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A Dog On Long Sermons

[Aug. 4, 1888.]

During a recent journey in Canada, I met with a striking instance of
reason in a dog. I was staying at the Mohawk Indian Institution,
Brantford, Ontario. The Rev. R. Ashton, superintendent of the school, is
also incumbent of the neighbouring Mohawk Church (the oldest Protestant
church in Canada). Mr. Ashton is very fond of animals, and has many
pets. One of these, a black-and-tan terrier, always accompanies the
ninety Indian children to church on Sunday morning. He goes to the
altar-rails, and lies down facing the congregation. When they rise to
sing, he rises; and when they sit, he lies down. One day, shortly before
my visit, a stranger-clergyman was preaching, and the sermon was longer
than usual. The dog grew tired and restless, and at last a thought
occurred to him, upon which he at once acted. He had observed that one
of the elder Indian boys was accustomed to hand round a plate for alms,
after which the service at once concluded. He evidently thought that if
he could persuade this boy to take up the collection, the sermon must
naturally end. He ran down to the back seat occupied by the boy, seated
himself in the aisle, and gazed steadfastly in the boy's face. Finding
that no notice was taken, he sat up and "begged" persistently for some
time, to Mr. Ashton's great amusement. Finally, as this also failed, the
dog put his nose under the lad's knee, and tried with all his strength
to force him out of his place, continuing this at intervals till the
sermon was concluded.

Did not this prove a distinct power of consecutive reasoning?

A. H. A.

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