Dogs and Inconsolable Grief

From the earliest known history dog was the protector of the habitation of the human being. In every age, and almost in every part of the globe, dog has played a principal part in the labours, the dangers, and the pleasures of the chase.

Many of dog's expressive actions tells us how much he is pleased and thankful. He shares in our abundance, and he is content with the scantiest and most humble fare. He loves us while living, and has been known to pine away on the grave of his master.

The following old story is also an authentic instance of the inconsolable grief displayed by a small cur-dog at the death of his master:

A poor tailor in the parish of St.Olave, having died, was attended to the grave by his dog, who had expressed every token of sorrow from the instant of his master's death, and seemed unwilling to quit the corpse even for a moment. After the funeral had dispersed, the faithful animal took his station upon the grave, and was with great difficulty driven by the sexton from the church ground; on the following day he was again observed lying on the grave of his master, and was a second time expelled from the premises. 

Notwithstanding the harsh treatment received on several succeeding days by the hands of the sexton, this little creature would persist in occupying this position, and overcame every difficulty to gain access to the spot where all he held most dear was deposited. 

The minister of the parish, learning the circumstances of the case, ordered the dog to be carried to his house, where he was confined and fed for several days, in hopes of weaning him by kind treatment to forget his sorrow occasioned by the loss of his master. But all his benevolent efforts were of no utility, as the dog availed himself of the first opportunity to escape, and immediately repaired to his chosen spot over the grave.

This worthy clergyman now allowed him to follow the bent of his own inclinations and, as a recompense for true friendship and unfeigned sorrow, had a house built for him over this hallowed spot, and daily supplied him with food and water for the space of two years, during which time he never wandered from his post, but, as a faithful guardian, kept his lonely watch day and night, till death at last put an end to his sufferings, and laid him by the side of his long-expected master. 


The dog is the only animal that is capable of disinterested affection. He is the only one that regards the human being as his companion, and follows him as his friend. Dog is the only one that seems to possess a natural desire to be useful to us, or from a spontaneous impulse attaches himself to us.
It is stated that the favourite lap-dog of Mary, Queen of Scots, that accompanied her to the scaffold, continued to caress the body after the head was cut off, and refused to relinquish his post till forcibly withdrawn, and afterwards died with grief in the course of a day or two.

 
 

Early Zoological History
The very  first  animal of  the domestication of which we have any account, was the sheep. "Abel was a keeper of sheep."
It is difficult to believe that any long time would pass before the dog who now, in every country of the world, is the companion of the shepherd, and the director or guardian of the sheep would be enlisted in the service of man.
In process of time, man began to surround himself with many servants from the animal world, but among them all he had only one friend - the dog. Dog was the only animal whose service was voluntary, and who was susceptible of disinterested affection and gratitude. In every country, and in every time, there was a special connection existed between man and the dog, a very different from that which is observed between him and any other animal.
The ox and the sheep submit to our control, but their affections are principally, if not solely, confined to themselves. They submit to us, but they can rarely be said to love, or even to recognise us, except as connected with the supply of their wants. The horse will share some of our pleasures. He enjoys the chase as much as does his rider; and, when contending for victory on the course, he feels the full influence of emulation. Remembering the pleasure he has experienced with his master, or the daily supply of food from the hand of the groom, he often exhibits evident tokens of recognition; but that is founded on a selfish principle, he neighs that he may be fed, and his affections are easily transferred.
We could take the bridle from the mouth of the horse, and turn him free into the pasture, and he testifies his joy in his partially recovered liberty. We exact from the dog the service that is required of him, and he still follows us. He solicits to be continued as our companion and our friend.