1875 – Newfoundland and Sick Dog

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“Newfoundland and Sick Dog” is a full page book plate image, taken from “Natural History Stories for my Juvenile Friends” by Mary Howitt, published by S.W.Partridge & Co, circa 1875.  The anecdote accompanying the illustration reads as follows: “I wanted one day to go through a tall iron gate, from one part of my premises to another, but just within it lay a poor lame puppy, and I could not get in without rolling the little fellow over, and perhaps seriously injuring him. I stood for a while hesitating, and at length determined to go round, through another gate, when a fine Newfoundland dog, who had been waiting patiently for his wonted caresses, and wondering why I did not come in, looked accidentally down at the invalid. He comprehended the whole business in a moment. He put down his great paw, and as quickly and as gently as possible rolled the invalid out of the way, and then drew himself back in order to leave room for the opening of the gate. Here was a plain and palpable act of reasoning. ‘Why does not my master come in as usual? This little fellow is in the way, and he cannot open the gate without disturbing or hurting him. I’ll get rid of that.’ and immediately he rolls the obstacle aside, but with the characteristic noble feeling of his breed, he takes care not to hurt the invalid. ‘Now,’ he continues, ‘I must take myself out of the way, and then every obstacle will be removed’. No philosopher ever reasoned more accurately than our beautiful Newfoundland dog.”

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Detail: Newfoundland and Sick Dog by Harrison Weir         Book Cover Natural History Stories for my Juvenile Friends

Detail: 1875 – Newfoundland and Sick Dog       Book Cover:  Natural History Stories for my Juvenile Friends.

Detail: Newfoundland and Sick Dog by Harrison Weir         Artist's signature in plate

Detail: 1875 – Newfoundland and Sick Doh           Artist’s signature in plate

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