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Lucky And Unlucky

[April 28, 1877.]

As letters telling of dogs and their doings occasionally appear in the
Spectator, perhaps the following rather pathetic anecdote of a dog I
know well may also find a place there. Two or three weeks ago, Lucky--so
called from having, when an outcast, found its present happy
home--perhaps by way of showing its gratitude to its benefactors,
presented them with five small Luckys, or rather, with one exception,
Unluckys, as the melancholy process always resorted to with these
too-blooming families had to be carried out in this instance, and the
five were reduced to one. Poor Lucky was inconsolable, looking
everywhere for them, and looking, too, with such appealing eyes into the
faces of her friends, and asking them so plainly where they were. Near
her kennel was an inclosed piece of ground for pigeons, and as it was
discovered that rats were carrying off the young pigeons, and as Lucky
had carried off one or two rats, it was decided one night to leave the
door of the pigeons' house open, that Lucky might have the run of it;
and the next morning, side by side with the puppy, was found a baby
pigeon, looking quite bright and at home, but hungry, and poor Lucky,
proud of the addition it had made to its family, was looking more
contented than it had done since the loss of its puppies. The pigeon
must have fallen from its nest, some distance from the ground, and
Lucky, while on the look-out for rats, must have found it, and carefully
carried it to her kennel, with the vague feeling, perhaps, that it was
one of her own lost little ones "developing" a little curiously.
Unfortunately the arrangement could not be a permanent one, and the
famished little pigeon was put back into its own nest, to be found again
the next morning in Lucky's bed, but this time dead. The old birds seem
to have deserted it, and it had died of starvation. If Lucky could give
this account herself, it might be much more interesting, for it was
thought not at all improbable that she had actually rescued from a rat
the bird she was so anxious to adopt, as a small wound was found upon
it such as a rat might have made, and as a young pigeon had been taken
the night before from the same nest; but this is only conjecture, and
Lucky only could tell us the facts; how often it would be interesting,
if our humble friends could tell us their adventures! A friend who is
staying with me tells me that a few months ago her dog was lost for a
week, and at the end of that time it came back one night in a scarlet
ruff and spangles, and looking altogether dreadfully dissipated.
Evidently it had been the "performing dog" in some show, "Punch and
Judy" perhaps; being naturally a clever dog, it would quickly have
learnt the part of "Toby" in that delightful and time-honoured
exhibition. If it could only have written also an article entitled "A
Week of My Life," with what pleasure the Spectator would have
published it!


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