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History of Domesticated Animals' takes the same view, and expresses his opinion, that there is no reason why the practice of eating dog's flesh should not be more extensively adopted. It is certainly remarkable, that whilst Europeans have lost the Jewish aversion to hog's flesh, they maintain that against the dog ; still we must confess, that our own philosophy is by no means strong enough to overcome the disgust which the latter delicacy excites.
We may now glance at a few of the valuable services which are, at the present time, rendered by dogs in the different parts of the world. And commencing with the northern regions, we find that throughout Siberia, and in Kamtschatka, there are several breeds of large wolf-like dogs, used during winter for drawing sledges over the hardened snow. The ordinary load for five dogs is about two hundred or two hundred and fifty pounds, exclusive of the sledge and driver, and they will travel from sixty to one hundred miles per day. Mr. Martin has quoted from Admiral Von Wrangell's 'Expedition to the Polar Seas,' a very interesting account of the dogs in those regions :- .
• Of all the animals that live in the high north latitudes,' the admiral remarks, 'none are so deserving of being noticed as the dog. The companion of man in all climates from the islands of the South Seas, where he feeds on bananas, to the Polar Sea, where his food is fish, he here plays a part to which he is unaccustomed in more favourite regions. Necessity has taught the inhabitants of the more northern countries to employ these comparatively weak animals for draught. On all the coasts of the Polar Sea, from the Obi to Behring's Straits, in Greenland, Kamtschatka, and the Kurile Islands, the dogs are made to draw sledges, loaded with persons and goods, and for considerable journeys. These dogs have much resemblance to the wolf. .... Those born in winter enter on their training the following autumn, but are not used in long journeys until the third year. The feeding and training is a particular art, and much skill is required in driving and guiding. The besttrained dogs are used as leaders, and as the quick and steady going of the team, usually of twelve dogs, and the safety of the traveller, depend upon the sagacity and docility of the leader, no pains are spared in their education, so that they may always obey their master's voice, and not be tempted from their course when they come on the scent of game. .... In travelling across the wide tundra, in dark nights, or when the vast plain is veiled in impenetrable mist, or in storms or snow-tempests, when the traveller is in danger of missing the sheltering powarna, and of perishing in the snow, he will frequently owe his safety to a good leader. If the animal has ever been in this plain, and has stopped with his master at the powarna, he will be sure to bring the sledge to the place where the hut lies deeply buried in snow; when arrived at it he will suddenly stop, and indicate significantly the spot where his master must dig.'- Martin, pp. 110–113.
The Esquimaux dog is of very great use to the natives around Baffin's Bay. It provides them with clothing and food by the capture of the rein-deer, and, by its keen scent, detects the seals that lie concealed in holes under the ice of the lakes. The Esquimaux, in their summer excursions, load their dogs with provisions, &c., hung in paniers across the back, and in winter, harness them to the sledge.
In the dreary regions of Patagonia and Terra del Fuego, the savage inhabitants derive so much advantage from these animals in the guardianship of their huts, and in procuring their precarious supply of food, that they set a very high value upon them. So much is this the case, that in times of famine, they sacrifice old women and become cannibals, rather than destroy a single dog, for say they, 'Dogs catch otters; old women are good for nothing !
In Western Asia, the Turkoman hordes, and the wandering tribes of Persia, use a breed of wolf-like dogs for the guardianship of their flocks of sheep and cattle. The duties of these dogs are simply to watch over and protect the flocks.
A much more responsible office is intelligently filled by the shepherd's dog of this country, which gathers the wandering sheep, and drives them in the right direction. Buffon, with his usual inaccuracy of judgment and partiality for fanciful theories, was of opinion that the European shepherd's dog approached the nearest to the primitive type, and ought therefore to be regarded as the original species from whence all the present varieties have sprung. Mr. Martin well refutes this hypothesis, and we give his remarks, as they form an interesting description of some of the most important services rendered by the dog to his master :
• That Buffon's theory is altogether fanciful and erroneous, every naturalist of the present day will freely admit; so far from being the nearest to the original type of the dog, if great cerebral development and intelligence are to be received as tests of cultivation, we must regard the shepherd's dog as one of the most rernote of our breeds. ..... How this dog can become converted, as Buffon says, into the hound in temperate climates, into the greyhound and Danish dog in the east, and in the west into the mastiff and bull dog, is beyond our comprehension; for ourselves, we look upon the shepherd's dog, when pure, as it is in Scotland, and the wild hilly tracts of Northumberland, Cumberland, Derbyshire, etc., as the representative of a breed as distinct as that of the terrier or mastiff. .... Its powers of intellect are directed to one object, and, like its master, it is shrewd, prompt, and observant. Its eye, often overshadowed
by shaggy hair, is bright and sparkling; it understands every signal ; it obeys on the instant, and manages its work with marvellous tact and celerity. This done, it returns quietly to its master, with the air of one conscious of having done his duty. ...... Where flocks are of large extent, and have to be watched during the night, and in cases where several hundred weaning lambs, wild and capricious, demand the care of the shepherd pight and day--when winter storms of snow come on, and the scattered sheep have to be hastily collected and brought to a place of security, it is then that the shepherd feels to the full the value of his dog. A circuit of miles on the dreary hills or mountain-side, or over vast and trackless downs, has to be taken, and that without loss of time ; to the dog is this duty entrusted, and well does he perform his office; not a sheep belonging to his master's flock is missing-unless, indeed, any have been stolen or killed the whole are gathered together without intermixture with the sheep of other owners.'-Martin, pp. 132-134.
This description of the qualities of the shepherd's dog may be illustrated by a very interesting account of the important services rendered, on one occasion, to James Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, by his dog 'Sirrah.' It is given by Mr. Youatt:
On one night, a large flock of lambs that were under the Ettrick shepherd's care, frightened by something, scampered away in three different directions across the hills, in spite of all that he could do to keep them together. Sirrah,' said the shepherd, 'they're a' awa!'
• It was too dark for the dog and his master to see each other at any considerable distance, but Sirrah understood him, and set off after the fugitives. The night passed on, and Hogg and his assistant traversed every neighbouring hill in anxious but fruitless search for the lambs ; but he could hear nothing of them nor of the dog, and he was returning to his master with the doleful intelligence that he had lost all his lambs. On our way home, however,' says he,
we discovered a lot of lambs at the bottom of a deep ravine, called the Flesh Cleuch, and the indefatigable Sirrab standing in front of them, looking round for some relief, but still true to his charge. We concluded that it was one of the divisions which Sirrah bad been unable to manage, until he came to that commanding situation. But what was our astonishment when we discovered that not one lamb of the flock was missing! How he had got all the divisions collected in the dark, is beyond my comprehension The charge was left entirely to himself from midnight until the rising sun ; and, if all the shepherds in the forest had been there to have assisted him, they could not have effected it with greater promptitude. All that I can say is, that I never felt so grateful to any creature under the sun, as I did to my honest Sirrah that morning.' - Youatt, pp. 62, 63.
Mr. Hogg's experience taught him to believe that a single shepherd with his dog could accomplish more in gathering a fock of sheep, than twenty shepherds could do without dogs, and he further expresses the opinion that the additional cost which would be incurred, in the absence of these animals, by the employment of herdsmen to manage the sheep, to gather them from the hills, force them into houses and folds, and to drive them to markets, would be more than the profits of the whole flock would be capable of maintaining.
We have yet to refer to the invaluable services, rendered by the dog, in the preservation of human life. We might fill our pages with illustrative anecdotes. On many occasions, drowning men, apparently without the slightest prospect of deliverance, have been saved by the noble efforts of these faithful animals. In cases of shipwreck, when the sea has been rolling fearfully with the raging storm, the Newfoundland dog has fought his way through the waves, and fetching a rope from the vessel, has formed a communication between the despairing sailors and the shore-thus preserving them from destruction.
In addition to these instances, it is only necessary to mention Mount Saint Bernard, to recall to our readers a vivid recollection of the inestimable services rendered by the dogs of that frozen region. Mr. Youatt says :
On the top of Mount St. Bernard, and near one of the most dangerous passes, is a convent, in which is preserved a breed of large dogs trained to search for the benighted and frozen wanderer. Every night, and particularly when the wind blows tempestuously, some of these dogs are sent out. They traverse every path about the moun. tains, and their scent is so exquisite that they can discover the traveller, although he may lie many feet deep in the snow. Having found him, they set to work, and endeavour to scrape away the snow, uttering a deep bark that reverberates from rock to rock, and tells those who are watching in the convent that some poor wretch is in peril. Generally a little fask of spirits is tied round the neck of the animal, by drinking which the benighted traveller may recruit his strength, until more effectual rescue arrive. The monks hasten in the direction of the sound, and often succeed in re-kindling the vital spark before it is quite extinguished. Very many travellers have been thus rescued from death by these benevolent men and their intelligent and interesting quadruped servants.'— Youatt, p. 52.
One of these Bernardine dogs preserved the lives of not less than forty persons, and in consequence of his services received a medal as a badge of distinction, which was tied round his neck. He, at length, was killed by the fall of an avalanche, whilst he was engaged in his noble vocation. His form is preserved by a beautiful engraving, which represents him as saving a child which he had found in the Glacier of Balsore, and cherished and warmed, and induced to climb upon his shoulders, and thus preserved from, otherwise certain, destruction.'
The reference we have just made to the services rendered by the different species of dog naturally suggests the consideration of their mental faculties, without which those services would be impossible. To say that their conduct is the result of instinct,' is to make use of an unmeaning term, that gives no definite idea of the facts of the case. The dog is distinguished by its susceptibility of educational influences. It can acquire information, can act in unusual circumstances with remarkable sagacity, is affected by the various emotions displayed by its master, and can appreciate, in a remarkable degree, the connexion between certain causes and their effects. Its powers of memory include places, persons, time, and events; it displays anger and love, jealousy and joy, gratitude and revenge, a sense of responsibility, the feeling of shame, and love of approbation, together with a warmth of affection that ends only with death, a nobleness of disposition, and the forgiveness of injuries, that might almost justify its claim to the possession of virtue.
It would require much more space than we have at our command to do justice to this part of our subject. The works before us afford ample evidence that we have not over estimated the mental qualities of the dog. Of course, great variation, in this respect, is manifested by the different species, and even amongst individuals of the same race. The possession of intelligence is found to correspond with cerebral development. Amongst the spaniel tribe (of which the St. Bernard and New. foundland dogs are favourable examples), the brain is the largest. · The fact that dogs dream is a sufficient evidence that their mental capacity is very much superior to that of other animals. It may, perhaps, be questioned whether their visions consist of anything more than the memory of past occurrences, though we are ourselves disposed to think that the simple ideas received through the senses and impressed on the memory, recur during sleep, and form new combinations of fancied events.
Sir Walter Scott entertained the belief that dogs understand, to a great extent, human language in conversation. Dr. Gall held a similar opinion; and, in his work, Sur les Fonctions du Cerveau, makes the following statement: 'I have often spoken intentionally of objects which might interest my dog, taking care not to mention his name, or make any intonation or gesture which might awaken his attention. He, however, shewed no less pleasure or sorrow, as the case might be ; and, indeed, manifested by his behaviour that he had perfectly understood the conversation which concerned him.
An account which strikingly confirms Sir Walter Scott's opinion is furnished by Mr. Youatt. It is too long to be