Dogs have been a great amusement to me ever since I was a baby; and I never have been without one in the house when I could keep one. Ladies and gentlemen are not often willing to let their carpets be soiled by dogs; but the poor people, who are not troubled with carpets, make companions of them. I am writing this book in a room with a carpet and good furniture, but I have my two dogs with me. There is little Fiddy, the small spaniel, at my feet, where he has lain every day for eight years; and there is Bronti, the fine big Newfoundlander, lying, where do you think? Why the rogue has got upon the sofa, and when I shake my head at him, he wags his long tail, and turns up his large bright eyes to my face, as much as to say, “Pray let me stop here; it is so comfortable.” But no, Bronti, you must walk down, my fine fellow, or some lady coming to see me may have her gown soiled, which would not be fair. We have no right to make our pets a plague to other people, and, perhaps, a means of injuring them too.
That was enough for Bronti; no need of a loud, cross, or threatening voice. He saw that I wished him to leave the sofa, and he wags his tail as contentedly on the carpet. I can manage him with a word, almost with a look, because he was born in the house, and has never been away from me; but master Fiddy was a year or two old when I had him, and some things he will do in spite of me. He will hunt a cat, kill a bird, and growl most furiously over a bone. Bronti has the same nature, but his love for us overcomes it all. He would live peaceably with a cat, it