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.
Maitland, the historian of London, (1739 edition, page 791) tells the story as I have given it with the addition that the pedlar left the piece of land to the parish on condition that his portrait and that of his dog should be perpetually preserved in painted glass in one of the windows of the church. I cannot say whether this be true or not, but such is the legend, and there is the painted window with the portrait of the man and dog, as evidence still remaining.
The following story about a Mastiff appeared in the Glasgow Chronicle: Early one Sunday morning some thieves attempted to enter the premises of Messrs. McLeod and Pollock, Argyle street, Glasgow, jewellers, by breaking through the sky-light. The building was one story high and it was comparatively easy to get on to the roof. About two o'clock a. m. Mr. McLeod, who resided in the back of the premises, was awakened by the action of his watch dog. The animal did not bark, but jumped upon the bed and continued scratching with his forepaws until his master rose up. The dog then uttered a low growl and looked towards the roof, as if anxious to draw his master's attention to that particular quarter. Immediately afterwards a small piece of glass fell on the floor, and on Mr. McLeod looking up he could see a man furtively moving on the roof; the police were informed and effected an arrest of the intruding burglar, through the warning given by the dog and before he had time to conceal himself or make good his retreat.
In Mr. St. John's "Highland Sports," there is the following characteristic anecdote of a shepherd's dog: "A shepherd, a neighbour of mine, to prove the quickness of his dog, who was lying before the fire in the farmhouse kitchen where we were talking, one day, said to me in the middle of a conversation about quite a different matter, 'I'm thinking, sir, the cow's got into the potatoes,' though he purposely laid no stress on these words, and said them in a quiet, unconcerned tone of voice, the dog, who appeared to be asleep, immediately jumped up, leaped through the open window and scrambled up the turf roof of the house, from which he could see the potato field. Not seeing her there, he then ran into the farm yard, and finding her there, all right, came back to the house. After a time the shepherd said the same words again, and the dog repeated his look out, but on the false alarm being given a third time, the dog got up and wagging his tail, looked his master full in the face with such a comical expression of inquiry, that we could not refrain from laughing heartily, on which with a slight growl he laid himself down again to sleep in his accustomed place on the hearth rug, with an offended air, as if determined not to be made a fool of again".
Most people who know anything about dogs, or doggy people, know Mr. George Raper, one of the most popular and capable all-round judges we have, but they do not all know what a very lively and active man he is. In my long experience as an exhibitor, I have often found myself in his company in different parts of the country, and usually he has had some good story to tell, or amusing thing to do. I remember, on one occasion, when we and a number more were staying at an hotel in South Wales, I forget now whether it was Haverfordwest, Pembroke or Tenby, but I think it was one of those three, how he astonished an old gentleman (not the least doggy or sporting in his appearance), by his agility. We were talking in the bar parlour of the hotel about vaulting, and in the room there was the ordinary high and wide pewter covered counter, or bar. I said, "I suppose you would not attempt to negotiate such an article as that? "Mr. Raper said, "I should have a good try at it," and without saying more, he stepped back, placed his hand on the centre of the counter, vaulted over, and then vaulted back again; the old gentleman, who was sitting down quietly having some refreshment, jumped up and said, "Bless my heart and soul, sir, I never saw such a thing done in my life!" which made us all laugh heartily.
Captain Brown, in his "Popular Natural History," tells the following story of those formerly much to be pitied animals, the dogs utilized as "Turnspits".
"The Duke de Leancourt had for the work in his kitchen two Turnspits, which took their turns, regularly, every other day in the wheel (something after the style of the revolving cages for squirrels and mice). One of them not liking his employment, hid himself on the day it was his turn to work, when they tried to force his companion to mount the wheel in his stead, he cried, and wagging his tail, intimated to those in authority to follow him. He at once conducted them to an upstairs lumber room, where he dislodged the idle dog, and gave him a good thrashing on the spot".
In Mr. Baker's "Rifle and Hound in Ceylon," he says: "I was once shooting at Illepecadewe, which is a lonely, miserable spot, when I met with a very sagacious and independent sportsman in a most unexpected manner. I was shooting with a friend and we had separated for a few hundred paces. Presently I came upon a lot of Pea fowl and killed one of them with my rifle. The shot was no sooner fired than I heard another shot in the jungle, in the direction taken by my friend. My rifle was still unloaded when a spotted doe bounded out of the jungle, followed by a white Pariah dog in full chase. Who would have dreamt of meeting with a dog at a distance of more than three or four miles from any houses! I whistled to the dog, and to my surprise he came to me, the deer having, meanwhile, run clean out of sight in an incredibly short space of time. He was a knowing looking brute, and evidently out hunting on his own account. Just at this moment, my friend called out to me that he had wounded a buck, and had found the blood-stained track.
I picked a blade of grass from the spot, which was tinged with blood, and holding it to the dog's nose, he eagerly followed me to the track, upon which I dropped it.