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,
lways 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.