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by him in a manner to insure complete success), rather than entrust the duty to a stranger, with the risk of partial failure; but unless he can implicitly trust his nerve, he should not attempt it.
Happily for the large number of dogs which must be annually destroyed at the Home, a “lethal chamber” has been provided by Dr. B. W. Richardson, F.R.S., in which they will fall quietly into their last sleep, absolutely without pain, or
even the apprehension of death. This chamber is filled with a mixture of carbonic oxide and carbonic acid gases. The animals are placed in cages, and wheeled into it on a truck, to the number, if required, of fifty at a time, and the inhalation of the gases is immediately accompanied by loss of sensation and rapid death.
Should any evidence be required of the total and painless deprivation of life by this method, I am able to supply it from a fortunate personal experience. Some years ago, I entered a room in which a charcoal fire stove had been burning three or four hours, but I believed it to be sufficiently ventilated. After the lapse of some little time, I experienced a rather agreeable sensation of drowsiness and fatigue, but entirely without apprehension of danger, or even thought of the charcoal fire, the insidious narcotic carbonic oxide gas from which was really depriving me of consciousness. Thinking it merely an intimation to retire to rest, I rose from the light low chair on which I had been sitting; at that moment, total oblivion must have overtaken me, the mind recorded nothing whatever subsequently, but the event showed that I had fallen back and broken the chair, and lay on the floor with my head immersed in the fatal gas. An attendant coming in to look at the fire, dragged me into the open air, where I soon recovered, and, with the exception of a bruise or two, was nothing the worse for having passed into a condition of absolute death, so far as regarded consciousness; while, had this been prolonged for a few minutes, my peaceful sleep would have known no awakening.
I am perfectly confident that the dogs who enter Dr. Richardson’s lethal chamber will, if my own experience and sensations are to be trusted, pass, without a pang, and without apprehension or distress, into true euthanasia.
The Mind and Character of the Dog Instances of Intelligence
and Concerted Action in Wild Species — The Influence of Association with Man - Sir John Lubbock on the Education of Dogs — Similarity of Mental Processes in the Dog and in Man Travelling Dogs The Moral Sense of the Dog - Fossil Representatives of the Carnivora.
We may now turn to the more pleasant task of considering the mind and character of the dog in health. 'In intelligence, as such, he is, perhaps, not superior to the elephant or monkey; but in no other animal do we find that devotion to man which is a trait of the moral character, and raises him far above all others. “He that can endure to follow with allegiance a fallen lord” may well read a lesson to time-serving humanity. His virtues have been celebrated in prose and song by some of the highest in intellect and the noblest in character; but, strange to say, the poet who of all men was most catholic in his sympathies—Shakspeare -has scarcely a good word to say throughout his writings for the universal friend of man. With very few exceptions, all his allusions are unfavourable. He makes Launce, it is true, when apostrophising his dog, say: Nay, I'll be sworn I have sat on the stocks for puddings he has stolen; otherwise he had been executed. I have stood on the pillory for geese ne has killed; otherwise he had suffered for 't.” And there is, perhaps, a kindly touch in the passage in “King
Shakspeare's Estimate of the Dog.
Lear” .which runs : "Mine enemy's dog, though he had bit me, should have stood that night against my fire.”
In her excellent work on “The Animal Lore of Shakspeare's Time,” Miss Phipson quotes an incident from Sir Henry Holland's “Recollections of Past Life” strikingly illustrative of this indifference or dislike : · Lord Nugent, the greatest Shakspearian scholar of his day, declared that no passage was
to be found in Shakspeare commending, directly or indirectly, the moral qualities of the dog. A bet of a guinea was made, which Sir Henry, after a year's search, paid. This before the publication of Mrs. Cowden Clarke's Concordance. The only passage which could have a chance of winning the wager is the answer of Timon : APEM.— What man didst thou ever know unthrift that
was beloved, after his means ? TIM.—Who, without those means thou talk'st of, didst thou
ever know beloved ? APEM.—Myself. TIM.-I understand thee; thou hadst some means to keep a dog.
Timon of Athens, Act IV., Sc. 3, 113.” There is a fine subtlety in this, which ought to have entitled Sir Henry to the guinea, and goes far to atone for the general attitude of hostility exbibited by Shakspeare. Throughout all literature, from the time of Homer–excepting among the Hebrews—there has been a generous recognition of those moral qualities in the dog which have probably become evolved in him through long association with a being who, rightly or wrongly, has held in his esteem the place of a god.
The development of the dog’s mental and moral character under domestication is indisputable, though some wild species exhibit an extraordinary intelligence in circumstances where man must be quite an unfamiliar animal to them, and where they could have had no previous experience of his machinations for compassing their destruction. Some years ago, there
appeared in the Daily News, evidently from the pen of an experienced Arctic traveller, an article entitled “ Christmas near the North Pole,” the following interesting extract from which illustrates the power of reflection in a wild animal :
“On the morning of Christmas Day, we rose earlier than usual. It was not a bitter morning by any means. The air was deliciously calm, and the sky slightly cloudy, with a pleasant temperature of 64 degs. below freezing point, or 32 degs. below the zero of Fahrenheit. At breakfast, there were already signs of luxury, as, in addition to tea, we had each man six ounces of biscuit. Then the cook and his mate put the plum-pudding into the pot, whilst I went to visit a gun set for white foxes, at which one of these pretty little animals had been shot some days before. On going up to the gun, I found that something was amiss. The line attaching the trigger to the bait seemed out of place, and on examination I found the line cut and the bait gone. The footmarks of the fox on the snow showed clearly how the clever little creature had gone to work so as to get his Christmas breakfast without danger to himself. The little fellow bad probably seen his comrade shot, or noticed him dead, for evidently this one had studied the position of the gun with great care from all points of view except directly in front of the muzzle. From the numerous tracks, and the marks where he had sat down like a dog upon the snow, his front always towards the gun, it was evident that he had first carefully studied the situation, and then deliberately (his deliberation was distinctly marked by the shortness of his steps) gone up and cut the line where it hung below the line of fire. He had then carried the severed end of the line attached to the bait to one side, and afterwards gone straight up to the bait and eaten, it. Was this practical or abstract reasoning on the part of the fox ? He had certainly no experience of guns set to shoot foxes, with the one possible exception in the case of his comrade, whom he might have previously seen killed, for there were no guns used within 600 miles of