24. Dogs.


There is a chapter in one of our metaphysical writers, shewing how dogs make syllogisms. The illustration is decisive. A dog loses sight of his master, and follows him by scent till the road branches into three; he smells at the first, and at the second, and then, without smelling farther, gallops along the third. 39That animals should be found to posses in perfection every faculty which is necessary for their well-being, is nothing wonderful; the wonder would be if they did not: but they sometimes display a reach of intellect beyond this.

For instance—dogs have a sense of time so as to count the days of the week. My grandfather had one, who trudged two miles every Saturday to market, to cater for himself in the shambles. I know another more extraordinary and well authenticated example: A dog which had belonged to an Irishman, and was sold by him in England, would never touch a morsel of food upon a Friday; the Irishman had made him as good a catholic as he was himself. This dog never forsook the sick bed of his last master, and, when he was dead, refused to eat, and died also.

A dog of my acquaintance found a bitch in the streets who had lost her master, and was ready to whelp; he 40brought her home, put her in possession of his kennel, and regularly carried his food to her, which it may be supposed he was not suffered to want, during her confinement. For his gallantry, his name deserves to be mentioned,..it was Pincher. Some of his other acquaintance may remember him. Whenever Pincher saw a trunk packing up in the house, he absconded for the next four-and-twenty hours. He was of opinion that home was the best place.


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