This section is from the book "All About Dogs - A Book For Doggy People", by Charles Henry Lane. Also available from Amazon: All About Dogs: A Book For Doggy People.
They begged me to accompany some of their men in search of the dog, as he might be easier caught if he saw someone he knew amongst those after him.
Soon after it began to rain, and from soon after eleven a. m. till after six p. m. we tramped the country in search of the wandering dog, whom we afterwards saw in the distance, but in that district the fields are very large, and often as we laboriously got into a field through a hedge or over hurdles, etc., we had the mortification of seeing the dog disappear through or over the hedge on the opposite side, and very wearisome work it was.
At length I decided to go on to Oxford, with the rest of my dogs, and left the matter of the lost dog with the railway company, who, I was informed, offered a reward for his recovery, and about a month afterwards I had a letter asking me to call at one of their stations where they thought a dog lately found answered the description of mine. This turned out to be correct and I took home the dog, making a small claim for expenses I had been put to in the matter. The dog was not in bad condition, and still wore the collar and chain on him when lost, but it is strange how that dog managed to live for a month in such a sparsely inhabited district as that round about Didcot, at any rate at that time, which is about fifteen years ago.
I have been asked to reproduce a humourous "skit," which appeared in "The Daily Mail" 9th of July, 1897, from the pen of a well-known contributor to that paper. It was headed "A Ladies' Dog Show," and ran as follows: "Seven gentle ladies were yesterday to be observed walking gravely in a circle in Regents Park. They each led a Black Pug by a chain. They walked round and round a ruddy old gentleman with keen blue eyes, a shepherd's smock, and a slouched straw hat. Three partridge feathers stuck out jauntily from the side of the hat. The ladies cast appealing looks at the shepherd, who stared hard at the insignificant little wretches of dogs, one of whom barked all the while, but he did not heed it. The march became quicker; the ladies looked more appealing than ever. A crowd gathered around and observed the strange proceedings with wonder. What was it? they asked. A new system of Pantheistic worship? or a side show from a menagerie? The shepherd put up his hand and the ladies stopped, dead. He threw down his glittering pencil to attract the notice of one of the glossy little Pugs. The Pug snapped. He caught it by the head, and stared hard in its ridiculous little face. The dog chastened by the keen blue eyes, ceased to yelp.
The proud proprietor at the other end of the chain, looked as anxious as a criminal in the dock. The other ladies made the most of this moment of respite. They patted their dogs and kissed them, and told them to be good little duckies of doggies, and mamma would be so pleased! One tempted her charge with a biscuit, another with half a crown. The coin was held up above the dog's nose. Doggie jumped, and scrambled and yelped just like any of its human acquaintances. The shepherd looked at each dog in turn, and wrote something in a book, and then seven ladies and seven dogs left the ring. One lady looked pleased, another fairly satisfied and the rest as if somebody had blundered. The Pugs were all indifferent. But the secret was out, there were no mysterious rites of an Esoteric creed. It was a dog show, that of the 'Ladies' Kennel Association.' They have survived their internecine troubles, and have more members than they had before that dramatic split at the Holborn restaurant and boast of more entries at this show than ever they had before. Between seven hundred and eight hundred dogs are staged. At a Ladies' Show it is to be expected that some of the conventionalities will be overthrown.
There are, for instance, no men prowling about, with cloth caps, buckskin leggings, and wisps of straw, telling you that their Terrier killed fifty rats in thirty seconds or that 'the Brindled Bull was own sister to the best dawg that was ever bred.' The exhibitors are ladies, elegantly dressed, who sit and listen to the band with their Pugs and Spaniels, on their knees. It is the same with the dogs, there are no sporting dogs, to speak of, though the number is increasing year by year and not half a score of Bull Dogs. Such as there are, a little aristocracy of bone and jowl lie at rest in a distant corner of the tent not deigning to notice the Poodles around. Near them are a few Airedale Terriers. One of them, which would be in its element in a rattling street fight, stretched to the top of its pen, looked over at the 'curled darlings' on the other side, deliberately yawned and turned over again to sleep. There is a whole tent full of Toy Spaniels and other exquisites in upholstered pens. They have ribbons round their necks, and bells and go about two to the pound. The Poodles are curled and shaven and shorn, and decked out with top-knots of coloured ribbons.
One which lay asleep was described as a ' Rag and a Bone, and a Hank of Worsted.' Two Poodle puppies, not yet shorn, looked refreshingly unkempt by the side of these ultra-respectable Uncles and Aunts. A litter of Dachshunds resembled lion cubs asleep. The foreign class which is both strong and varied, provided an amusing contrast. In one pen was a huge shaggy 'Balu,' in the next a shivering little ' Mousie Chihuahua/ whatever that may be! 'Balu' could have taken 'Mousie' among his hors d'oeuvres before dinner. Chows with big heads and wee twinkling eyes. Borzois trying to twist their legs into geometrical figures; an Esquimo asleep; a vicious Dingo in a cage. St. Bernards which made the tent quiver, when they barked and Bloodhounds sleeping serenely, there being no murderers about, these were the Giants of the show. If not as numerous, certainly they were a more weighty section than the Toy Spaniels. The Princess of Wales was among the exhibitors. If anyone wants to see a good collection of 'Japs' and 'Poms' and 'Skyes' and 'Dachs' and 'Charlies,' so the ladies tenderly call them, at Regents Park, he will find them".