Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/217

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
205
CANINE SAGACITY.

satisfaction. The result of the battle was, that the mastiff came off the conqueror, and gave his opponent a tremendous beating. When he had quite satisfied himself as to the result, this great avenger from Kent scarcely waited to receive the recognition of his master, who had been sent for immediately on the dog's arrival, but at once marched out of the stable, to the door of which the little terrier accompanied him, and was seen no more. Some few days afterward, however, the gentleman received a letter from his steward in the country, informing him of the sudden appearance of the terrier there, and his as sudden disappearance along with the large mastiff; and stating that the latter had remained away three or four days, during which they had searched in vain for him, but had just then returned home again. It then, of course, became quite clear that the little dog, finding himself unable to punish the town bully, had thought of his "big brother" in the country, had traveled over the sixty miles which separated them, in order to gain his assistance, and had recounted to him his grievance; it was plain also that the mastiff had consented to come and avenge his old friend, had traveled with him to London, and, having fulfilled his promise, had returned home, leaving the little fellow free from annoyance in the future.

The following well-known story is a strong example of the great intelligence which may be developed in a dog by careful training: A fashionably-dressed English gentleman was one day crossing one of the bridges over the Seine at Paris, when he felt something knock against his legs, and, looking down, he found that a small poodle-dog had rubbed against him, and covered his boots with mud. He was, of course, much annoyed, and execrated the little brute pretty freely; but when he got to the other side of the bridge, he had the boots cleaned at a stand for the purpose, and thought no more about the matter. Some days after this occurrence, however, he had occasion again to cross that bridge, and the same little incident occurred. Thinking this somewhat odd, he resolved to watch where the little dog went to; and, leaning against the side of the bridge, he followed with his eye the movements of his dirty little friend. He saw him rub against the feet of one gentleman after another, till he had exhausted all the mud off his once white skin, then rush off down the bank of the river, and there roll himself in the mud collected at the side. Having thus got a new supply of dirt, the little animal ran up to the bridge again, and proceeded to transfer it to the boots of the passers-by, as before. Having watched his movements for some time, the gentleman noticed that on one occasion, instead of running down to the river, he went off to the proprietor of the stand for cleaning boots, at the other end of the bridge, who received him very cordially. The truth then for the first time dawned on him, that the little animal belonged to the man who cleaned the boots, and was trained by him to perform these mischievous deeds, for the purpose of bringing in