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A Parcel-carrying Dog

[Feb. 9, 1895.]

In illustration of the anecdotal letters about dogs and their habits, in
the Spectator of February 2nd, and Mr. Lang's paper in this month's
Nineteenth Century, I send you the following story of a dog which I
had in 1851 and for three years afterwards. He was a handsome
Newfoundland dog, and one of the most intelligent animals with which it
was ever my good luck to meet. I was living in a village about three
miles from Dover, where I did all my shopping and marketing, being
generally my own "carrier." Sometimes Nep would carry home a small
parcel for me, and always most carefully. On one occasion Nep was with
me when I chose a spade, and asked the ironmonger to send it by the
village carrier. The spade was put by, labelled and duly addressed. I
went on to have a bathe, my dog going with me, but on finishing my
toilet in the machine, and calling and whistling for Nep, he was nowhere
to be seen. He was not to be found at the stable where I had left my
horse, but on calling at the ironmonger's shop I found he had been there
and had carried off the spade which I had bought, balancing it carefully
in his mouth. When I reached home, there Nep was, lying near his kennel
in the stable-yard looking very fagged, but wearing a countenance of the
fullest self-satisfaction, and evidently wishing me to think he had
fulfilled his "dog-duty." My friend Mr. Wood, who was a thorough lover
and admirer of dogs, was delighted to hear of his intelligent


P.S.--I may add Nep always guarded me when bathing, and always went into
the water with me, too, often uttering a peculiar kind of "howl."

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