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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Saturday, March 02, 2013

a missionary dog

This is a tale by Harrison Weir of a dog embarking on good works.  It's from a very pretty children's book called My Pet's Album, one of those late 19th-century improving works of literature for young minds and souls.  Apparently there really were reports of a white bull terrier named Jowler in Cheshire, England that collected for the Missionary Society.  This fits, I think, with the particular flavor of evangelic fervor at the time: involved in walking the walk as well as talking the talk (or barking the bark, I suppose).
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THIS is . . . Jowler, a clever dog, who used to collect subscriptions for foreign missions in a little village in Cheshire. At a missionary meeting held there, it was stated by one of the speakers that he had collected more than thirty-three shillings. This seems very funny, and some persons would scarcely believe it; but I will tell you how he went to work. He had a small basket given him which he carried in his mouth, and every one in the village knew his peculiar knock and bark. As soon as the door was opened, Jowler would bark, and wag his tail, and there he would remain till some money was put in his basket. Many people thus subscribed to the missions, who would perhaps in no other way have been induced to do so. Surely Jowler was one of the "Try" company, and a good example to many who never think of doing any good at all in the world. If Jowler, with his missionary basket, were to stand by the side of some of the lazy boys and girls I have known, I think they would be ashamed of their indolence.

Harrison Weir, "Jowler, the Missionary Dog," in My Pet's Album (London: S.W. Partridge and Company, 1872), p. 158.

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