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The Spaniel Dog
( Originally Published 1894 )
There are many varieties of the Spaniel of which the Water Spaniel, the King Charles Spaniel, the Blenheim and the Maltese Spaniels are the best known. The Water Spaniels figure on some of the later monuments of Rome and so prove their antiquity. Colonel Smith describes the Spaniel as a small setter, with silky hair and fine long villous ears; black, brown pied, liver coloured, white and blackand-white, the water spaniel differing from the other species chiefly in his readiness to hunt and swim in the water and the hair being somewhat harder to the touch. The spaniel has a great affection for his master and is never tired of testifying his appreciation of his kindness. Colonel Smith mentions a dog allied to the spaniel race, who at the time of his writing (April 1840) had been lying on the grave of his mistress for three days, refusing all food, and was on that day being forcibly removed. Spaniels are often very intelligent, displaying the same sagacity as other and larger dogs and in the same way. Mr. Jesse mentions a King Charles spaniel who was locked by his master in a room in Vere St. Clare Market, one afternoon about half past five, while he went with his family to Drury Lane theatre. About eight o'clock in the evening the dog escaped his confinement and found his way to the theatre where he discovered his master in the midst of the pit, though it was crowded at the time. The Blenheim spaniel is similar to the King Charles breed, though somewhat different in its markings, fuller about the muzzle and. shorter in the back. Blenheims have been known to show great intelligence and affection. A story is told of one' who upon being attacked by two cats, obtained the assistance of a third cat, waylaid his enemies one at a time and, with the assistance of his friend, taught them better manners. The Maltese dog is another favourite species, much admired and petted by ladies.
Captain Brown gives the following from a letter of the water written by a gentleman at Dijon in France, to Spaniel. his friend in London, dated August 15, 1764: "Since my arrival here a man has been broken on the wheel, with no other proof to condemn him than that of a water-spaniel. The circumstances attending it being so very singular and striking, I beg leave to communicate them to you. A farmer, who had been to receive a sum of money, was waylaid, robbed, and murdered, by two villains. The farmer's dog returned with all speed to the house of the person who had paid the money, and expressed such amazing anxiety that he would follow him, pulling him several times by the sleeve and skirt of the coat, that, at length, the gentleman yielded to his importunity. The dog led him to the field, a little from the roadside, where the body lay. From thence the gentleman went to a public-house, in order to alarm the country. The moment he entered, (as the two villains were there drinking), the dog seized the murderer by the throat, and the other made his escape. This man lay in prison three months, during which time they visited him once a-week with the spaniel, and though they made him change his clothes with other prisoners, and always stand in the midst of a crowd, yet did the animal always find him out, and fly at him. On the day of trial, when the prisoner was at the bar, the dog was let loose in the court-house, and in the midst of some hundreds he found him out (though dressed entirely in new clothes), and would have torn him to pieces had he been allowed; in consequence of which he was condemned, and at the place of execution he confessed the fact."