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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 !

Thursday, January 02, 2014

the barbet: a quite biased summary

From an 1857 book by a gentleman looking to instruct and amuse his young son on the subject of all dogs:
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The Barbet is a small Poodle, obtained from a cross-breed with the Poodle and some other kind of Spaniel. It has all the sagacity of the Poodle, and will perform even more than his tricks. It is always in action; always fidgetty; generally incapable of much affection, but inheriting much self-love and occasional ill temper; unmanageable by any one but its owner; eaten up with red mange; and frequently a nuisance to its master and a torment to every one else.
 I recollect a story of a dog of this kind, which I will tell you. In a convent in France it was the custom to give a dinner to twenty poor people daily. The portions were served to each individual on his ringing a bell in a "tour," or turning machine, which did not show the person who moved it. A dog who was in the habit of following the paupers to their dinner, but who only received scraps, and sometimes nothing at all, had observed the mode by which they obtained their food; and one day, after they had all retired, he took the rope in his mouth and rang the bell; a portion appeared as usual; and, as he found the scheme succeed, he repeated the manoeuvre the next day. The cook, finding one applicant more than the number allowed, lay in wait and discovered the trick of the dog. The matter was represented to the committee, who were so pleased with the sagacity of the animal, that he was allowed to receive his dinner every day on ringing the bell for it.
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Pardon, George Frederick, 1824-1884. DogsLondon: J. Blackwood & co, 1857,  pp. 113-4.
Where did Pardon get this odd, nasty summing-up of an innocent dog?  I did find a current top-ten of why you might not find a Barbet ideal, but it's only making the breed look like any good loving furry dog.  

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