автор(ы): Youatt, William 1854
THE DOG, next to the human being, ranks highest in the scale of intelligence, and was evidently designed to be the companion and the friend of man. We exact the services of other animals, and, the task being performed, we dismiss them to their accustomed food and rest : but several of the varieties of the dog follow us to our home ; they are connected with many of our pleasures and wants, and guard our sleeping hours. The first animal of the domestication of which we have any account was he sheep. " Abel was a keeper of sheep." a It is difficult to believe that any long time would pass before the dog who now in every country of 'he world is the companion of the shepherd, and the director or guardian of the sheep would be enlisted in the service of man. From the earliest known history he was the protector of the habitation of the human being. At the feet of the lares, those household deities who were supposed to protect the abodes of men, the figure of a barking dog was often placed. In every age, and almost in every part of the globe, he has played a principal part in the labours, the dangers, and the pleasures of the chace. In process of time man began to surround himself with many servants from among the lower animals, but among them all he had only one friend the dog ; one animal only whose service was voluntary, and who was susceptible of disinterested affection and gratitude. In every country, md in every time, there has existed between man and the dog a connexion 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.