Beautiful Joe
Chapter 36, Page 3


Please be aware that this book was originally published in 1894 and may contain words, descriptions, or other passages that may be considered offensive today.


"They kept me shut up in their dirty rooms for several days; and the brat of a boy that caught me slept with his arm around me at night. The weather was hot and sometimes we couldn't sleep, and they had to go up on the roof. After a while, they chained me up in a filthy yard at the back of the house, and there I thought I should go mad. I would have liked to bite them all to death, if I had dared. It's awful to be chained, especially for a dog like me that loves his freedom. The flies worried me, and the noises distracted me, and my flesh would fairly creep from getting no exercise. I was there nearly a month, while they were waiting for a reward to be offered. But none came; and one day, the boy's father, who was a street peddler, took me by my chain and led me about the streets till he sold me. A gentleman got me for his little boy, but I didn't like the look of him, so I sprang up and bit his hand, and he dropped the chain, and I dodged boys and policemen, and finally got home more dead than alive, and looking like a skeleton. I had a good time for several weeks, and then I began to get restless and was off again. But I'm getting tired; I want to go to sleep."

"You're not very polite," I said, "to offer to tell a story, and then go to sleep before you finish it."

"Look out for number one, my boy," said Dandy, with a yawn; "for if you don't, no one else will," and he shut his eyes and was fast asleep in a few minutes.

I sat and looked at him. What a handsome, good-natured, worthless dog he was. A few days later, he told me the rest of his history. After a great many wanderings, he happened home one day just as his master's yacht was going to sail, and they chained him up till they went on board, so that he could be an amusement on the passage to Fairport.

It was in November that Dandy came to us, and he stayed all winter. He made fun of the Morrises all the time, and said they had a dull, poky, old house, and he only stayed because Miss Laura was nursing him. He had a little sore on his back that she soon found out was mange. Her father said it was a bad disease for dogs to have, and Dandy had better be shot; but she begged so hard for his life, and said she would cure him in a few weeks, that she was allowed to keep him. Dandy wasn't capable of getting really angry, but he was as disturbed about having this disease as he could be about anything. He said that he had got it from a little, mangy dog, that he had played with a few weeks before. He was only with the dog a little while, and didn't think he would take it, but it seemed he knew what an easy thing it was to get.

Until he got well he was separated from us. Miss Laura kept him up in the loft with the rabbits, where we could not go; and the boys ran him around the garden for exercise. She tried all kind of cures for him, and I heard her say that though it was a skin disease, his blood must be purified. She gave him some of the pills that she made out of sulphur and butter for Jim, and Billy, and me, to keep our coats silky and smooth. When they didn't cure him, she gave him a few drops of arsenic every day, and washed the sore, and, indeed his whole body, with tobacco water or carbolic soap. It was the tobacco water that cured him.

Miss Laura always put on gloves when she went near him, and used a brush to wash him, for if a person takes mange from a dog, they may lose their hair and their eyelashes. But if they are careful, no harm comes from nursing a mangy dog, and I have never known of any one taking the disease.