A DOG STORY
by Walter Stanford One evening, in the card room of the 'Ananias Club' Four members, having finished up their usual evening of 'Rub' With fresh cigars and Scotch and Sodas placed in easy range Began their usual evening truthful anecdote exchange. And following a story by the oldest member, Scroggs The conversation ultimately settled down on dogs. It seemed that Scroggs had owned a hound that fairly 'took the bun' His knowledge of geography astounded everyone. Scroggs lost him in America, Siberia, and Spain But on every occasion he had landed home again But, sad to say, through tender feet and walking such a lot He suffered so from bunions, Scroggs had had to have him shot. Then Johnson told another yarn about a knowing brute That used to play quite decently the concert flute And Thompson, not to be outdone, said that reminded him About his sister's husband's uncle's Irish Setter, Jim. Jim, being taught to hold a pipe, got such a taste for shag That after he was never seen without a pipe or fag And in the end had met his death with awful suddenness Through cancer of the tongue, brought on by smoking to excess. Then Lyreson spoke, he said, "I cannot see how men of sense Can give the name of instinct to such plain intelligence There's many a human fathead, who would take a second place If matched for reasoning powers with members of the canine race. But the smartest dog I ever saw, or ever hope to see Was a cross-bred Skye Fox Terrier that once belonged to me The way I came to own him was a strange one, you will say It happened I was fishing up the Thames one Christmas day. I had no luck, but persevered till fell the shades of night And just as I was leaving off, at last I got a bite I gave a jerk, and up there came a dog, a perfect wreck The live bait in his mouth and two large brickbats round his neck. I reckoned, by the look of him, he'd been immersed for weeks For his stomach was inflated and his hair was off in streaks But I hauled him in and wrung him out, and, though too weak to stand He, in a grateful kind of manner, tried to bite my hand. But after he had gulped a half a pint of whiskey down He felt his feet and walked behind me, home to Camden Town And from that time, till he went wrong, his sole aim seemed to be To show, by every action, his deep gratitude to me. 'Twas plain to see the best and greatest charm he had in life Was doing things about the house to please me and the wife He used to turn the mangle, take the children out for walks Make the beds, fetch up the coals, and clean the knives and forks. Our vegetables, groceries, and bread he always bought And once he bit the baker, on receiving twopence short When baby cried, to please her, he would do all kinds of tricks Or sit and build her houses with her little box of bricks. And when the wife was ill one time and couldn't get about He undertook the cooking, though it nearly wore him out And as for laundry work the wife, has often said to me That dog could starch and iron collars quite as well as she. Well, in the end it happened, '94 to be exact The Houses in their wisdom, passed the brutal 'Muzzling Act' And from the day that dog had first to put a muzzle on It seemed as if his interest in life had wholly gone. He used to loaf about, and ultimately took to drink And more than once I found him beastly drunk beneath the sink. Half dazed and semi-stupid round the neighbourhood he'd roam And the p'liceman on our beat, who knew him, used to bring him home. One night, more drunk than usual, he somehow lost his way And a strange 'slop' trod on him, as he in the gutter lay And finding him incapable, and smelling strong of gin The P.C. got an ambulance and promptly ran him in. They called him up next morning, but his case was never tried For, in the night, they found he had committed suicide. Stung by his degradation, broken hearted, sick of breath He had gone into a corner, where he bit himself to death. Close by him was a pencil, and upon the whitewashed wall The touching words 'Forgive - Forget - Good-bye'... and that was all.
The end