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.
I think it was in May, 1881, I sustained one of my severest losses in connection with dogs. I was at that time owner of a very well-known and high class, all white, medium-sized Bull Bitch, which I called "Lady Rozelle" (her portrait appears in one of the illustrations to this book, as well as that of my Smooth Collie Bitch, "Lady Nellie," even more celebrated in her own line) and had taken a great number of prizes at all the leading shows. I was anxious to take just one more, the gold medal of the Bull Dog Club. She had already taken both the bronze and silver medals, and I then intended her to rest on her laurels, as I have always endeavoured to let any of my great prize winners end their days in peace and comfort, free from the fatigue and excitement of shows and never like to see animals which have done good service for their owners, hacked about in Variety and Selling classes, all over the country. The weather when I travelled to Aldridge's, St. Martin's Lane, where the Bull Dog Club's show was to be held, was very warm and sultry, and on arrival at Paddington, I had her box put on the roof of a cab and run over to the show, but on its being opened there, as it happened, by my old friend, Mr. J. W. Berrie, then, as now, the president of the Bull Dog Club, I think everyone present was horrified to find my beautiful bitch actually stone dead, and from the appearance of the body, should think the heat must have brought on an apoplectic seizure and death must have been very sudden.
Of course, as is usual in such cases, I had someone at the time anxious to purchase her at, what was then thought, a very long price, £250.
Dogs have played important parts in the superstitions of ages now happily passed away. When the dog howled at the gate, it used to be alleged that one of the family was to die. Old women suspected of being witches because they were infirm and stricken with poverty were supposed to always have either a cat or dog, said to be their "Familiar" and through whom they could be enabled to commune with the Spirit of Darkness. To meet a black dog on a dark or stormy night was deemed a very unlucky sign; dogs were said to be possessed by evil spirits, and to haunt the wicked and in more than one story the evil one himself has been stated to have taken the form of the faithful friend and companion of man. I will conclude these anecdotes about dogs with the following excellent advice given by the latewell-known sportsman, the Hon. Grantley Berkeley, in the pages of "The Field," more than forty years since: "Before you chastise a dog, be not only sure that he is in fault, but also ascertain that he himself understands in what respect he has done wrong. Take care not to punish him so severely that terror and pain combined obliterate the why and the wherefore from the sufferer's recollection, if you do, you cowe the dog, without amending his manners.
To teach tricks to dogs, (in the general way, and, unless they are dogs belonging to those whose living is to be earned by the employment of performing dogs,) either with cards, numbers, or letters, is infinitely beneath a sportsman, as well as insulting to the useful and thinking capabilities of the canine race!"