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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/123

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115
DO ANIMALS REASON?.

to the work of hauling their loads. When night came, if their feet were sore they had dog sense enough to come to their master and, throwing themselves on their backs, would stick up their feet and whine and howl until the warm duffle shoes were put on. Some of the skulking ones had wit enough, when they did not want to be caught, in the gloom of the early morning, while the stars were still shining, if they were white, to cuddle down, still and quiet, in the beautiful snow; while the darker ones would slink away into the gloom of the dense balsams, where they seemed to know that it would be difficult for them to be seen. Some of them had wit enough when traveling up steep places with heavy loads, where their progress was slow, to seize hold of small firm bushes in their teeth to help them up or to keep them from slipping back. Some of them knew how to shirk their work. C├Žsar, of whom we have already spoken, at times was one of this class. They could pretend, by their panting and tugging at their collars, that they were dragging more than any other dogs in the train, while at the same time they were not pulling a pound!

Of cats I do not write. I am no lover of them, and therefore am incompetent to write about them. This lack of love for them is, I presume, from the fact that when a boy I was the proud owner of some very beautiful rabbits, upon which the cats of the neighborhood used to make disastrous raids. So great was my boyish indignation then that the dislike to them created has in a measure continued to this day, and I have not as yet begun to cultivate their intimate acquaintance.

But of dogs I have ever been a lover and a friend. I never saw one, not mad, of which I was afraid, and I never saw one with which I could not speedily make friends. Love was the constraining motive principally used in breaking my dogs in to their work in the trains. No whip was ever used upon Jack or Cuffy while they were learning their tasks. Some dogs had to be punished more or less. Some stubborn dogs at once surrendered and gave no more trouble when a favorite female dog was harnessed up in a train and sent on ahead. This affection in the dog for his mate was a powerful lever in the hands of his master, and, using it as an incentive, we have seen things performed as remarkable as any we have here recorded.

From what I have written it will be seen that I have had unusual facilities for studying the habits and possibilities of dogs. I was not under the necessity of gathering up a lot of mongrels at random in the streets, and then, in order to see instances of their sagacity and the exercise of their highest reasoning powers, to keep them until they were "practically utterly hungry," and then