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Washington, United States
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 !

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

a (too) well trained terrier, 1804

In which a cute running gag about a money-grubbing dog goes a few shillings too far. . .
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The late Mr. William Taylor, who kept the Marlborough Head public-house in Bishopsgate-street, had a very small Terrier Dog, which had been so well instructed to notice money wherever he found it, that the writer observes, he has frequently seen the master strew a handful of halfpence on the floor or table, before the Dog, and desire him to be careful. The animal would then instantly fill his mouth, and scrape the rest with his fore paws under his breast; clearly indicating how zealous he was to protect the property his master was so fond of. If a halfpenny was thrown by any of the guests through an iron grating in the parlour, communicating to the cellar, the Dog would immediately dart down stairs, and return not till he found it.
Once, when his master was particularly busy with a gentleman in the parlour, the Dog came to him in a very importunate manner, scratched his feet, whined, and made every effort in his power to attract his master's notice, but without effect; as he was then so deeply engaged in conversation, as to be quite insensible of his faithful servant's gestures, until at length, recovering from his reverie, he involuntarily looked down, when, to his great astonishment, he found his faithful little Dog closely guarding a small dirty bag, which, on opening, he found it to contain fourteen shillings and ninepence, which no doubt had been the property of some poor person; but from whence the Dog brought the hoard the master could never discover.

From Joseph Taylor, The general character of the dog: illustrated by a variety of original and interesting anecdotes (London: Darton and Harvey, 1804) pp. 144-6

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