Insist upon the specimen that you fondly hope will throw you a puppy that will win the challenge cup at the great club show possessing a short back. Do not be led away by the blandishments of those who fatuously urge the claims of the "big, roomy bitch." You are out to breed the ideal, therefore the closer you approach the ideal in your first venture the more successful the result.
The preponderating influence on the litter will be the immediate parents, so we should insist as far as maybe on both sire and dam approaching the ideal.
The fact that the father is a wellknown show specimen is not sufficient. He must possess distinctive characteristics, and he must be vigorous and masculine in a very large measure. Choose always the bold, positive dog, which appears full of fire and is of an indomitable temperament. Avoid as you would the plague the effeminate negative specimen, sans pluck and sans all else that go to make up energy and character.
All this may seem sufficiently formidable to the beginner, but the apprenticeship is not over long, nor the labour arduous. The outlay is ridiculously small, since the brilliant possibilities are by no means remote. The supply of the "best goods" is still tremendously below the demand, and three continents are bidding high for not merely the best, but for those that are nearest the best as well; and the demand in our own countries is still unexhausted.
By Gladys Beattie Crozier
Few people realise how simple and interesting a matter it is to teach a pet bird to perform tricks. The intelligence and docility of most of the feathered creation is amazing. The power of memory is very strong, the brain is highly developed, and patience and kindness soon achieve wonders.
Animal trainers for centuries have known this, but the average owner of a bird fails usually to realise the capabilities of her pet.
Madame Cardozo Clarence's little troupe of doves - one or two of which have been in training for as long as twenty years, and who have been taught all their tricks by means of patience and kindness alone - besides performing the see-saw and ladder tricks to perfection, ride bicycles, roll indiarubber balls covered with netting while perched on the top, race on a merry-go-round; mounted on horseback, and swing, in decorated rings. One of them even also plays living battledore and shuttlecock.
An animated race on a merry-go-round by doves. Patience and kindness are essential in teaching any performing birds
This very small dove perches upon a decorated battledore held by its mistress, who tosses it lightly into the air, receiving it gently on the battledore each time, as, with wings outstretched, it flutters down again.
The doves' performance winds up with a birthday party, at which the tea-table is decorated with coloured candles, a cloth is laid, and half a dozen birds sit round, eating what proves to be millet and sponge cake, from dolls' cups and saucers. The party winds up most realistically with the banishment of one small bird from the table to bed, for putting a claw on the cloth, and other misbehaviour. To the delight of the audience the scapegrace is dressed in a muslin night - gown, and tucked up in a doll's bed, where it lies most contentedly beneath an elaborate counterpane.
Watching these little performers, one realises that the number of tricks which a tame dove can learn is practically endless, provided one is prepared to repeat the new lesson once or twice a day, and constantly rehearse those which it has already mastered. It is also best not to attempt to teach more than one or two tricks to each individual bird, but to let a pair of birds each learn to perform different ones.
The merry-go-round on which a bird should perform is a very simple affair, consisting of a couple of galloping steeds cut from sheet tin, and provided with perches where the saddle would ordinarily be, and affixed to a crossbar which in its turn is fastened to the top of a wooden spool. The spool is wound up with a piece of string, and when this is pulled the horses chase each other swiftly round and round.
A flagstaff with a flag attached can be clamped on to the side of the table, to make a winning-post, and great excitement prevails amongst the juvenile audience when, having placed the birds on their perches, with the reins round their necks, Madame Cardozo Clarence pulls the string and away they go, whirling round and round, and then creeping along slower and slower until one stops just beside the winning-post.
The Windmill Trick is a very pretty one.
A living shuttlecock. The bird is tossed lightly into the air, and flutters gently down at once on to the outstretched battledore
It is performed with the help of a very simple apparatus which could easily be contrived at home. The dove sits on top of the large wheel, and, working it round and round with its feet, turns the coloured paper windmill at the side, and also winds up a wee basket full of artificial flowers. When the basket reaches the level of the table it is unhooked, and the nosegay is passed round for admiration amongst the audience.
During the violet season it would be a pretty idea to fill the basket with bunches of fresh violets, so that each onlooker might take one for a memento.
A bullfinch is another easily tamed bird. It is so affectionate and intelligent that it soon exhibits all sorts of pretty ways of its own which are easily transformed into tricks.
One bullfinch of the writer's acquaintance, which was allowed to fly about the house from room to room at will, and seldom returned to its cage, except for meals, grew so tame that when its mistress lay ill in bed for several weeks it seemed to realise that something was the matter. Fluttering down upon the counterpane, it would gently creep into her hand and lie there quietly for hours, with nothing but its head and bright eyes peeping out from between her forefinger and thumb. After she had recovered, it insisted upon taking its bath from the soap-dish in the bathroom every day when she took hers, making the most absurd splutter-ings and splashings at her side.
At night the door of its cage was always left open, and as soon as her early morning tea was brought in, the bird would flutter down on to her pillow and proceed to peck her gently until she awoke and rewarded it with a crumb or two of dry Osborne biscuit kept - as it well knew - especially for the purpose.
Another charming little "Bully" lived for two years in a London flat, and was one of the most entertaining of companions. He had his liberty most of the day and seldom abused it. He was an inveterate tease, and nothing delighted him more than to wait until the unsuspecting Scottie, who shared the flat with him, lay down for a nap. Then, with a swoop, Bully would tweak one of the shaggy hairs from the luckless sleeper's back and carry it off in triumph to a safe spot. He had many narrow escapes from the long-jawed Highlander, but never failed to make good his escape.
If he could take his bath in a dish containing a cabbage or lettuce in soak, he was supremely happy; he would use the vegetable as an island and make the most amusing dives therefrom. His affection for his owner was most marked, and he had as strong a dislike for certain other people. He would show his affection by ramming what he considered interesting objects between the lips of his beloved. When this took the form of blanket fluff when one was half asleep the compliment was a doubtful one.
An open window proved too great a temptation, and though his cage was hung outside for two days, he never returned to a household the duller for his absence. Let us hope no predatory cat had a voice in the matter, and that the gardens of a neighbouring legal
Inn sheltered him in peace.
A tame siskin makes a splendid playmate for an only child, for if a few hemp seeds are provided with which to tempt it, it will gladly play the part of passenger on a toy motor-'bus or train, and will perch on the top and proceed to pick up the tit-bits, fluttering its wings the while in order to keep its balance. The little vehicle can be drawn by a string swiftly along the floor.
This highly trained bird draws up a basket of flowers by working a small windmill - a pretty trick which always receives applause