and apparent power of reasoning. It was a huge black and white Newfoundlander, of the colour they now call the "Landseer Newfoundland." I got him from an old keeper, to whom he had been left by his late master. The man did not want him, and knowing that I was very fond of dogs, he sold him to me, saying at the time "He was a'most a Christian"; and so he really was. Our introduction was curious. I went off to see him, taking some food in my pocket to make friends with him; but the man told me that was no good—that if the dog liked the look of me he would be friends at once. When we reached the cottage, going round to the back, I saw a most noble-looking dog, who when we approached sat up and looked very gravely at us. The keeper said, "I've brought a gentleman to see you, old man," and I then spoke to him. The dog turned and looked at me steadily for some seconds, then rising and walking slowly to me, reared up on his hind legs, and, putting one huge paw on each shoulder, began to lick my face. That was the introduction, and from that day until "Wallace's" death we were the firmest of friends. The man told me he had been broken for a keeper's night-dog, and was a first-rate guard—would never touch a child or bite a woman, but that he would bite any man or beast he was set at; and looking at his size and power I did not disbelieve him. He also warned me that no one must go near him when he was feeding. After having a full account of the dog, I went home, Wallace following me as if we had known each other for years. Soon after I had him, I went on a visit to a cousin who lived in a town in the north of England, and Wallace, who went with me, distinguished himself greatly whilst there. One evening I was to meet my cousin at his counting-house, and at the time fixed went there, my dog, of course, accompanying me. On reaching the office, finding that my cousin had gone out, I sat down and waited, and as he did not make his appearance so soon as was expected, the office-keeper came and asked me if I would mind waiting by myself, as everything was locked up and my cousin could fasten the outer door himself (as in fact he often did). I had no objection, so all the gas but one small jet was turned out. Very shortly after the office-keeper left, the door was opened very softly, and soon a man put in his head, and not discovering me in the gloom, as I purposely made no noise, came in; and a very ill-looking customer he was. Discovering me, he started, and said something about an appointment, advancing as he spoke. Directly the man got near, with one bound Wallace was on him and had him down on his back on the floor. He tried to draw something out of his sleeve, but Wallace instantly seized his throat—gently, it is true, but enough to give him a foretaste of what he could do. I shouted to the man to lie still or the dog would kill him, and rising up and going to him found he had an iron jemmy in his hand, which I took—warning him that if he moved the dog would throttle him. I went and called the police; they came and secured the fellow, who turned out to be the head of one of the most daring set of burglars in the north. Besides the jemmy he had a brace of loaded pistols in his pocket, and would most undoubtedly have murdered me, if it had not been for Wallace. The man had been "wanted" by the police for a long time, but they had never been able to get him, and there were great rejoicings at his capture.

Whenever I went out by day Wallace always followed me, but at night, or in the dusk, kept close to my side, with his head almost touching my leg. If he saw anyone coming towards me that he thought suspicious he would go on in front, and turning with them as they came up follow them by me, and in the same manner if anyone was overtaking me, he dropped back, and then followed them until they had quite passed. He did one other very clever thing whilst he was with me in the north. One morning I had been to the club to look at the papers, etc., and on my return home found that I had lost one of my gloves. More for the sake of experiment than really thinking the dog would ever find the missing glove, I took off the other, and holding it to him, made a motion like throwing it away, saying, at the same time, "lost, Wallace, go seek." The dog at once started off, and was away for some time—in fact, so long, that becoming uneasy, I started off towards the club. I had gone but a very little way when I saw Wallace coming along, and to my great surprise, with the missing glove in his mouth. A policeman was following him at a respectful distance, so I went up to him and asked if he could tell me where the dog found the glove. He told me he saw Wallace running along evidently looking for something, as he occasionally stopped, and seemed to make sure of his direction; following him, he saw him enter the club, and remain there a short time. He then came out, began sniffing about on the steps, and suddenly started off briskly. The man followed, and the dog, after going along one of the main streets for some way, turned down a side street, and soon overtaking an old beggar woman, made a snatch at something in her hand, and returned at full speed. The old woman had picked up the glove on the steps of the club, and had gone off with it, and if it had not been for Wallace's extraordinary intelligence I should have lost my glove.

One day, after my return home, Wallace gave me a specimen of the education he had received from the keeper. There was a very pretty wood in part of our grounds with walks laid out in it. I was walking there with Wallace, as I thought, when suddenly I heard someone roaring out, most lustily, that the dog was killing him. I called out to know where the man that was being killed, and he told me in the field outside, so I went out and found him on the ground and Wallace over him—not biting or molesting him in any way, but merely looking down at the man, evidently very much puzzled as to why he made such a noise. Calling Wallace off, I asked how it happened, and the man told me that he was walking in the wood, and just stepped over the fence into the field when the dog jumped at him, and knocked him over. The fact was, that Wallace had been trained to go outside any cover when the keeper went through it, and to seize any poacher that might come out. He had been taught, too, to jump at the man and knock him down by his weight, but not to bite or injure him in any way if he made no resistance; and I expect few would have been so foolish as to do so when they saw his size and appearance.

Wallace was a most inveterate cat killer. This had been clearly part of his early education; he killed almost every cat that he could get at. Many were the unfortunate tabbies that he suddenly snapped up as they were comfortably dozing on the steps of a cottage. He would go quietly along, apparently taking very little notice of anything, when—snap—and tabby was no more, but there was one most remarkable exception, and this was our stable cat. I discovered it in this way:—One day I went into the stable yard and saw the cat walking across to where Wallace was lying by his kennel half asleep, fully expecting to see her killed in a moment. I waited, and, to my great astonishment, saw her walk up to him, put up her tail, and rub all round him in the most affectionate manner, and as she passed his head, Wallace just looked up and gave her a lick with his tongue. Seeing me, the old dog jumped up, and, in so doing, trod on pussy's foot, who immediately turned round and bit and scratched. Wallace took no sort of notice of it, clearly thinking that such an exhibition of temper on her part was beneath his attention. We lived about twenty-five miles from town, in a very fashionable and wealthy part of the country, which made it quite a "happy hunting-ground" for the London burglars, regular gangs of whom used to come down and "work" the district, in fact, ours was almost the only house that was not broken into, and this was entirely owing to Wallace,—his sonorous bark effectually rousing everyone, and he never used it without occasion. We caught three men with a most beautiful set of burglars' tools. They had intended to try the house; Wallace roused us by barking, and as he seemed nearly frantic, we felt sure that the men were near, so, turning out the men-servants, we loosed the dog in the garden. He soon picked up the scent of the men, and quickly ran into them in an outhouse about two miles off. Numberless were the attempts made to poison him, but he would never touch the stuff, however cunningly prepared. We constantly found poisoned liver, and things of that kind, but it was of no use—Wallace would sniff at the stuff, give it a scratch with his paw, and pass on. There was one very amusing trait in his character, and that was his determination that no one should bathe if he could help it. This came, I think, from his having, on one occasion, brought a child out of a pond into which it had fallen. By the way, he did not do it at all in the graceful way dogs are represented in goody-books, but by a firm nip in a very unromantic part of the child's body, making it roar out lustily, thereby preventing the bystanders from being at all uneasy on its account.

An amusing instance of this occurred one day. A young cousin of mine was staying with us and said he should go down to the river and bathe—asking at the same time to take Wallace with him. I consented, quite forgetting his habit. The two were away some time, but at length I saw them returning, the lad evidently in a very bad temper about something. When he came up he said "that abominable old fool Wallace won't let me bathe;" I asked about it and heard that Wallace sat down and watched him undress, in a very grave sort of way, but when he wanted to get into the river would not let him; walking in front of him whenever he got near the edge and completely preventing him from getting in. The boy tried all sorts of dodges to make the dog allow him, but it was of no use. He tried to run and jump in several times, but on each attempt Wallace coolly sat down in front of him just as he thought all was clear, so that he was obliged either to stop short or tumble over the dog. When he gave it up and began to dress again, Wallace lay down and watched him, and finally trotted back with him, with an expression on his countenance that showed he clearly thought he had done his duty.

I had been warned by the man I bought Wallace from, as previously noted, that I must never go near him when he was feeding, for he would not allow anyone to approach him then, and this I found to be true; but this habit of his caused me great alarm once. A little girl was staying in our house, and, of course, wanted to see my big dog, so I took her out to the stable yard to show him to her. Wallace was feeding when we got there, and I told her we must not go near him then, and took her into the stables to see the horses. Whilst I was talking to the coachman, she slipped out, and on going to look for her, to my horror I saw her just going up to the dog who was still feeding. I called out to her to come back, but the coachman said, "He won't hurt her, sir; he will let a child do anything almost to him." True enough—the child went up and patted him, and the dog first looked up, gave a wag with his tail and went on feeding. When he was loosed afterwards, he came to where the child and myself were sitting, licked her hands, and then came and put his great head on my knee and looked up at me, as much as to say, "Could not you trust me with a child." I then remembered I had been told he would never touch a child, but there was one very curious point connected with this, which was that he would never touch food of any sort, however fond he was of it, from the hands of a child. This he had doubtless been taught, so that poisoned or prepared food might not be given him by their means.

I hardly ever saw a dog who had such very expressive eyes. Once when out with me he was attacked and bitten in the leg by a mastiff; an ill-conditioned brute that was always flying at him. Now Wallace was most good-tempered and hardly ever fought, so I spoke to him and told him to come along, thinking the mastiff would leave him. Instead of this it seized him by the ear, and Wallace's ears were always very tender and painful in the summer; but he never retaliated—only looked at me in a sort of reproachful way, as much as to say "see what pain you have caused me." I could not stand it, and said, "Kill him, Wallace." Shaking the dog off as if he was nothing, he gave him a grip between the forelegs and the dog was dead in an instant. Wallace left him at once and came on after me as if nothing had happened. He certainly was one of the most intelligent dogs I ever met with; I kept him until he was very old, and when he was almost entirely blind, it used to be very curious to see the old fellow hunting me. When loosed, he would put down his nose and work till he got on my trail, and then, however I might have gone about and turned, he was sure to hunt up to me, and the pleased look which came into his old face when he found me and moved round my legs was very touching. However, poor old fellow, he got quite deaf as well as blind, and then to my grief I had to sign his death-warrant.

Long after this, I possessed a wonderfully intelligent dog, a pure-bred Skye terrier, one of the real sort, with soft coat of wavy mustard-coloured hair tipped with black; sharp, prick ears, just turned over at the top; such taper paws; tail carried over the back and parting like an ostrich plume; she had dark eyes. I had her directly she could be taken from her mother, and in my bachelor days she hardly ever left me, often going in my pocket when I was riding—her head and forepaws outside. I once left her for six months with some friends whilst I went abroad, and on my return a most curious thing occurred. I drove from the station, distant about six miles from my friends' house, arriving there past nine in the evening. Fanny (that was her name) was shut up in the harness-room, but about four o'clock the next morning I was awakened by scratching and whining at my door, and on getting up and opening it, there was Fanny, who was exceptionally delighted to see me, and jumped on my bed and went to sleep. On getting up I noticed her paws were very sore and bleeding, and on going down, asked where she had been and how she had found me. It turned out thus: she had been locked up in the harness-room as usual, and this was quite 200 yards from the house; but had set to work, and scratched her way out, tearing a hole through the weather boarding close to the doorpost; she then came round to a court at the back of the house, where there was a drain-pipe in one corner through the wall, to carry off the water when it was wasted; this she had torn at until she made the hole big enough to force her little body through, and getting into the house by an unfastened side door, made her way up to my room. But how on earth could she possibly have known that I was there? She had not seen me for six months, and I had not been near the stable, so she could not have heard my voice, and there was not any coat or wrap of mine left in the carriage. That she had got into the house by the way I have stated was quite clear from the state of her paws, and the marks on the stable and outer court.

Fanny amused me very much on another occasion. She had been taught to beg, and I went to the kennel, a paled-in one with benches round it, and opening the door, began to talk and play with the dogs, occasionally throwing them some pieces of biscuit. I threw a bit which one of the spaniels picked up, and jumping on to the bench, began to eat it. I suppose Fanny fancied the piece very much, for she ran after the dog, jumped up on the bench in front of him and sat up and begged for it, just as she would have done had I had it. However, the spaniel did not pay any attention, but quietly munched up the biscuit. Her jealousy of my wife, when we were first married, was most amusing. She could not bear to see us sitting together, and if I sat by my wife on a sofa, would get upon it, scramble on to my shoulders, walk round the back of my neck, and try to squeeze herself down between us. She was, too, a capital sporting dog, though for a long time I was afraid to take her out, as she was so like a rabbit or hare when moving through long grass or corn that I feared I might perhaps shoot her accidentally. However, she was always so very anxious to come with me that at length I took her, and she was quite invaluable. Birds that would rise and be off at once, if you had a pointer or setter with you, appeared either not to notice her or be fascinated by her. I knew directly I entered a field with her whether there were birds or not, and she would take me straight to them. She also retrieved beautifully. The first time I found out her powers in this way I had shot two partridges, right and left, and to my great disgust both were runners and got into some standing corn. Fanny seemed very anxious to go after them, so I let her go after one that I had marked down, and off she scampered, and to my great delight and surprise soon came back with it. On my taking it from her, she darted off again and in a little while returned with the other. After this, of course, I always used her for retrieving, and scarcely ever lost a wounded head of game. She could bring partridges and pheasants in open ground, but if they fell in thick cover, or if I sent her after a wounded hare, she could not bring them back, but used to make a short, sharp bark to let me know she had found them. Poor little thing, she met, I fear, the fate of too many pets. We went from home leaving strict injunctions that every care should be taken of her; but, unfortunately, she sickened and died, I fear, of neglect.

And now I must tell a most wonderful piece of kindness and compassion on the part of another dog. At the time Fanny and her brothers and sisters were born, I had a fine black and white pointer dog. When Fanny and the rest were a few weeks old, their mother died, and they had to be brought up by hand, and though every care was taken of them, and they had warm sheepskin rugs on their bench, they seemed very miserable and were always crying. Whenever I went round their kennel I usually found this pointer dog sitting there looking at them through the palings, and I said one day to the keeper, "I suppose Don would like to kill them all for making such a noise." "Oh no, sir," said the man; "he pities them quite Christian-like." "Well," I replied, "if he does, just open the kennel door and see what he will do." It was opened and the dog ran in and began licking the puppies, who crowded round him. He then jumped up on the bench, followed by them, and lay down; the puppies crawled all over him, biting his ears and tail, evidently greatly delighted to have him, and finally settled to sleep in all positions on him, the dog never moving, and seemed almost afraid to breathe for fear of disturbing them—in fact, he took them entirely under his protection, and the contorted attitudes the dog would lie in rather than disturb the puppies were wonderful. I used to think he must hurt himself; but he would never leave them, and if I got him out for a little while, thinking he must want rest, he would always run back to them, never seeming happy until he had got in with them again. This continued until they were all grown big enough to take care of themselves. It has always struck me as being the most wonderful piece of pure benevolence I ever knew of.

I once knew a very eccentric dog. He was a real old English spaniel, one of that kind you so rarely see, with long body, short legs, with great bone, grand head, jaws and teeth like a wolf's almost, and long ears that would meet round his nose. Poor fellow, his temper was certainly unamiable, but I think this was caused by the state of his health. When he was a puppy he was troubled with insects, and a stupid groom, to show, I suppose, that he had some brains, declared he could cure him with some nostrum of his own; the effect of it being that the poor puppy's hair nearly all came off. His skin was burned in several places, and he was made so ill that for several weeks a veterinary surgeon did not think he could recover. He did though, at length, but his constitution had received such a shock that he was always subject to skin disease, and yet he could not stand the least medicine. He was a very curious animal, never showing much attachment to anyone; he would bite his best friends on the least provocation. Nothing, though, offended him so much as being laughed at,—that was an insult he never forgave. If you began to laugh at him, he would growl in a very ominous manner, and, if you persisted in it, would snap at you and give you such a bite, that you would not care to try again. If you wished to please him, you had to get a lot of old birds' nests, and give them to him one by one; he would carry them about for some time, and then he would sit down and tear them to pieces. He was not particularly fond of going for a walk with anyone; but if you got some nests and gave him one occasionally, he would trot along with you as happily as possible. Another curious habit of his was, that he would never get out of the way for anyone. When he was trotting along he never moved from his line if he saw anyone coming; but if he saw they did not intend to move, would begin to growl and look so savage that people usually made haste out of his way. When he happened to be running down a hill, he did not growl, but merely ran against people if they did not clear out—his great weight usually upsetting them, of which he took not the slightest notice. A great friendship arose between this dog and a fine cat we had, and it was very amusing to see them together. He would walk up to the cat and begin to lick her all over, and then she would rub all round him, purring, and seeming to be very fond of him—when all of a sudden she would stop, look up in his face and spit at him, at the same time giving him two or three sharp scratches, the only notice of which that he took was to close his eyes, so that they might not be hurt. Poor dog, as I said before, he suffered from skin disease, and the medicine that you could give another dog with impunity would nearly kill him, and it was the same with any outward application. At length when, on one occasion, he was suffering very much, I took him to the huntsman of a pack of foxhounds, and asked if he could recommend anything, and he told me of some stuff he dressed the puppies with, that never hurt them, and gave me some. I had it applied to some other dogs, and it did not do them the least harm, so I ordered this dog to be dressed with it. It did not seem to affect him at first, but on the next morning he was found dead in his kennel. In spite of his unamiable character, which I put down to his bad health, I was very sorry to lose him, for he had more regard for me, I think, than almost anyone, and was a first-class dog for cover shooting, with me at least, for he would not pay any attention out shooting to anyone else.

I have met with two cases of decided idiocy in dogs—one occurred fully thirty years ago. It was just about the time that Pomeranian dogs were first brought into England. An old lady saw several of them abroad, and, admiring them very much, brought several home and gave them away as presents to her friends. She gave one to an uncle of mine; it was a white one, with a splendid coat, and altogether looked a model of the breed, and everyone who saw it remarked on its beauty; it had, however, very curious-looking blue eyes, and its habits were very strange. It would lie curled up on the hearth-rug in the dining-room the whole day, taking no notice of anyone or anything, except twice a day, when regularly, about half-past eleven in the morning and at four in the afternoon, it would get up, and, if the French windows were open, would go out on to the lawn. If they were closed, it waited till the door was opened, and then going out, went each day to the same exact spot, and commenced running round and round in a circle from right to left. Having done this for some minutes, he would stop, rear up on his hind legs, and giving his head a most peculiar twist, much like the way parrots and owls twist their necks, he would then drop down again, and run the circle from left to right. Having done this, he came indoors, and lay down on the rug. He never showed the least affection for anyone, or appeared to know them. If you called out to him, he would sometimes look up in a vague sort of way, as if he wondered what the noise was; and the foot-man had to lead him out to meals each day, as the dog never made the least attempt to stir in search of food. The man used to say he had more trouble to make this dog feed than to keep any others from devouring whatever they could get at. Altogether, the dog did not seem to have the least sense in the world, and was, I think, an undoubted idiot.

The second case of the sort I met with was in a large sort of retriever that a friend of mine had. He asked me to come and see a dog that had been given him, as it was a "very odd sort of beast," and so it was. It had the most curious coat I ever saw on a dog—very long and iron-grey, with black markings, a huge bushy tail, so big and so long that it gave one the idea that the dog's hind legs were in the wrong place, and, instead of being at the extremity of its body, were put on somewhere about the middle of its stomach. To add to everything, the dog squinted, a thing I never heard of or saw in any other dog before or since. It was not that one of the eyes was blind and did not move properly, but the eyes actually crossed one another; his head, too, was the shape of a solid parallelogram, and very narrow between the ears. The dog was fastened to a kennel, and was walking backwards and forwards in front of it, very much in the way a caged hyena does. On being loosed, it bundled off in a clumsy gallop, and soon ran right into a barrow that had been left on one of the paths. On being brought up by this obstacle, instead of jumping over it, as any other dog would have done, he moved round it, and when he found his head clear, galloped off again on the same straight line, which this time landed him in a laurel bush, through which he scrambled, and again went on in the same direction, and this I heard was his regular habit. He had another very awkward trick, and that was, if he was walking behind you, he would come up and lay hold of your leg, not apparently with any vicious design, for if you stopped and looked down at him, there he was with his eyes half shut, holding on to your leg with his teeth, as if it was necessary to support himself by such means. After a time he would drop his jaws off your leg and go maundering along as he had done before; but it was not altogether a pleasant trick. My last interview with the brute was not an agreeable one. We were to go out duck shooting on the river, and my friend proposed taking the dog with us in the punt to retrieve the ducks. This I decidedly objected to, as a wet dog in a boat is an unpleasant companion, so he was left on the bank to follow as best he might. The dog trotted along quietly for some way, until at length we fired at some ducks, when he jumped into the river to get them, as we thought; instead of which he swam up to the punt and seizing the pole in his mouth began to bite and tear at it in the most furious way. He then tried to scramble into the boat, and getting his fore-paws on the gunwale, began to tear at the sides in the most determined manner, snapping furiously at anyone who went near him. The only thing we could do was to try and duck him by means of the punt pole, but directly he came up again he attacked the boat afresh, so that my friend thought the best thing to do was to shoot him, which accordingly was done. I shall never forget the expression of ferocity in the dog's face or the mad way in which he tore at the sides of the boat and the punt pole.

The dog I am now about to mention was, I consider, an instance of the action of over-instruction working on naturally weak powers. When out shooting at the Cape, in the Swehamsdam district, something in the bush attracted my notice, and on riding up I found it was a pointer in the last stage of starvation. Pitying the poor deserted animal, I told one of my attendants to take it up and bring it to the waggon, which he did, and after forcing some broth down its throat, the dog seemed to revive, and with care it ultimately recovered, and turned out a very handsome animal. When it had got up its strength again, I took it out to try it. The dog ranged fairly and soon got on the scent of game, as I imagined. Seeing him drawing on very fast, I though he had got a Korhoram in front of him, and as these birds run tremendously, I made a circle to head the supposed game; but on looking back at the dog, saw he was standing dead at a small bush. I went back to him and tried all round it in every direction, but in vain. I then looked on the ground to see if there was one of the small land tortoises, which abound there, and which dogs will always point, but found there was not; so dismounting, I went up to the bush and then found he was standing at a small striped mouse, so I scolded him and made him come off. His next exploit was to make a splendid point at a pair of cast-off Hottentot "crackers" which were lying in the bush, bringing up in his gallop in really magnificent style. On rating him for this, he fixed all his attention on me, and though he ranged well, kept his eye whenever possible on me, and if I stopped pointed at once, or even if I held out my arm. His last grand feat was a dead point at something that I thought was a piece of dead stick lying on the ground, and I was just on the point of taking it up to give him a cut with it for being such a fool when I discovered that it was a puff adder; so calling the dog off, I blew it to pieces with a shot, but my escape was a narrow one. After this, I gave the dog away to a lady who took a fancy to him, as he was so handsome, and it was most ludicrous to see him in her drawing-room pointing steadily at footstools or work-boxes, or anything that was shewn him. The dog had evidently been well broken, but its brain could not take the impression that he was only to point at game. He had a confused idea that he ought to point at anything with a scent to it, or anything he imagined his master wished him to.