From the January 1898 issue of Sports Afield (Vol. XX, No. 1), in the "Our Friend the Dog" department: a very friendly, likeable letter to fellow readers, including mention of a long-awaited setter pup. By the way, note that this gentleman has no problem mentioning he still has his childhood toy. How cool is that?
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Do you own a dog? Did you ever own one? Well I do and have owned more or less of them ever since I can remember.
The first dog I ever owned was when I was a very little "tot" hardly old enough to toddle. It was a little wooden dog, painted black, one ear was badly chewed up, not from fighting, but from the fact that I used it to cut teeth on; but, as I look at it now (I still have it as a relic of childhood days) I am inclined to believe the teeth must have been pretty well advanced. I think it was a "house dog" and a great favorite at that, for it was allowed to sit on the mantle, table, bed or most anywhere I happened to leave it.
One day I came to the conclusion that my doggie needed fresh air, so I climbed on a chair and reached for his dogship, but I must have made a miscalculation some where, for just as I put my hand on the dog, the chair tipped and down came I, doggie and all, including a valuable vase; as a result, I carried a red bump on my head for several days, and the poor dog had his head knocked off; but we stuck it on with glue and he didn't seem to mind it at all. The vase was forever beyond repair.
At present I am the possessor of two real live dogs. One is a genuine fullblooded Gordon setter and goes (and comes also) by the name of "Jeff." The other is a genuine full-blooded mongrel known as "Nat." Both are leaders of canine society and also seem popular with the common dogs of the neighborhood. Jeff is a dark complected dog, of medium size and splendid disposition. Nat is more of a fawn color, rather below medium height, but also of good disposition.
It would take twenty-five dollars to buy one (although he isn't worth twenty cents) but money couldn't buy the other. I have at different times been the owner of several bird dogs but none of them ever suited me as well, or gave as good satisfaction as Jeff.
As a rabbit dog Nat is good enough for me; Nat is also an excellent watchdog. If it came to a test I believe that either would fight to the death in defense of their master.
I have lately bargained for the purchase of a fine English setter puppy, which I hope to successfully train as a companion and successor to Jeff.
Get thyself a dog!
Morris Browning Rice, Rinloch, Missouri.
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