Thursday, June 19, 2008
The Newfoundland and The Mastiff
"I must tell you one more anecdote of two dogs of a similar character to one I gave you a few pages back, but in this instance they were professed enemies. It happened at Donaghadee, where a pier was in course of building.
"Two dogs — one a Newfoundland, and the other a Mastiff — were seen by several people engaged in a fierce and prolonged battle on the pier. They were both powerful dogs, and though good-natured when alone, were much in the habit of thus fighting whenever they met. At length they both fell into the sea, and as the pier was long and steep, they had no means of escape but by swimming a considerable distance. The cold bath brought the combat to an end, and each began to make for the land as best he could.
"The Newfoundland dog speedily gained the shore, on which he stood shaking himself, at the same time watching the motions of his late antagonist, who, being no swimmer, began to struggle, and was just about to sink. On seeing this, in he dashed, took the other gently by the collar, kept his head above water, and brought him safely to land.
"After this they became inseparable friends, and never fought again; and when the Newfoundland dog met his death by a stone waggon running over him, the Mastiff languished, and evidently mourned for him for a long time.
"Let this incident afford us great encouragement to love our enemies, and to return good for evil, since we find the feeling implanted in the breast of a dog to save the life of his antagonist, and to cherish him afterwards as a friend.
"We may never be called on to save the life of a foe; but that would not be more difficult to our natural disposition than acting kindly and forgivingly towards those who daily annoy us—who injure us or offer us petty insults."