This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
Dogs have been frequently trained to act roguish parts.
An English officer visiting Paris, was annoyed one day by having a little poodle run up to him and rub his muddy paws over his boots. Near at hand was seated a shoeblack, to whom he went to have his boots repolished. Having been annoyed in a similar manner by the same dog, several times in succession, he watched the animal, when he observed him dip his paws in the mud on the banks of the Seine, and then go and rub them on the boots of the best-dressed people passing at the time.
Discovering at length that the dog belonged to the shoeblack, the gentleman questioned the man, who confessed that he had taught the dog the trick in order to bring business to himself. “And will you part with your clever dog?” asked the gentleman. The shoeblack consented, and a price was fixed upon and paid. The dog accompanied his new master to London, and was shut up for some time, till it was believed that he would remain contentedly in the house. No sooner, however, did he obtain his liberty, than he decamped; and a fortnight afterwards he was found with his former master, pursuing his old occupation.
This story shows the difficulty of getting rid of bad habits, and proves that as dogs have been trained, so will they—as well as children—continue to act. The poor poodle, however, knew no better. He was faithful to his former master, and thought that he was doing his duty. But boys and girls do know perfectly well when they are acting rightly or wrongly, and should strive unceasingly to overcome their bad habits.