Published in "Harper's Weekly" on
June 17, 1871.
the most sagacious little dogs in London belongs to Mr. Nice, the
keeper of Highbury Chapel.
not an idle dog; she is busy from Monday morning until Saturday
night; for what with keys to watch, doors to attend to, and
so many other things besides her time is fully occupied. Sunday, is
"Topsy's" rest day, and right glad she seems not to be expected to
bark, nor do any work on
Sunday, for animals as well as men require, and are entitled to, one
day of rest in the
week. "Topsy's" master has trained her to distinguish the difference
between Sunday and weekday, and if a stranger were to see her on
Sunday, he would imagine that she was ill, for she lies down
quietly in her bed, quite indifferent as to who comes in or who goes
out. She knows that she must not make a noise, or bark at people who
come to the chapel or the school on that day.
Mr. Nice has a fine
cat which lives in the same rooms with "Topsy," and she pays all due
respect to Pussy. When the cat has her milk, "Topsy" sits quietly by
to watch her drink it, and when Pussy has finished, "Topsy" expects
the saucer filled for herself. If she is kept waiting for her milk
longer than she thinks right, she rings the bell-that is, she taps
the saucer; and if the first tapping is not attended to, she taps
again and again until she has due attention! "Topsy" is so polite
that she cannot be persuaded to touch her milk until the cat has had
About 8 o'clock in
the morning she may be seen sitting in the window watching for the
boy who calls for the keys of the day schools. These keys are "Topsy's"
particular charge. She will not allow them to be taken from their
place on the wall unless it be by her master, or by the person
accustomed to give them up at night; and if brought in and not hung
up in their place at
once, "Topsy" gets them, if they are left anywhere within reach, and
hides them underneath the carpet. She then sits beside them, and
cries very pitifully until Mr. or Mrs. Nice steps forward and hangs
them up in their usual place.
however has no objection to the keys being taken from their place on
the Lord's Day morning. On that morning she will allow any of the
teachers to take them off the nail without the slightest hindrance,
or without even looking after them.
very affectionate and sympathizing; if at any time her master or
mistress be unwell or in trouble, she tries her best to comfort them
by licking their face and hands; and if at any time she has
offended, and is spoken to crossly, she holds out her paw, and looks
into their face so pitifully, as much to say "Please do shake hands
with me and be friends." It is no wonder that "Topsy" has many
friends who call in to see her and shake hands with her. The
affectionate little creature never seems content to lie down in her
bed at night without first putting out her paw and shaking hands
with her master; it is her "good-night."
The high training of this beautiful dog
reflects the greatest credit on her kind hearted master.