Beautiful Joe
Chapter 36, Page 4


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.


After a time, Dandy's sore healed, and he was set free. He was right glad, he said, for he had got heartily sick of the rabbits. He used to bark at them and make them angry, and they would run around the loft, stamping their hind feet at him, in the funny way that rabbits do. I think they disliked him as much as he disliked them. Jim and I did not get the mange. Dandy was not a strong dog, and I think his irregular way of living made him take diseases readily. He would stuff himself when he was hungry, and he always wanted rich food. If he couldn't get what he wanted at the Morrises', he went out and stole, or visited the dumps at the back of the town.

When he did get ill, he was more stupid about doctoring himself than any dog that I have ever seen. He never seemed to know when to eat grass or herbs, or a little earth, that would have kept him in good condition. A dog should never be without grass. When Dandy got ill he just suffered till he got well again, and never tried to cure himself of his small troubles. Some dogs even know enough to amputate their limbs. Jim told me a very interesting story of a dog the Morrises once had, called Gyp, whose leg became paralyzed by a kick from a horse. He knew the leg was dead, and gnawed it off nearly to the shoulder, and though he was very sick for a time, yet in the end he got well.

To return to Dandy. I knew he was only waiting for the spring to leave us, and I was not sorry. The first fine day he was off, and during the rest of the spring and summer we occasionally met him running about the town with a set of fast dogs. One day I stopped and asked him how he contented himself in such a quiet place as Fairport, and he said he was dying to get back to New York, and was hoping that his master's yacht would come and take him away.

Poor Dandy never left Fairport. After all, he was not such a bad dog. There was nothing really vicious about him, and I hate to speak of his end. His master's yacht did not come, and soon the summer was over, and the winter was coming, and no one wanted Dandy, for he had such a bad name. He got hungry and cold, and one day sprang upon a little girl, to take away a piece of bread and butter that she was eating. He did not see the large house-dog on the door sill, and before he could get away, the dog had seized him, and bitten and shaken him till he was nearly dead. When the dog threw him aside, he crawled to the Morrises, and Miss Laura bandaged his wounds, and made him a bed in the stable.

One Sunday morning she washed and fed him very tenderly, for she knew he could not live much longer. He was so weak that he could scarcely eat the food that she put in his mouth, so she let him lick some milk from her finger. As she was going to church, I could not go with her, but I ran down the lane and watched her out of sight. When I came back, Dandy was gone. I looked till I found him. He had crawled into the darkest corner of the stable to die, and though he was suffering very much, he never uttered a sound. I sat by him and thought of his master in New York. If he had brought Dandy up properly he might not now be here in his silent death agony. A young pup should be trained just as a child is, and punished when he goes wrong. Dandy began badly, and not being checked in his evil ways, had come to this. Poor Dandy! Poor, handsome dog of a rich master! He opened his dull eyes, gave me one last glance, then, with a convulsive shudder, his torn limbs were still. He would never suffer any more.

When Miss Laura came home, she cried bitterly to know that he was dead. The boys took him away from her, and made him a grave in the corner of the garden.