A great percentage of the material from these late nineteenth-century issues of The Chatham Record betrays its age, but sometimes I run across something that strikes me as timeless.
This editorial from the August 7, 1890 issue makes a contemporary point.
A Dog’s Way of Talking.
One hot summer day I chanced to spy from my study window a huge dog disporting himself with provoking coolness on my lawn in the shade of an evergreen. Rushing in hot haste to my study closet and snatching up a hearth brush, I stole softly along the front porch, where, concealed partly by clustering vines of honeysuckle, I took aim and hurled it full at the trespasser’s head. I had counted confidently on seeing him terrified by the projectile and taking himself off with a howl of pain and alarm. But judge my surprise to see the unsurprised brute take first a perfectly quiet and leisurely survey of the missile, then deliberately pick it up with his teeth and trot complacently off with my brush.
Meeting the same dog on the street later in the day, I could not help thinking from his knowing look, though he carried a sober face that he was inwardly laughing at me. And then it all at once flashed upon me what good this dog’s philosophy might do superior beings, and what a world of vexation we might save ourselves if we would but carry away and bury out of sight forever the weapons of detraction hurled at us by the hidden hands of envy and hate. –[Our Animal Friends.