This section is from the book "Toy Dogs And Their Ancestors", by Neville Lytton. Also available from Amazon: Toy Dogs And Their Ancestors: Including The History And Management Of Toy Spaniels, Pekingese, Japanese, And Pomeranians.
The Pomeranian, the Hound, and the Sporting Spaniel are the oldest breeds, all existing in the Archaic period, and next to them comes the Maltese (proper) of 200 b.c.
Meyrick, 1841, says of the Pomeranian that he is a recent importation, that he has rather full eyes, and averages fourteen inches in height.
"The Pomeranian is certainly a pretty and graceful dog, but he has the disadvantage of being neither clever nor affectionate, and is, in addition, possessed of a yapping restlessness that makes him quite insupportable to most people."
Youatt speaks of the hare Indian dog. This is a lovely Pomeranian type, white with shadings of greyish black and brown, Mackenzie River and Great Bear Lake in North America were said to be its only habitat, no scent, sharp, elongated muzzle, very light on feet, erect ears, widened at the base, small and not capable of catching any big animal.
Sydenham Edwards, 1800, says: "The fox dog is common in Holland, noisy, artful, quarrelsome, cowardly, petulant, and deceitful. Snappish and dangerous to children and in other respects without useful qualities. He is named Kees in Holland, and the largest are used for draft Pale fallow colour, lightest on lower parts. White, some black, and few spotted."
Aelian's "Zoology"1 says:
"In India there is a creature very like a terrestrial crocodile. It is about the size of a little Maltese dog, and its skin is protected by a natural armour so thick and hard," etc.2
"I am now going to relate some wonderful examples of the extraordinary affection of dogs. . . . When his relatives placed Theodoras the harper in his tomb, his little Maltese dog, flinging itself into the coffin in which the corpse lay, was buried with its master." 3
I have heard that little Sicilian dogs are deadly enemies to adulterers and people of that sort.
"Now one day a woman who was entertaining an unlawful lover, heard her husband's footstep in the hall, and hid the lover, as she thought, in a recess completely out of sight. But although not only the most trusted of the servants, but even the door porters had been bribed and used to help their mistress to hide her nefarious doings, while they were in the confidence and the service of the lover, the woman herself was so flustered that she could not take all the necessary precautions, and her little dag betrayed the place where the adulterer was concealed by barking and scratching at the folding doors behind which he was lurking. This conduct alarmed the master of the house and made him suspect that something evil lay in hiding there; whereupon he threw open the doors and caught the intruder, who was waiting, sword in hand, for night time, to kill the husband and take the woman away with him as his wife."1
1 Translated from "Aeliani de Natura Animalium," Greek and Latin, edited by Rud. Hercher, Paris, 1858.
2 Book XVI, Section 6, second century a.d.
3 Book VII, Section 40.
Saint Clement of Alexandria says: Treatise on Education (Book III, Chapter 4, second century a.d.):
"The less dissolute (of these women) make pets of Indian birds and Median peacocks. . . And they would look down upon a modest widow and think her inferior to a little Maltese dog. They would scorn a good old man, who is worthy of more honour, if I mistake not, than any fantastic creature purchased with gold, and they would offer no shelter to an orphan child; but they take no end of trouble over rearing parrots. The children born within their walls they abandon and expose by the wayside, but they harbour any number of cocks and hens. In a word, they give senseless animals the preference over creatures endowed with reason." 2
1 Book VII, Section 25.
2 "Treatise on Education" Book III, Chapter IV (Type And Standards), second century A.D Translated from "S. dementis Alexandrini Paedagogos," edited by J. Potter, Oxford, 1715.
Aelian says:1 "Epaminondas, on his return from Lacedaemon, was summoned to a court of law to answer a charge involving the penalty of death because he had continued the command of the Theban army four months longer than he was legally authorized to do. He began his defence by begging those who had shared the command with him to lay all the blame on him because he had persuaded them to remain against their will. Then he took his place in the dock and said:' My actions are my best apology. If in your eyes they count for naught I am ready to suffer the punishment of death. But I claim, at the same time, that a monument shall be erected and on it these words shall be engraved: "Epaminondas forced the Thebans, although they resisted him desperately, to carry fire and sword into Lacedaemon, which, for five hundred years, no enemy had dared to penetrate, to rebuild Messene, which had been razed to the ground two hundred and thirty years before, to bring the Arcadians together again into a common territory; and last, but not least, to restore to the Greeks freedom to live according to their own laws." '
"The judges were ashamed of themselves, and acquitted him and let him go.
" As he was leaving the court a little Maltese dog came and fawned upon him, wagging its tail.
"' This animal,' said Epaminondas, ' is grateful for the good I have wrought, but the Thebans, to whom I have rendered the greatest services, would have put me to death' " 2
1'Historical Tales,' Book XIII, Chapter XL1 Pleasing Incident from the Life of Epaminondas, second century a.d. Translated from "Aeliana Varia Historia," Tauchnitz edition, 1829.
2 There is no evidence in the text that the dog belonged to Epaminondas.