This section is from the book "The Book Of Dogs - An Intimate Study Of Mankind's Best Friend", by Ernest Harold Baynes, Louis Agassiz Fuertes . Also available from Amazon: The Book of Dogs: An Intimate Study of Mankind's Best Friend.
Everybody, of course, knows the story of the little wire-haired terrier that was the favorite of King Edward VII of Great Britain. On his collar was the inscription "I am Caesar, and I belong to the King." When that sovereign died, his favorite charger and his best loved dog marched in the procession just behind the King's coffin. Each was led by a Highlander, and Caesar took precedence over nine kings and nearly all the princes of the earth (see page 94).
Pompey, a spaniel, "adopted a prince." He attached himself to the suite of William the Silent, in spite of all the efforts of the prince's retainers. Later he gave warning of a surprise attack on his royal master's camp in time to thwart it, and was credited by his sovereign with having saved his life. On the monument of William the Silent, at the Church of St. Ursula, in Delft, Pompey is carved lying at his master's feet.
In all dogdom there are no more interesting animals than those of the Polar regions. The man who observed that dogs make the Northern world go round told a big story in little compass. So important are their services that the Commander of the Department of the Columbia recommended some time ago that a system of pensions for those in the employ of the Government be established.
Discussing the subject, he said that during a tour of inspection he was distressed by the present practice of turning the old and disabled dogs adrift. "They afford the only line of communication between many of the army posts," said he, "there being three hundred of them constantly in the service".
The man who has been served faithfully by one of these animals cannot have the heart to kill him, and yet it is an expensive business keeping dogs that cannot make their way in such regions.
Is a Pole to be discovered, man stands powerless before the ice and the snow without the dogs of the North. Is an expedition to reach the interior of a bleak region in dead of winter to rescue some hapless explorer or pioneer, or to help an ice-besieged population fight an epidemic of fever or smallpox, then the sleds and the dogs make the trip possible.
A Young Game-Keeper And His Nine Assistants: Aberfoyle, Scotland.
Photograph by William Reid.
These magnificent hunting dogs of the Highlands are natives of the Rob Roy country. In death as well as in life, the dog serves his master during the world war, dog-fur and dog-skin were in constant demand. American aviators on the Western Front were supplied with coats made of Chinese dog-skin, as these were found to be warmer, lighter, and more durable than any others.
During the winter of 1917 wolf tracks were observed leading from the south shore of Lake Superior across the ice to Grand Island, one of the finest game preserves east of the Mississippi. Several days later some carcasses of deer were found, and a trap was placed near the remains. The next day one of the game protectors found an animal struggling in the trap and he killed it before having a chance to examine the animal. While looking much like a timber wolf, the hair was longer and finer, the legs and tail being feathered much like that of a collie dog. It is the opinion of those examining the mounted specimen that it was a hybrid of dog and wolf. The animal accompanying it was undoubtedly a timber wolf. Photograph and note by George Shiras, 3rd.
In some parts of the Frozen North dogs are laden with packs instead of hitched to sleds, and it is surprising what burdens they can bear. Stefansson often used dogs in this way.
Many a traveler has told of the dread of dogs for rushing waters, and has recited how, as they approach the icy torrent of a mountain stream, they make the welkin ring with their dismal howling.
But once across, the dismal howl is succeeded by the joyous bark, and it is said to be one of the striking incidents of the wilderness of frost to hear half a pack on one side of a stream lugubriously bemoaning the ordeal ahead and the half pack on the other side gleefully celebrating a safe passage.