Pets

by Robert Leighton

 

It is now some thirty years since an important controversy was carried on in the columns of The Live Stock Journal on the nature and history of the great Irish Wolfhound. The chief disputants in the discussion were Captain G. A. Graham, of Dursley, Mr. G. W. Hickman, Mr. F. Adcock, and the Rev. M. B.

The Bull-terrier is now a gentlemanly and respectably owned dog, wearing an immaculate white coat and a burnished silver collar; he has dealings with aristocracy, and is no longer contemned for keeping bad company. But a generation or two ago he was commonly the associate of rogues and vagabonds, skulking at the heels of such members of society as Mr. William Sikes, whom he accompanied at night on darksome business to keep watch outside while Bill was within, cracking the crib.

Away back in the 'seventies numbers of miners in Yorkshire and the Midlands are said to have possessed little wiry-coated and wiry-dispositioned red dogs, which accompanied their owners to work, being stowed away in pockets of overcoats until the dinner hour, when they were brought out to share their masters' meals, perchance chasing a casual rat in between times.

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