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not delay a moment to go in search of him. The dog anxiously led the way, and conducted the agitated parents to the spot, where their suffering son was lying. Happily, he was removed just at the close of day, and the necessary assistance being procured, he soon recovered.
On one of the roads leading from Switzerland to Italy, called the Pass of St. Bernard, is a convent * situated at more than eight thousand feet above the level of the sea. In the winter time, when the cold is intense and the snows are deep, travellers are exposed to great danger; and the inmates of the convent, when storms are raging, are in the habit of going ábroad to assist such wayfarers as may need their services. They are accompanied by their dogs, a noble breed of animals, who are called by the name of the convent where they are kept. They carry food and cordials fastened at their necks, and are able to pass over snow wreaths too light to bear the weight of
They are aided in finding the unfortunate persons who have been buried in the snow by the acuteness of their scent; and many men have owed their lives to the timely succor afforded by these four-footed philanthropists.
One of them, which served the convent for twelve years, is said to have been instrumental in saving the lives of forty individuals. He once found a little boy, who had become benumbed by the cold, and fallen down upon a wreath of snow. By licking his hands and face, and by his caresses, he induced the little fellow to get upon his back, and cling with his arms around his neck; and in this way he brought him in triumph to the convent. This incident forms the subject of a well-known picture. When this dog died, his skin was stuffed and deposited in the museum at Berne; and the little vial in which he carried a cordial draught for the exhausted traveller still hangs about his neck. How many men have there been, endowed with reason and speech, whose lives were less useful than that of this noble dog!
* Convent, a house in which men live together who are occupied with rew ligious exercises or employments.
XVIII. - THE SAME SUBJECT, CONCLUDED.
In the preceding lesson we gave some anecdotes of the benevolence of dogs, and of their amiable and kindly traits ; we will now relate some instances of their intelligence and sagacity.
Two gentlemen in England were shooting wild fowl, attended by a Newfoundland dog. In getting near some reeds by the side of a river, they threw down their hats, and crept to the * edge of the water, where they fired at some birds. They soon afterwards sent the dog to bring their hats, one of which was smaller than the other. After several attempts to bring them both together in his mouth, the dog at last placed the smaller hat in the larger one, pressed it down with his foot, and thus was able to bring them both at the same time. This seems more than instinct, and like a distinct process of reasoning.
A shoeblack, who plied his calling on one of the bridges in Paris, had a poodle dog whose sagacity brought no small profit to his master. If the dog saw a person with well-polished boots go across the bridge, he contrived to run against the boots and soil them, having first rolled himself in the mud of the river. His master was then employed to clean them. An English gentleman, who had more than once had his boots thus disfigured by the dog, was at last induced to watch his proceedings, and thus detected the tricks he was playing for his master's benefit. He was so much pleased with the animal's sagacity, that he purchased him at a high price, and conveyed him to London. On arriving there, he was confined to the house till he appeared perfectly satisfied with his new home and his new master. He at last, however, contrived to escape, and made his way back to Paris, where he rejoined his old master, and resumed his former occupation.
A grocer in Edinburgh had a dog which for some time amused and astonished the people in the neighborhood. A man who went through the streets, ringing a bell and selling pies, happened one day to treat this dog with a pie. The next time he heard the pieman's bell, he ran eagerly towards 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 his door, watching what was going on. The dog immediately supplicated his . master by many humble gestures and looks, and on receiving a penny, he 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 practised for several months.
There seems very little doubt that dogs often understand what is said to them, or in their presence.
“ The wisest dog I ever had,” said Sir Walter Scott,“ was what is called the bulldog terrier. I taught him to understand a great many words, insomuch that I am positive that the communication between 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 moment of his life, he never heard the least allusion to the story, in whatever 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 hill, or at the back to get down to the moor side. He certainly had a singular knowledge of spoken language."
A gentleman in Hartford, Connecticut, had a fine large dog, which was in the habit, in the winter season, of stretching himself out at full length on the rug before the parlor fire. His.
master, on coming in and observing this, would say in a common tone, and without looking or pointing at the dog, “ If Carlo knew what was expected of a well-bred dog, he would get off the rug, and not take up so much room before the fire.” The dog would immediately leave the rug, and retreat to a corner of the room.
It is also unquestionable that dogs have some mode of communicating between themselves. A remarkable instance of this is given in a book called the Cyclopædia of Natural History. A gentleman living near St. Andrews, in Scotland, had a very fine Newfoundland dog. About a mile off, there was a farm house, where a large mastiff was kept as a watch dog; and about the same distance in another direction, there was a mill where a stanch bulldog kept guard. Each of these three dogs was lord paramount within his own domain, and two of them seldom met without a fight to settle their respective dignities.
The Newfoundland dog used to go every forenoon to the baker's shop in the village, with a towel containing money in the corner, returning with the value of the money in bread. There were many useless and ill-behaved curs in the village ; but generally the haughty Newfoundland treated this ignoble race in that contemptuous style in which great dogs are wont to treat little ones.
When the dog came back from the baker's shop, he was regularly served with his dinner.
One day, however, he returned with his coat soiled and his ears scratched, having been attacked by a large number of curs while he had charge of his towel and bread, and so could not defend himself. Instead of waiting for his dinner as usual, he laid down his charge somewhat sulkily, and marched off. It was observed that he went in a straight line to the farmer's house ; and it was noticed as a remarkable fact, that the meeting between the two dogs was peaceful and not warlike. After laying their heads together, and conversing in some language which they understood, the two set off together in the direction of the mill; and having arrived there, they in brief space engaged the miller's dog as an ally.
The three champions now took the nearest road to the vil. lage, and, having reached it, scoured it in great wrath, and took summary vengeance on every cur they met. Having taken ample satisfaction for the insult that had been offered to the Newfoundland, they separated, and each went home. When any two of them met afterwards, they went to fighting as before, just as if the joint campaign had never taken place.
We will conclude these anecdotes of dogs with a short moral. Some boys, more perhaps from thoughtlessness than cruelty, amuse themselves by worrying dogs, throwing stones at them, and otherwise ill treating them. Such conduct is very wrong; and no manly and generous boy will ever be guilty of it. Cruelty to any animal is highly to be blamed; and especially when shown to a dog, the docile and intelligent friend of man, which loves him while living and mourns him when dead, repaying kindness with affectionate gratitude, and often showing an undeserved attachment to a worthless and ill-tempered master.
XIX. – THE OLD SHEPHERD'S DOG.
The old shepherd's dog, like his master, was gray,
His teeth all departed, and feeble his tongue ;
Thus happy through life did they hobble along.
When fatigued on the grass the shepherd would lie
For a nap in the sun, ʼmidst his slumbers so sweet,
Placed his head on his lap, or lay down at his feet.
When winter was heard on the hill and the plain,
When torrents descended, and cold was the wind,
Tray scorned to be left in the chimney behind.