STRANGERS IN OUR MIDST
NORMAN REILLY RAINE and DOROTHY G. BELL
THE red brick hospital of a Toronto veterinary surgeon stood in a quiet street within sound of the roar of traffic.
From around a corner came a girl of six—a ragged little figure, with one stocking down about her ankle and her face smudged with dirt through which tears had left their trace.
She stopped now and then to glance at a tiny mewing bundle of fur, carried gently in her puny arms, then coming to the hospital she halted again and looked through the doorway.
It was no common courage that brought this waif of the streets to brave the awesome portals of the hospital, but love was the guide; she sought aid for her sick kitten, dirty, verminous, but treasured beyond pearls.
The baby's heart was sore for this helpless bit of life, snatched from a gutter and cherished with the absorbing affection of childhood.
Timidly, she entered and disclosed her trouble to the tall man with kindly eyes who sat at a desk near the door. For days thereafter she visited the place, and saw her kitten fatten and grow well under expert care. It was given the best in the establishment, for those in charge were lovers of children as well as of animals. Then came the glad day of liberation, and her pet, sleek, pot-bellied and playful, was her own again.
Aside from true animal lovers or those who possess household pets, few people realize the absorbing interest that lies in the lives of animals about them—not alone domestic pets, but other creatures—strangers—brought from foreign lands to spend their days in captivity within the confines of our parks and zoological gardens. When one reads in some periodical of a man entering the cages of w i anima'.and handling them at will the item calls forth opinions in condemnation of his foolhardiness, or of admiration of his courage, yet in every Canadian city are men who do just this thing—who occasionally risk their lives as a matter of business and in the furtherance of their profession. These men are the veterinary surgeons who look to the well-being of the beasts in our zoos, and circuses.
In conversation, recently, with Dr. J. A.
Campbell of Toronto, who has a large private and municipal practice, the writer was impressed with the thrilling nature of the services occasionally rendered by veterinarians—work that ranges from the prying out with a crowbar of the ulcerating molar of an elephant half-mad with pain, to the setting of a canary’s limb.
A short time prior to our interview, a circus was in town. The small fry were in uproar, while awaiting the parade. Great trees cast waving shadows over the sun-splashed avenue, and a breeze, fresh with the morning. rustled through the leaves. Excited small boys darted through the waiting crowds like minnows through weeds. Mounted police were the couriers of the parade. They were followed by a clattering troupe of cowboys in all the picturesque regalia of the old West. Clowns! The juveniles whooped their joy. The Wild Girl and the Hairy Man rode by, apparently on very bad terms. Bareback riders in pink tights and a beery old lady with frilled pantaloons and stilts. Bandsmen, resplendent in crimson and gold! Animal cages came next, with their strong odor, and the restless scuffling of prisoned feet. Then the elephants! The great beasts lurched along in single file, trunks grasping diminutive tails, and each huge head surmounted by a mahout in silver and black.
The Tricky Pachyderm
A BOY broke from the ranks of spectators and ran A parallel with the leading animal. His dog, a nondescript streak of flea-bitten mischief, raced at his heels, then danced before the elephant, barking joyously. The elephant checked its stride, fixed its small eyes on the excited canine, thrust out one ponderous foot with uncanny swiftness and crushed it to death!
A general impression is that elephants are kindly creatures, so I mentioned this instance to Dr. Campbell.
“Elephants,” said he, “are tricky. They have-intelligence far above the average of wild animals—intelligence with which folk sometimes fail to reckon. See the clearness of mental perception required in the elephants of India and Ceylon, who perform work with huge timbers which calls for a certain concatenation of movements and ideas. The general notion of an elephant as being naturally amiable is hardly correct, although a good keeper has tremendous influence and wins real affection through a regime of firmness and kind treatment. But
elephants have been known to turn and slay keepers who have been their firm friends for years.
“They dislike strangers and they stand in mortal dread of anything out of the ordinary—even of such insignificant atoms as moles or mice.
“They realize, too, the power of their bulk, and in many cases where they have become nasty, they have made weight the weapon. They will attempt, sometimes, to manoeuvre the objects of their dislike to a position between themselves and a wall, or the side of a stall, when they will then deliberately lean against him. Occasionally though, their trunks are used.”
The latter observation I verified from personal experience in the Riverdale Zoo at Toronto. The elephant was rocking idly before a small half-circle of the curious. Its trunk swung to and fro, dusting the ground around its feet and curling the finger-like tip about bits of straw. Without warning, the trunk swished upward with terrific force, and it was only due to a friend that I escaped the blow. There was a wicked gleam in the small, redveined eyes and the spectators retreated in haste. The animal placidly resumed its swaying.
Elephants in captivity are prone to a variety of ailments, particularly skin troubles and extreme nervousness. They are most difficult to handle when out of sorts. In the case of one animal, troubled with colic, it was necessary to administer a pound of laudanum before it was relieved. Normally they have six complete sets of molars in the course of an average life of one hundred years. As each set is worn down it is forced out by the new. During the period of teething the huge beast is peevish and refractory, particularly when, as often happens, parts of an old tooth refuse to be dislodged and have to be forced out with* a small crowbar. As no anaesthetic is given during this performance, it may be seen that the veterinary’s task is not a salubrious one.
Tigers, too, are nasty problems, when requiring treatment. Not long ago in Halifax, it was necessary to perform an operation on a tiger belonging to a worldfamous traveling circus. Generally, large organizations of this sort carry their own veterinary surgeon. The tiger was a magnificent specimen and although fairly tractable at ordinary times, its ailment had rendered it savagely nervous.
As the surgeon and his attendant entered the cage the beast sensed something unusual, and retreated to a corner, snarling. Its keeper patiently coaxed it forth. Eventually it allowed the men to stand, one on each side, soothingly scratching its hide. Both surgeon and attendant were keenly alert, for a false move would precipitate tragedy. In the midst of his scratching, the surgeon suddenly plunged his hypodermic needle under the skin and discharged four grains of morphine into its veins—a dose sufficient to kill eight humans! Screaming with fury, the animal lashed out with teeth and claws, but the men were out of harm’s way. The tiger paced back and forth until the narcotic began to take effect. It nodded stupidly and lay down. A chloroform-soaked cloth was attached to a stick and thrust through the bars to the beast’s nostrils. When it was fully anaesthetised, the operation was accomplished without trouble.
i Chloroforming a Tiger
"TNOCTOR H. D. SMITH of Winnipeg, a veterinary of thirty-five years experience in peace and war, states that one of his most thrilling experiences was the treatment of a badly hurt tiger from the Orpheum stage. The wound was in the shoulder, uncomfortably close to the slavering jaws.
“The beast was roped,” says Doctor Smith, “and tied to the bars of its cage, where it amused itself by chewing into splinters a two-by-four scantling while I dressed the cut. I don’t mind admitting that I was nervous! The animal required several days of further treatment. One day, without warning me, and while I was at work on the wound, someone took a flashlight photograph of us. By George! when that flash went off I thought the cat had me, and I nearly hit the top of the cage! Bad for the nerves? Humph!”
Dr. Smith stated that horses and cows are fairly easy to handle with proper appliances. Generally they are lashed securely to a standing table, the top of which is then swung over, throwing the animal to the desired position. With smaller animals the doctor has had queer experiences, particularly with pups, who consider anything unattached as edible.
“One very sick dog was brought to me,” he says. “Upon operating I found inside him a box of pills, with rubber band, and instructions all complete. See what comes of not following directions? It is surprising, though, how callous some people are even to the suffering of their own pets. I remember once seeing a fox terrier run over by a wagon, and his owners, who were in front, were not sufficiently interested to turn back.”
The heartless or deliberately cruel are exceptions, however. Dr. Smith cited the instance of four businessmen who appeared, with white, strained faces, at his office one morning. Their heavy touring car had run over a dog, which one of them bore, limp and unconscious in his arms, and their concern was genuine. Each was ready to swear that he had felt both wheels bump over the dog’s body and they had rushed it to the veterinarian that its last minutes might be as painless as possible. After the men had left the doctor examined the animal but could find nothing amiss except that it had been stunned and badly bruised. He treated it, and during the course of the day it was almost completely recovered. Dr. Smith did not expect again to see the four visitors of the morning, but that night they filed into his office.
“What are we going to do about that dead dog?” asked one.
“Better take him home with you!” advised the doctor.
“Take him home. . why? Is he not dead?”
“Look!” said the doctor, and opening a door he whistled in the dog. The delight of the men was unbounded, and they took the animal with them.
Dr. Smith declares that cats are difficult to handle, and his opinion is backed by that of nearly every veterinary man.
“There is always the tiger nature to be reckoned with in the cat,” he explained, and then described how a normal sized tomcat which was put in a cage, after trying in vain to escape with teeth and claws, settled down to think his way out and finally affected his escape by bending the wires with his paws until they were sufficiently apart to allow of egress.
Dr. Smith's experience with the pup and the box of pills was almost duplicated by Dr. T. H. Sleeth of
Vancouver, B. C., whose veterinary work is well-known throughout the Dominion.
“Many of my operations,” says Dr.
Sleeth, “are performed to recover articles of value that have been swallowed by puppies and other domestic pets. I have recovered hard rubber balls, money, small balls of wool and other articles from the stomachs of animals. Dogs and cats are often brought in to me suffering from ‘I don’t know what,’ as their owners describe it, but examination discloses legs and tails cut through to the bone by rubber bands slipped on by children in fun, and forgotten.
Rubber contracts against warm flesh, and I have known animals to suffer like this for weeks.”
Toy Pomeranians and Spitz dogs are the most difficult and vicious of canines to handle, and Great Danes the most tractable, according to this doctor. He believes that the greatest weapon against a badtempered dog is ostentatious display of lack of fear To approach a vicious dog with an open palm is often disastrous, whereas, if the back of the hand is displayed, it seldom bites.
Doctor Sleeth, in common with most veterinary surgeons, has many charity patients. Some are brought in by strangers who find them by the side of the road, injured, dying or dead. Many are unclaimed and of course unpaid for, and it becomes part of the veterinary’s business to find homes for those that recover. They are not destroyed unless beyond cure. Sometimes, after living at the hospital for a time, these derelicts look upon it as their home, and it is then difficult to dispose of them. Dr. Sleeth is at home every day to canine and ieline friends, who insist upon returning to impress upon the doctor and his nurse their gratitude for whatever service they have received.
One of the doctor’s patients was a collie dog who was badly burned while attempting to save his mistress, when the house caught fire at night. Awakened by the smoke and flames, the animal dashed upstairs and literally pulled her out of bed, by dragging the mattress and bedclothes to the floor. Dazed by the smoke, the girl fell as she made for the door, and in attempting to drag her body the collie was caught by some falling timbers and badly burned. Both dog and mistress recovered eventually, but the dog was under treatment in Dr. Sleeth’s hospital for several weeks. After he was discharged he went to North Vancouver to live, which necessitated using a ferry. Every day for weeks thereafter he went to the dock, boarded the ferry and then threaded his way through Vancouver’s crowded down-town streets to the hospital where he had been cured.
The doctor mentioned the difficulty of treating the giraffe, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and other large animals. Castor oil in large quantities is his invariable prescription. Unless the wound is serious and requires personal contact, he treats tigers and like vicious beasts through medicine administered in the food.
Dr. Pickering, another Vancouver veterinary surgeon, believes that it is more humane to destroy wild animals that are badly hurt, rather than to treat them.
“Often, they go into a fit of nervous prostration when they find that they are tied, and sometimes die in their struggles,” he said.
Some Odd Pets
CASES have occurred wherein a wild beast prematurely has thrown off the effects of an anaesthetic during an operation. A well-known Canadian veterinarian who took a course in his pro-, fession in Berlin, Germany, prior to the war, relates an incident that took place in that city some years ago. The subject was a full grown rhinoceros which, while under the knife, broke loose at a critical moment, killed the operating surgeon with one mighty sweep of its horn, trampled an assistant, causing fatal injury and wounded two others so severely that for long their lives were in the balance. So tremendous was the vitality of this animal that it
lived for days with a gaping wound in the stomach, resisting all efforts to get it under control. Eventually it was killed.
“Some years ago,” says a Toronto veterinarian, “tree lizards and chameleons were popular pets, and as they are amenable to kind treatment, they had a great vogue. A well-known Montreal society woman brought one home with her from the Pan-American Exposition and it was shown with due pride in her drawing-room. A night or two after, this lady gave a dinner party to a select circle of distinguished guests. In the meantime, the lizard had disappeared. The house was searched without result. At the dinner table the hostess bewailed to her company the loss of her pet. The hors d'oeuvres were passed and the soup tureen appeared. Removing the lid, the hostess proceeded smilingly to serve” the doctor stopped and smiled. “You’ve guessed it!” he said, “she found her lizard!”
Veterinarians have a good word to say for animal trainers and the way in which they treat their charges. It is seldom that cases of ill-treatment or deliberate cruelty come to their notice. Unlimited patience is required in the training of trick dogs, donkeys, seals and similar performing beasts. Such animals are valuable and are peculiarly sensible of, and amenable to, kindness, and repay consideration with increased efficiency. There is affection of a rare kind between trainers and the beasts upon which they have expended so much care. There was re-
corded in New York a short time ago, the suicide of an Italian showman, through mental depression following the death of a performing ape which had been his close companion for years.
Dave Hutcheson, who has been an animal trainer in various parts of the world for over forty years and who claims to be the only wild animal trainer in Canada, is of the opinion that kindness should be the keynote in the training and handling of all animals, sick or well.
“In the course of my life I have had many sick beasts on my hands,” he says, “and if they know that you are trying to help them they will stand any pain, however severe. But you must have their entire confidence.”
Mr. Hutcheson has found animals of the feline tribe the most difficult to train, unless they are caught when kittens. But once they get a taste of blood they are bound to get away, and will never be pets again. A young tiger, one of his fondest pets, licked his hand, one day, drawing blood with its file-like tongue. Immediately it went wild, he says, and had to be shot.
A great part of this trainer’s time is given to the teaching of wild animals as household pets.
“A ’coon makes one of the nicest pets I know' of,” he states, “and American women have brought me more wild, scared little ’coon kittens to be taught to be friendly than any other of the wild species.”
A ’coon which Mr. Hutcheson had under training in Vancouver, follow'ed him onto the street one day, and seeing his trainer board a street car, promptly clambered after him. He made a spring at the bell-rope and brought the car to a stop on the middle of the block, to the amusement of the passengers and the indignation of the conductor. The sudden stopping of the car was the first intimation Mr. Hutcheson had that his pet was aboard. He is a true animal lover, and attributes most of his accomplishments to the fact that before he commences to train any type of pet he first searches for a natural aptitude in the animal for the tricks he wants to teach.
“The Australian kangaroo is my favorite to train, to handle, and to be with,” declares Mr. Hutcheson, “for he is the most intelligent of all. Teddy, che Boxing Kangaroo, whose clever antics while boxing on the stage have delighted so many animal lovers and circus fans on this continent, is a pupil of mine.”
Most wild animals seem not to be endowed with the power of reasoning. They follow instinct, sometimes to their undoing. Were they to employ intelligence they could, on many occasions, escape with comparative ease. They may be transported in flimsy wooden cases provided there is a strongly barred opening. Instinct tells them to make for the light. There they expend their effort, a tithe of which would serve, if properly applied, to demolish the box itself.
The truth of this was illustrated some time ago in London, says H. G. Deacon of Toronto, who is keenly interested in animal welfare. Jamrach, the noted collector, was landing a consignment of animals from the interior of Africa. Among them was a splendid Nubian lion. This beast, instead of wasting his energy at the bars, simply pushed out the back of the case and escaped to the street. A short distance away a child was playing in the road. The lion, his predatory instincts as instantly and keenly alive in the roar of city traffic as in the wastes of his desert home, bounded toward the baby, picked it up in his powerful jaws and trotted away. Jamrach instantly ran after the beast, jumped upon his back and dug his fingers into the soft vulnerable flesh of the throat.
The lion dropped his prey and turned upon the rescuer. He was re-confined without much trouble, however. The baby was unhurt.
Lions sometimes are treacherous, but are firm friends if correctly handled. The human eye has an undoubted influence over them, and they will seldom attempt hostilities if steadily gazed upon, with no show of fear. To exhibit nervousness in the presence of carnivorous animals is dangerous. That is why animal tamers go about their work with such apparent disregard of the savage natures of the beasts under their sway. To the veterinary surgeon and the animal trainer, there is noContinued on page 42
Strangers in Our Midst
Continued from page 25
thing in Daniel’s well-known exploit of long ago. He had faith and showed no fear—so was unharmed.
When approached by strangers, lions, like the other great cats, will retreat into a corner and snarl, making lightning feints with extended claws. It is difficult to induce them to take medicine, and many tricks are resorted to by the doctor, such as placing it in food and water. The beasts have an uncanny knowledge of when they are being imposed upon in this respect, and are cunning in their efforts to combat treatment. Strategy is then resorted to. Medicine is attached in capsule form to the end of a stick. The lion is driven into a corner where he opens his mouth and snarls. Swiftly, the stick is thrust into the slavering jaws and down the throat, returning minus the capsule. It is risky work, though.
A lion in the Toronto zoo, a huge, surly brute who sulked for hours on end, was afflicted with pernicious loss of appetite. During some weeks he would touch hardly a morsel. Finally, he ceased eating altogether, and daily grew thinner and more morose. His meal hours were changed, as was also his diet, but without effect. When placed where he could see other animals feeding, he exhibited absolute1 indifference.
It is recognized by those in daily contact with such animals that the savage is rampant under a very thin skin. A tub of entrails, hot from a newly killed cow, was rushed' from the municipal abattoir and placed, still steaming, in the lion’s cage. The first time this was done the beast was quiescent. Next day, the experiment was repeated. As the odor of the kill swept' past the lion’s nostrils for the second time, he became suddenly
alert. Approaching gingerly, he sniffed the fresh blood for several seconds, making tentative reaches with his tongue, but again subsided in his corner. On the third day he licked the entrails as soon as the attendants placed them within reach. On the fourth day he devoured them. He was cured!
The Vicious Baboon
IT IS a rule with wild animal tamers and trainers that only the flimsiest of clothing will be worn in dealing with bears, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers and like beasts. This is to allow of easy tearing in case the animal strikes, so that the claws will not catch in the fabric and drag the man within reach of a second blow. To be brought to the floor is almost certain death.
A veterinary surgeon recently was asked what animal he most disliked treating. He answered without hesitation.
"Baboons! Dog-faced baboons!” he said, “They are vicious beyond belief. There is one out at the zoo here, who goes for me whenever I approach the cage. He is a big powerful fellow with wicked teeth and must be closely watched every moment. If I turn away for the fraction of a second he’ is' Upon me—and he is so fiendishly quick!' Monkeys and apes are pure devils. In fact, they are so dangerous that we cannot take notice of minor injuries and illness, but enter the cage only when urgently needed.”
Monkeys went out of fashion at about the same time as peacock-feather ornaments. They belong to the regime of carriages and pairs and Shetland ponies for the kiddies. An occasional family still maintains one. but the death of the King
of Greece some time ago, as the result of a bite from a pet monkey has put the finishing stroke to their popularity. The Shetland pony has been ousted by garages and t lie wide-spread building of apartment hotels, in place of the spacious homes of a generation ago. Some still survive on country estates, but the youngster of today whose financial position would permit of maintenance of a pony generally prefers a sports model roadster, and a radio phone for odd moments.
Parrots still retain their old-time popularity, and bird-store dealers get a good price for healthy birds. Their value is set according to their talking qualities, rather than for size and color. The best talkers, according to B. G. Hope, Toronto bird-store man, are the Panama parrot from Central America, the African Grey, the Double Yellowhead from Mexico and the Carthagenian from South America. Mr. Hope handles a variety of creatures, from turtles, monkeys and parrots to snakes, canaries, finches and goldfish.
Goldfish originally were found only in the Fiji Islands, in the South Pacific ocean, according to Mr. Hope, and were transported by Oriental traders and pearlfishers to Japan and China, where crossbreeding was developed, resulting in the beautiful Calico and veil-tail varieties. Breeding is now done in England, South America and on the Pacific coast of Canada. In discussing his work Mr. Hope said it would not be amiss were he to display a sign, “Park Your Goldfish Here,” because a number of residents bring their goldfish to him when leaving for summer holidays, and also when going South for the winter. The average time for which he is guardian of these pets is from three to four months. This applies also to other creatures, and in the course of his many years experience this fancier has had some strange pets brought to him as “boarders” as he terms them. They include turtles, wallabies, macaws, and those rat catchers par excellence, the Australian and Indian mongoose. These latter make excellent household pets, being affectionate and easily domesticated, and there are a number of them in the Dominion.
A horse, however, has this in common with a dog—that it occupies an unique position in the heart of mankind, and although the number of horses in use on city streets is rapidly diminishing, affection for horses still is strong. A horse in the average has the fine qualities of strength, patience and faithfulness and is the most docile of animals. A dangerous proposition, however, is a horse let out to pasture. The most decorous of equines likes to cut up and act the blade when turned loose in a field. You will have observed, perhaps, that a horse, quietly grazing, will raise its head, stand motionless for a moment, then lash out twice with both heels and gallop off, shaking its head waggishly as it goes. It is this vagary that is so unexpectedly perilous—it explains why we so often read of children and others being kicked to death in fields. There is no malice involved—simply overexuberance.
When a man strikes, however earnestly, he will subconsciously withhold some of the force of the blow. An animal follows instinct alone, which teaches it. to put its utmost skill and power into an offensive and defensive action. When an animal uses its weapons, whether they he teeth, claws, hooves or antlers, it does so to kill. That is why it is foolhardy to tease animals.
Bison are awkward creatures to deal with, their most objectionable feature I being stubbornness. When medical i treatment is needed the method generally adopted is to rope the horns and maintain I a steady pull, with the rope snubbed I around a tree. The bison, contrary always, j immediately will lower its massive head ! and back away. Another line is then j easily attached about the body near the quarters and another about the feet. A 1 quick pull on a bias then does the trick.
The King of the Prairie is thrown, al! ready bound, for whatever is necessary to do. But watch out, if it is angered before j being snubbed to the tree! In the opinion of a Winnipeg veterinarian, buffalo are the most ungrateful and unappreciative of all animals.
Perils of Mating Time
MATING time is especially dangerous in the handling of animals, particularly those of the deer family. At this period they are high-strung and vicious, with their combative qualities uppermost.
On a clear, snappy morning last Autumn, a man climbed into the deer enclosure of the High Park zoo, in Toronto. He was after mushrooms and paid no heed to the occupants of the ground. Suddenly came the furious trampling of hoofs. Looking up, he saw a magnificent elk charging on him like a tornado, from the far side ■ of the enclosure. The man dodged the full force of the rush, but was hurled against the fence, under which he managed to crawl, bruised and bleeding, while a witness kept off the maddened animal with stones.
Bears are bad to handle when under veterinary treatment. They are undisguisedly ill-tempered and will not hesitate to slash out when approached. Despite their bulk and apparent clumsiness, they are swift as light in striking and their claws are deadly as curved knives.
One winter, during the war, a certain Toronto Regiment, quartered on the Exhibition grounds, had as mascot a fine black bear. It was the pride of the battalion and no trouble was spared to keep it clean and comfortable. When it walked abroad it was attended by an equerry, brass-buttoned, belted and swaggersticked! A kingly beast, truly, and the Regiment never tired of bragging of its prowess. On a day when the snow lay thick and the morning was bright with sunlight, bruin was taken for an airing.
Passing through the camp grounds at the time was an express wagon in the back of which stood a large hound, the pet of the driver. The wagon creaked merrily over the snow. Suddenly, the hound stiffened and sniffed the breeze! Again he sniffed, and his hackles stood erect! Some hunter’s strain of a dim and distant sire awoke in his blood. He whined uneasily. Just then, the Martial Mascot, filled with visions of tuck and loud praise in the nearby canteen, ambled into view. His collar was of shining brass, with a brightly nickeled chain, held by his minion, trim, and khaki-clad, and strutting like a Roman Legionary.
There was a bark, a leap and a swirl of powdered snow! Things happened too quickly for the scandalized orderly to grasp. He cooled his language and his uniform in a drift, at an angle most unsoldierly, while his companion retreated across the landscape at a marvelous pace, with the hound sky-hooting in mad pursuit.
Contrary to common belief, severe cold does not affect adversely the transported denizens of tropical lands. In fact, some types of small birds, animals and reptiles from the equatorial belt of Africa and the steaming upper reaches of the Amazon seem to thrive in the Canadian atmosphere. Nature is readily adaptive. Cold improves the coats of all fur-bearing animals in quality, thickness and sheen. Snakes are sensitive to cold in that it renders them lethargic, but it seems also to increase the venom of their bites.
PEOPLE occasionally fancy peculiar pets, and are thoughtless in their attempts to keep them in a strange and adverse environment. A Montreal man made three attempts to transport live armadillos from Central America, each try resulting in the deaths of the animals after Cape Hatteras was rounded. The Antipodean wallaby is another animal difficult to acclimatize, and unless placed under expert care soon dies. This is the more pitiful, as it makes a most engaging pet, with its queer, foreshortened body and great, melting brown eyes.
A peculiar feature in the relations between animals and humans is the aversion which certain people feel for particular types of animals, and the distrust with which animals regard certain people. There is no basic law that veterinarians can discover to account for this, but it is strongly in evidence. The writer has in mind a man, very fond of animals, who has absolute horror of mice. Although large of frame and possessed of average courage, this chap exhibits unfeigned fear if one of these tiny rodents enters the room, and no amount of persuasion will force him to pursue or approach it.
A Toronto lady who is in terror of oats, accounts for it in this fashion. When a girl she visited a friend in a neighboring town, who possessed a number of cats and dogs, which were allowed to remain in her bedroom overnight.. The visitor requested her friend to put them outside during the night that she spent there and
her wish was acceded to. During the night, however, the friend, rendered restless through the absence of her pets, opened the bedroom door. The visitor awoke in the early morning with a frightful sensation of smothering, to find a large black cat crouched on her chest, with its face a few inches from her own.
Most people have witnessed how dogs and other animals, normally friendly to strangers, will back away and exhibit the liveliest dislike and fear when approached by certain people, who apparently have nothing in their characters to justify such aversion.
Human nature in peculiar forms drifts into the precincts of a veterinary hospital, and interesting characteristics are brought out in the most prosaic of folk when in an environment of animal suffering. A Toronto veterinarian tells of a woman in moderate circumstances, who insisted upon using on her pet terrier, toilet soap costing fifty-five cents a cake, and who, upon recovering the dog after treatment, literally drenched it with perfume. The idea that women who are most solicitous about their pets are those without a family is a fallacy, says this doctor. One of the most attentive and particular dog-fanciers in his experience was a woman with a large and happy family—but she took precaution to share her hobby with her children.
The love of kiddies for four-footed friends is proverbial, of course. Not long ago, a little girl came to a veterinary hospital and demanded a dog, for which she tendered a two dollar bill. When questioned about size, color and breed, she shook her head.
“I don’t care,” she stated; “Daddy has given me the money to buy a dog and I want him! Any kind of a dog will do!”
It is not alone veterinary men and trainers who devote their lives to the care of animals and the alleviation of animal suffering. In every city and province are
the employees of Humane Societies, who do nothing else.
The “Humane Lady”
TN WINNIPEG Miss Sally Warnock, A secretary of the Winnipeg Humane Society, is known • generally as the “humane lady.” Most of her time is given to the care of sick animals, the consoling of forlorn ones and the finding of homes for all of them. Miss Warnock has given her life to dumb creatures. She shares their joys and sorrows and every animal knows her as its friend. This lady once occupied a flat with a girl, who objected, not unreasonably perhaps, to the stray animals which she often brought home.
“I have a flat of my own, now,” said Miss Warnock. “I cannot really afford it, but it provides a home for my pets.”
“Yes,” she went on, in answer to a question, “I do think that working people have greater love and understanding of animals than those of higher social standing. The animals are more a part of their personal lives, and it is nearly always they who bring in stray, sick dr wounded pets.
The desire of folk to love and be loved by animate things, be they human or otherwise, is inherent in us all. The form which this longing takes occasionally is pathetic—sometimes humorous—but under the humor, pathos lurks.
There was the case of a woman whose pet Airedale became sick, and, despite extended treatment, died; and the owner brought flowers to lay upon its body. There are some who will sneer. Others perhaps will smile. But there are those who will look further and will find something beautiful in this tribute of a lonely, childless woman to a bit of still flesh, through which she had expressed the universal desire for affection. A true lover of animals and of mankind will not condemn, but will understand and appreciate.