This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
I have told you of Tyrol, who used to ring the bell; I will now describe another dog named Dash, who was still more clever. When any of the servants of the family had to sit up for their master or mistress, and fell asleep in their chair, scarcely would they have settled themselves when the parlour bell would be heard to ring. They were greatly puzzled to account for this, and in vain attempted to solve the mystery.
Dash was a black and white spaniel, who was generally considered a fairly clever dog, but not suspected of possessing any unusual amount of knowingness. He never failed, when his master told him to get anything, to find it and lay it at his feet. If one glove was missing, and the other shown to him, he was sure to hunt about till he discovered it.
One morning a person arrived with a letter before breakfast, to be delivered into the hands of Dash’s master. The man was shown into the parlour, where he was about to sit down, when his ears were saluted by a growl, and there was Dash, seated in a chair near the fireplace. The dog was within reach of the ring of the bell-pull, and whenever the man attempted to sit down, Dash put up his paw on the ring and growled again. At length the stranger, curious to see what the dog would do if he persevered, sat down in a chair. Dash, on this, instead of flying at the man, as some stupid dogs would have done, pulled the bell-rope, and a servant coming in on the summons, was greatly astonished when the man told him that the dog had rung the bell.
Thus the mystery which had long puzzled him and his fellow-servants was explained. On comparing notes, they recollected that whenever the bell sounded, Dash was not to be seen; and there could now be no doubt that immediately he observed them closing their eyes, he had hastened off to the parlour, the bell-rope of which he could easily reach, in order to rouse them to watchfulness.
In corroboration of this account, my friend Mrs F— mentioned the case of a Newfoundland dog, which was one day accidentally shut up in the dining-room, when the family were out. He scratched at the door and whined loudly for a length of time; but though the servants heard him, they paid no attention. At length, as if the thought had suddenly occurred to him that whenever the bell was rung the door was opened, he actually rang the bell right heartily. A servant instantly obeyed the summons, when out sprang the dog, wagging his tail with delight at the result of his sagacious experiment, and leaving the man in amazement at finding no person in the room.