A Sunday Dog





[Feb. 17, 1877.]



A correspondent favoured your readers last week (see page 53) with an

interesting anecdote of a dog's intelligence in reference to the use of

money. Permit me to relate an instance of a dog's intelligence in

reference to the day of the week. Some three-and-twenty years ago, in

the infancy of the Canterbury Province, New Zealand, there lived in the

same neighbourhood as myself two young men, in the rough but independent

mode of life then prevalent in the colony, somewhat oblivious of old

institutions. These men possessed a dog each, affectionate companions of

their solitude. It was the custom of this primitive establishment to

utilise the Sabbath by a ramble, in quest of wild ducks and wild pigs,

about the swamps and creeks of the district. It was observed that long

before any preparations were made for starting, the dogs always seemed

to be more or less excited. This was remarkable enough, but not so much

as what followed. One of these men after a while left his friend, and

taking his dog with him, went to live with a clergyman about four miles

off. Here ducks and pigs had to be given up on Sundays for the

church-service. It was soon noticed that this dog used to vanish betimes

on Sundays, and did not turn up again until late. Upon inquiring, it was

found that the dog had visited its old abode, where on that day of the

week sport was not forbidden. The owner tried the plan of chaining up

the animal on Saturday evenings, but it soon became very cunning, and

would get away whenever it had the chance. On one occasion it was

temporarily fastened to a fence-rail about mid-day on a Saturday. By

repeated jerks it loosened the rail from the mortice-holes, and dragged

it away. Upon search being made, this resolute but unfortunate dog was

found drowned, still fast to the chain and rail, in a stream about two

miles away in the direction of its old haunts. The gentleman who owned

the other dog is in England now, and went over the details of the facts

herein stated with me quite recently.



ALFRED DURELL.





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