Thursday, August 09, 2012

The attachment of a country dog.

The British military doctor, Henry Harpur Spry, who I had referred to in my previous post, records his observations ( page 44) on the numerous stray dogs to be found in all parts of Hindustan, and how one of them got attached to his entourage on one of his travels, across jungles, on a palanquin in the year 1835. 

A singular instance of attachment on the part of one of those numerous country  dogs which infest all parts of Hindustan occurred to me in this journey. I first fell in with the animal shortly after I quitted the town of Logassee, in Bundlekund. The day had then broken, and supposing the dog belonged to one of the palankeen men I took no further notice of him. 

On reaching Chatterpore, however, I found that he still accompanied us, which led me to inquire whether he was the property of any of the party. The reply was in the negative. As the poor animal had come so far with us, it was only fair to give him house-room, so I permitted his resting in the same apartment with Lieutenant M. and myself. A portion of our scanty meal was all he had to eat. On setting out in the evening the animal was again on the move, and kept beside the palankeen the whole of the night, till we reached the Heerapur dak bungalow, the next day at twelve, having been our companion throughout the whole of the nocturnal wanderings in the Golgunge jungles.

We had now been in company together upwards of sixty miles, and with the exception of a few small biscuits the creature had tasted nothing. At Heerapur he bore evident signs of exhaustion ; no sooner had we entered the hovel than he threw himself on the ground, panting violently. I procured some water from a boy of the village, which, when placed before him, was eagerly lapped up. 

My stay, as I have already mentioned, was a very short one. I did not get in till twelve  and the air being cool in comparison with the previous day, I started again at two. The dog, notwithstanding his fatigue, also got upon his legs, and seemed determined to go on. He kept up for about five miles further, and then giving me a look, which seemed to ask for sympathy, and which I shall never forget, dropped in the rear, and lay down. Of course I soon lost sight of him, and being very far from any habitation, I very much fear the poor creature must have died.

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