The antiquity of the breed is undoubted. Watteau, Kneller, Vandyck knew it well, and painted it repeatedly ; but the Roman villas of Pompeii housed it long ages before, and no doubt fashionable Egyptian ladies voted it a " darling " earlier still.
An American writer is said to have given elaborate directions how to pick up one without breaking it, but this was an unworthy sneer. If not too much inbred, and suitably fed and cared for in a reasonably mild climate, the Italian greyhound is not too fragile. Of course, he is a delicately made toy, of rare grace and beauty, not a hardy terrier.
He should not exceed eight pounds, as a rule, in weight, and should be an exquisite miniature of the ordinary coursing greyhound, only on the finest and most delicate lines possible. Self-colours are preferred, especially golden fawn, but there are reds, creams, brindles, pieds, blacks, and whites also. He is no sportsman, but is a most gentle, peaceable, and loving little dog, purely a pet, and more of the lapdog than many an even smaller toy. He is peculiarly dainty in his habits and clean in his person.
From Belgium and its griffons to France and its papillons is no far cry, though, indeed, to be correct, Belgium is usually regarded as the fatherland of the little butterfly dog, owing to its being bred there in large numbers.
This engaging toy is sometimes called the squirrel spaniel, from its bushy tail, which should be carried in squirrel fashion over the back. The ears in one variety are the cause of the name papillon, for they are large and heavily feathered, and stand out from the head exactly like the wings of the butterfly. The illustration shows the drop-eared variety.
The pretty papillon was a favourite with beauties of long ago, for Madame de Pompadour owned a lovely little lady called Inez, and the hapless Marie Antoinette dearly loved the mignon breed. Fragonard, Boucher, and Watteau found the Court lapdog admirably fitted for their canvases, so he plays his doggish part in the shepherd scenes of those painters of an Arcadia that never existed.
His abundant silky coat may be various shades, usually of red, chestnut, or dark yellow, or white with patches of these colours.
His dark eyes beam with affection and intelligence, for he is no fool, but a sensible, alert little Gaul, who adapts himself to circumstances with true philosophy, and has the manners of his breeding.
Like many another aristocrat, a discreet hint as to name pronunciation will be advisable. Let the reader therefore say " chee-wa-wa," and all will at once recognise the animal in question.
That is if they are wise in dog-lore, for the Chihuahua is rarely seen in this country. The writer has known but two, one of which was worth more than its weight in gold, for it could stand on the palm of a man's hand. Indeed, said that full-grown dogs of this breed
known to scale only twenty-three ounces. A more usual weight, however, is from three to four pounds. In its native province of Chihuahua. Mexico, the dog is tiny. but bred in other lands, it 'degenerates " into a bigger, heavier type almost at once.
The Chihuahua, of Mexico, which can be bred so small as to stand on the palm of a man's hand
The Mexican hairless dog. a member of a curious and rarely seen species of dog. found only in certain countries
The Chihuahua is a game and intelligent little creature, and is said to run up trees with the agility of a squirrel. It is often white, but there is no restriction as to colour amongst its fanciers.
One mite, presented to Madame Adeline Patti by the then President of Mexico inside a bouquet, was black and tan. Some specimens are a beautiful and curious blue with tan points. As with many foreign breeds which have not as yet become popular here, the long quarantine enforced upon imported dogs makes it almost impossible to risk importing delicate toys especially from widely different climates.
This animal is, to English eyes at lea-not attractive, though to the naturalist it presents a problem full of interest. Hairless dogs are found not only in Mexico, but also in parts of Africa, the West Indies, and China, and vary much in both looks and size. Some are well shaped. on the lines of the black-and-tan terrier or whippet, and others are clumsy, heavylegged dogs, apt to grow ungainly and fat.
In weight, too, these dogs are found to vary from five to twenty-five pounds. When so large as this last weight they are decidedly ugly.
Some are quite hairless, others have a tuft on the tail and a crest between the ears. When crested the hair is usually silky, and often silvery in colour, corresponding more or less with the colour of the dog's skin.
The skin is most delicate in texture, and blisters easily in the sun. Its colour varies - black, slaty blue, pink, or mottled, or spotted.
Some breeds are very intelligent and game, others are dull and stupid. Some bark not at all, others are exceedingly noisy. But as natural phenomena all are most interesting, for little is known of their origin.
It is to be hoped that at no distant date zoologists will present to our great gardens in Regent's Park specimens of the native dogs of the lands they visit. A good example might be found in the extraordinary hairless, crested dog of China. The Congo districts of Africa and the Soudan also have interesting native dogs. One, a pointer-like bitch called " Soudanese Alice," was a feature of the great Kennel Club Show of 1911.
The Dingo sometimes called the warrigal. Strange to say, this was the name given to it by the natives of Australia, while dingo was the name they applied to their conquerors' domesticated dogs - a curious perversion.
" Myall," an Australian dingo. This species is peculiar to the Australian continent, and is thought to be the original wild dog Sport and General
Like the hairless dogs, the dingo is interesting to more than the " doggy," for he is probably the only true wild dog existing. Of course, there are other wild dogs, but this is probably the original pure type. It may have come over in prehistoric ages with Malay settlers from Asia, as Dr. Wallace and other learned men assert; certainly it is now confined to Australia, and is not even to be found in Tasmania.
Alas ! " yellow dog Dingo," who ran that famous race with old man Kangaroo in the beginning of things, as described by Mr. Kipling, seems doomed to extinction if he does not mend his manners. His early depredations in the sheepfolds led to baits of strychnined meat and a Government grant of five shillings for every tail, and now specimens are most rare. Mr. Robert Leighton aptly terms him the " larrikin of Australian animals," and as, unfortunately, it is easier to abolish the canine larrikin than the human, the dingo is practically confined to the Zoological Gardens.
Mr. H. C. Brooke, who has kept and bred these dogs successfully, gives them an excellent character for intelligence and gameness, and finds that they can be domesticated very easily. They are not treacherous, he asserts, and can be taught what is required of them.
In captivity and association with other dogs they learn to bark in a queer fashion of their own, though their natural note is a curious, but not wolf-like, howl.
In appearance dingoes somewhat resemble the wolf, as do all wild dogs, but they are handsome animals, about twenty-two inches at the shoulder, and of a reddish-brown colour. White on feet or the tip of the tail is looked on with disfavour as showing a cross of sheepdog blood. The Zoological Gardens, London, usually possess one or two of the breed, and a talk with their keeper will elicit much valuable information as to their ways and habits. It would be a thousand pities, from the naturalist's point of view, if the breed were suffered to share the fate of so many of the most ancient types of animal life, such as the dodo, the great auk, and quagga.
Surely, in so vast a continent as Australia, the example of America might be followed, and a tract be set apart for the preservation of the strange and interesting fauna of this wonderful land. If this should come to pass, then the disappearing dingo might be rescued from the annihilation which now threatens him, and which, according to those who know him best, he does not merit. We all know the result of giving a dog a bad name, and the dingo is no exception to this merciless rule.
In conclusion, two anecdotes, vouched for by Mr. Brooke, may be quoted.
A pair of dingoes have been known to pass through a flock of unshorn sheep, leaving them untouched, to reach a flock of shorn ones in an inner fold which they could more easily worry.
The first time Myall (the dog illustrated) was shown in England he received a serious bite in the forefoot, which was attended to by Mr. Cawdle. Each morning when this gentleman approached the kennel Myall put out his paw that he might examine it. Surely such intelligence is worth training to good ends.
Photo, Elwin Neame
Mademoiselle Aline Vallandri, the famous cantatrice, whose operatic successes are scarcely more renowned than the phenomenal beauty of her golden locks. An interesting and useful article on the care of the hair, contributed by Mademoiselle Vallandri, appears in the following pages.
Photo, Dover Street Studios