From an article titled "Wonderful Dogs" in a 19th-century collection of odd and unusual facts, a story to warm the heart on a Friday or any day:
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Our last extract is a remarkable instance of a man's gratitude to his dog for faithful services. It is from the will of Samuel Trevithuan, of the parish of Padstow, in Cornwall, carpenter, dated Nov. 26th, 1729. The will is now in the Registry of the Consistorial Court of the Bishop of Exeter:—
"Item.—I do give unto my dear wife or my daughter, or to whose hands soever he may come, one shilling and sixpence weekly, for the well-treating my old dog, that has been my companion through thick and thin almost these fifteen years. The first time that ever he was observed to bark was when that great eclipse was seen, April 22nd, 1715. I say, I do give one shilling and sixpence a week, during his life, for his well-meating, fire in the winter, and fresh barley-straw now and then, to be put in his old lodging, in the middle cage, in the old kitchen, to be paid out of my chattel estate, and forty shillings a year that I reserved to make me a freeman of the county; desiring and requiring all people and persons whomsoever, not to hurt or kill him that hath been so good a servant of a dog, for sense and tractableness to admiration."
from The world of wonders: a record of things wonderful in nature, science and art (London, Paris & New York: Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co, 1883) part I p. 39