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er, having a chance of notice in comparison with the quantity and denseness of his long, soft hair,- for the coat of a true Skye dog is fleecy, rather than wiry. It was the joint result of the shortness of his legs and the length of his beard that the latter appendage continually swept the ground, an inconvenience which I once undertook to remedy by trimming it off short with scissors. No Turk could have more indignantly resented the process than did that small quadruped, his Celtic feelings being so severely wounded by it, in fact, that he abstained from sustenance for three days, putting himself into moral sackcloth and ashes for that period by retiring into his penitential cell under a chest of drawers.
When quite a pup, hardly half-grown, he played a trick unaccountable to me at this day as it was then. Sam had the run of the house, and he availed himself of it. On going into the breakfast-room, one morning early, I observed a singular phenomenon in connection with a large, cold round of beef, which was the pièce de résistance on the table. It was curious to behold a round of cold beef with a tail, which it wagged, and feathered, and beckoned with, as if to say, "Come, eat me." The tail was the tail of Sam, whose body was concealed far down in the interior of the tower of beef, into which he had cut his way with great perseverance and success. But the puzzle was, how he got there; for there was no chair within reach of the table, and he was much too small to have jumped up on it; while the theory of the servant, who propounded that he must have climbed up by the table-cloth, tooth over claw, was wild, and simply entitled to the contempt of any person aware of the difference between dog and cat. There is but one acceptable theory on the subject, that he was down in the caverns of the beef, tail and all, before it was brought up-stairs, and so escaped notice.
Early in life, he contracted—from evil association, perhaps -a vulgar trick of running after carriages and barking at the horses' heels, a trick of which I in
vain tried to break him. Once, when he was about a year old, I took him up beside me into a high calèche, in which we were going some distance. The moment the horse started, Sam jumped out to have a bark at his heels, when, to my horror, the wheel of the vehicle, in which there were three of us, went right over the middle of his body, cutting him, apparently, in two; but he was up in a second, and barking at heels and wheels for half a mile before we could pull up and get him in again. This accident appeared to decide him in the choice of a profession, for he devoted himself energetically, from that hour, to the pursuit and baying-at of all manner of wheeled things propelled by horse-power.
A rat he would never touch, although I introduced him to one before he was a year old; he manifested neither fear of the vermin, nor surprise at it, but simply took no interest in it. He had much pleasure in worrying cats; but that was owing, I fancy, to a sad discomfiture he once met with from one. Walking through a suburb one day, with Sammy trotting before me in dreamy mood, to which he was much given, a small, but remarkably severe cat made a sudden and very fierce dash at him from a cottage-door, taking him so completely aback, that he tumbled, head over tail, into a deep, dirty pool of green, stagnant water, such as is usually to be seen in the pleasure-grounds environing a suburbo-Hibernian shanty. His appearance, on emerging from that cesspool, was the reverse of majestic; but the incident gave him such an idea on the subject of cats, that he always persecuted them remorselessly from that day; nor did he ever again walk through a suburb in any other frame of mind than a particularly wideawake one, and with his tail up.
These dogs are curiously sensitive about their dignity, and sometimes do not recover their elasticity of spirits for several days after having undergone a process of correction. I recollect a singular instance of this sensitiveness displayed by Sambo, in which he also mani
fested a kind of inferential power wonderfully akin to reason.
One morning, a tumult of dogs in the street drew him to the window, out of which he looked by jumping on a chair, just as a troop of "curs of low degree" tore past after a rather genteel-looking dog with a kettle tied to his tail. They whirled rapidly by in a turmoil of dust, and clink, and cur-dog yelp, but not so rapidly as to prevent Sam from perceiving the terrible degradation to which a gentleman-dog had been subjected. The sight had a visible effect on his spirits, for he immediately became quite depressed as to tail and mind, a condition which influenced him for a day or two, after which he again appeared comparatively cheerful, and took his place in society with his accustomed cautious conviviality. About a month after this, he was seen coming very slowly along a lane which led up to the back of the house, a course hardly ever taken by him, as he was a parlor-dog, and considered himself entitled to the freedom of the hall-door. Creeping on in the shadow of the wall, he arrived with a very crestfallen aspect at the kitchen-door, where the cause of his ignominious approach was made manifest to those who were
watching him. He had a kettle tied to his tail. Now this animal must surely have argued in his own mind, that running away with a tin kettle is a sure way of attracting undesirable notice; also, that proceeding through a public thoroughfare with such an appendage is injudicious, and likely to result in trouble. The circumstance of the runaway dog and the tumult after him had left its impression upon him; and, travelling on his experience, he rightly judged that an unpleasant affair of the kind might best be hushed up by quietly making one's way home through back-lanes and the kitchen-door.
Skye terriers, when young, are apt to have a bad trick of gnawing and tearing up articles of wearing apparel, particularly slippers, gaiters, and such other things as are handy to toss up and catch.
The fellow I am writing about, when very young, destroyed sundry items of my property in that way. He occupied a buffalo-robe in my room, and I heard him very busy one night about something, but did not pay much attention to it, as he was often lively at night. In the morning, however, on looking for a pair of leather gaiters, I recognized the remains of them, after much investigation, in a mass of pulp, to which they had been reduced by the little beast as completely as they could have been by the most experienced boa-constrictor. This habit I soon broke him of, by chastising him with the remnants of the worried article, when there were any left of substance sufficient to weave into a scourge; nor did he ever recur to it when grown up, except once, evidencing upon that occasion a remarkable instance of hereditary instinct.
Some fur caps, and other articles of winter wear, had been shaken out of their summer quarters for the purpose of beating the moths out of them and ventilating them generally, with a view to which they were placed upon the sill of an open window. By some means Sam obtained access to the room, where he was discovered in the act of mauling a valuable otter-skin cap, which he had selected out of the whole collection for his particular amusement. This dog had never seen an otter; but his ancestors were noted for their game qualities in the pursuit of that animal, and their speciality must have descended to him.
Eventually Sambo lost all his selfrespect. He became discontented and addicted to low company, dissipating with vile curs whose owners enjoyed anything but unblemished reputations,---a fact first notified to me by a clergyman of my acquaintance who knew him well. The worst of this was, that he wore a collar with my name engraved on it in full; and it was a long time before I had an opportunity of redeeming that misused badge. About the very last time I ever saw him, I think, he came home with one of his eyes gouged
out, a split ear, and other marks but too suggestive of the tavern brawl. I then deprived him of his collar; soon after which he returned to his unsettled course of life, and I never saw him again.
The peculiar, otter-like form of these animals, and the buoyancy given to them by their long, floating hair, endow them with great facility for swimming; while the small compass into which they will pack in a canoe or skiff makes them very useful companions to the sportsman whose propensities are for paddling about "in the melancholy marshes." I made an excellent retriever of one of mine by carrying in my pocket a stuffed snipe, which I would make her hunt up and fetch out of the weeds into which I had thrown it. She would go back half a mile and fetch this, when I had hidden it ever so cunningly in a thicket by the way-side. I also taught her to dive, by making her, while young, fetch up a little bag of shot from the bottom of a bathtub in my room. By throwing this into deeper water, gradually, she would soon go down to a great depth for it. A charge of shot, tied up in a piece of white kidglove, with a "neck" left to hold on by, is a good object for the purpose, as it is readily seen in deep water, and teaches the animal, besides, to nip gingerly, — a valuable qualification in a retriever. I remember one of these dogs fetching up from a considerable depth the watch of a friend of mine, which had slipped out of his pocket into a clear, still bay, over which he was loitering in his canoe.
From times unrecorded until about twenty years ago, the Skye terrier awaited confidently his summons to the sphere of rank and fashion. About that time, the day, which, as the proverb figuratively informs us, it falls to the lot of each individual of the canine race to enjoy, began to shine out brightly for the dog of Skye, the first rays of it that reached him being reflected from no less a luminary than the Crown of Great Britain; for it was among the Scottish fancies of England's Queen to adopt as a prime favorite this hitherto obscure quadruped. Reck
oned until that time-if anybody took the trouble of computing him at all-as one of the ugliest of his race, he at once found himself invested with all the attributes of a canine Adonis,a very Admirable Crichton of dogs,-perfect in intellect, face, figure, and the Hyperion luxuriance of his copious mane and tail. In our youth, we knew- and hated-a small, unmitigated snob of a dog called the Pug, a kind of work-basket bull-dog, diminutive in size, dyspeptic in temper, disagreeable to contemplate, and distressing to be obliged to admire. One of the missions in society of Skye Terrier who, when going before a high wind, bears no unapt resemblance to a mop or a wisp of tow-- was to mop up Pug, and polish him off the hearth-rug of Fashion; a mission which he appears to have at least partially accomplished. For now the black muzzle of Pug is but seldom to be seen protruded from carriage-window, biding his time for a snap at the first kid-gloved finger that wags within range of his overlapping tusks in waving salutation to his dowager mistress,— for, of the dowagers, above all, he was one of the chronic calamities. Oftener, now, are the well-combed whiskers and moustaches of Skye Dog to be recogniz ed, dropping over the drawing-room window-sill, or framed, like a portrait by Landseer, in the panelled sash of the barouche, out of which he gazes pensively with the impressive speculation of the true flâneur;-yea, for as men of fashion are, so are their dogs; and so also of the fighting butcher, who ever has his counterpart in the fighting bull-dog that glowers from his gory stall.
This exalted value of Skye Dog, in a commercial point of view, has, of course, given rise to the manufacture of a spurious article; whence it comes, that, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the animal palmed off on the unsophisticated as genuine has nothing of the real stuff in his constitution, but is simply a shallow imitation, compounded according to prescription, —one part common curterrier to two parts insignificant French
poodle. And so I take leave of the Skye terrier with a caveat emptor to the purchaser who does not want to be sold while he buys.
The sense of humor must surely exist in individual dogs; otherwise it would puzzle me to account for the singular practical jokes played off by a waterspaniel once possessed by me. This individual, whose name was Muff, was a rather small-sized one, of the pure Kentish blood; liver-colored, with a white ring on his neck, and white paws; closecurled, wicked-eyed, deep-chested, and remarkably powerful for his size. Professionally a retriever, and one of great promise, although never fully tested with the gun, his leisure hours, which in
cluded every one in the twenty-four, were passed in the invention and perpetration of curiously regulated mischiefs, with all of which he took pains to combine an element of the ludicrous. His great spree was to run amuck into a flock of small children coming out of school. If there was a dirty crossing hard by, over which they had to pass, he would wait until they had got half-way, and then, going through them like a rocket, would chuck them down into the mud, right and left, as he sped, keeping straight on in his career until far beyond range of pedagogue's rod. His trick of making a sudden rush at the heels of unsuspecting persons-and he invariably selected the right sort for his purpose might often have got me into ugly scrapes, but for the tact with which he invariably ignored his master on such occasions. If pursued, he never came near me for protection, but fled wildly on, assuming the character of a dog "on the loose," belonging to nobody in particular, and quite able to take care of himself. He had a decided objection to street industrials in general, including Italian organ-grinders and image-sellers. Once I saw him crouching stealthily after one of the latter, who was passing through an open square with a tray of casts upon his head; and before I could get up a whistle or call him off by name, he had darted
like a javelin at the legs of the refugee, startling him so much out of the perpen dicular that the superstructure of plastic art came to the ground with a crash, topdressing the sterile soil of the Campus Martius with a coat of manufactured plaster of Paris. Marius, blubbering over the shattered chimney-stacks of Carthage, could not have displayed a more touching classical spectacle than did that modern Roman lamenting to and fro among the fragments of his collapsed martyrs and ruined saints; nor were his pangs fully assuaged even by the application of the universal panacea to an amount more than double the value of his lost wares.
A great difficulty in training this dog. was to bring him "to heel," a still greater one to keep him there when he came. If thrashed into his proper place in his master's wake, he always resented the indignity by biting him pretty severely in the legs with a savage whimper. This he invariably did on first leaving the house with me, sometimes nipping me so severely, after we had gone a short distance, that I have hesitated whether to go back for a pistol to shoot him, or forward for a pennyworth of biscuit to buy him off. When told to "hie away," the extravagance of his joy knew no bounds. He would have been as invaluable to a tailor as was to the Parisian décrotteur the poodle instructed by him to sully with his paws the shoes of the passengers; for, in the exuberance of his gladness, he but too often rent insufferably the vestments of the hapless pedestrians in his line of fire. Sometimes he would turn his assaults upon me, and, springing suddenly at my “wide-awake,” take it from my head, trailing it wildly away through the mud, and dropping it in some place where it would be difficult to get at it without wading. Then I would have to conciliate him to fetch it,- a favor not to be obtained without much stratagem and diplomacy.
One of this dog's abnormal qualities was the bull-dog one of holding on to his antagonist in a fight. But few dogs of
his size were able to cope with him; and I once saw him, when in grips with a fierce bull-terrier by a riverside, precip itate the result by dragging his adversary into the water, and dipping his head under. He would jump off the highest bridge to fetch out of the water anything thrown in for him, never failing to bring it to his master's feet, except once, when he steadily declined to recover from the raging element a cane with which I had, some time previously, administered to him a sound thrashing for some delinquency. On the first occasion of his being accidentally left behind at a ferry across a very wide and rapid river, he swam out some distance after the boat; but, finding the enterprise a rather hopeless one, soon put back again and waited for the next boat, on board of which he took his place with a tranquil and business-like air. This he regularly did on subsequent occasions, without risking the swim; and when on board, he always seated himself on the upper deck and as far forward as possible, so as to catch early glimpses of his friends in waiting.
Among the gifts of this clever animal, I must not forget to reckon a perception of the truthful in Art. I had a walkingstick, upon the crooked handle of which was carved, with tolerable skill, a pointer's head. This piece of sculpture was a source of frequent anxiety to Muff,- his embarrassment apparently arising from the circumstance of his not having the gift of speech wherewith to deliver himself of an opinion on the subject. would sometimes get up from the sunny spot on the carpet where he lay, walk over to the corner in which the stick was deposited, contemplate the handle attentively, with his head on one side, for several minutes, and then, shaking his head doubtfully, return to his lair with a sigh. Philanthropist as well as critic, he once saved the life of a dissipated old sergeant of dragoons, to whom he had taken a fancy, by rushing into a house which the man had just quitted in a state of intoxication, and so rousing the inmates by his gestures, that they at once followed
him into the road, alongside of which the beery old sabreur was found prostrate in a pool of water, setting his face pertinaciously against that hostile element, even to what was very near being his last gasp.
Large dogs often appear to take a humorous view of the futile attempts of small ones to accomplish some feat beyond their strength or stature. A friend of mine once possessed a very large animal of a cross between the Mount St. Bernard dog and the English mastiff, and as remarkable for his good-nature as for his great strength and courage. Rambling out one day, accompanied by this trusty friend, they came upon a group of rusties engaged in the ignoble diversion of baiting a badger, an animal much in request among English dog-fanciers as a test for the pluck of their terriers. "Drawing a badger" is the proper sportingphrase, the animal being chained to a barrel, from the recesses of which he contends savagely with the fierce little dogs pitted against each other to drag him out within a given time. Nero looked on at the sport with a majestic air of contempt, as dog after dog was withdrawn from the conflict. At length, disgusted with the failures, he watched his opportunity until the badger made a dive from his den at a retreating foe, when, snapping him up by the collar, he thundered away down the road with the barrel flying after, nor ever stopped until he reached home, nearly a mile away, where he safely deposited badger and barrel in the immediate vicinity of his private residence in the stable-yard.
One of the worst vices by which a dog can be beset is a propensity for killing sheep. It is not a common vice, but, where it exists, it appears to be inveterate and beyond all hope of reform. Shutting up the delinquent with a dangerous ram has often been recommended as a certain mode of disgusting him with mutton, should he survive the discipline inflicted on him by the avenger of the blood of his race. I can recall but one instance within my experience in which this corrective was tested. It was