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CHAPTER XIII.
THE SKYE TERRIER.

THE question which is now agitating those who are most concerned in the welfare and well-being of the Skye terrier is a peculiar one. “What is it? Is it to be a toy or a sporting dog?" is the question for discussion, and, as usual where a controversy is concerned, there are at least two parties who seemingly hold different opinions. We all know that of late years at any rate, the Skye terrier has been produced to such perfection, so far as length of coat is concerned, that it would be actually impossible for him to perform the proper duties of a terrier. Then, too, the coat is soft, not so hard and wiry as it ought to be, and, of course, more suitable for carrying wet and dirt than for getting rid of it. Strangely, there are modern writers who have identified the description of the “Iseland” dogges mentioned by Caius as identical with the Skye terrier. I am pretty well certain that the hardy, warlike, matter-of-fact Scots who lived and fought and robbed before and during Caius's time never owned a dog of any kind that could not be made useful. This could never be the case with the modern Skye terrier, with his long coat and shaggy head. In the sixteenth century, and earlier, there was, no doubt, a Scottish terrier, but he was the “die hard ” of the present day rather than the Skye. In proof of this one of the leading writers on dogs so recently as 1881 confounds the two varieties, so far as to give us an excellent illustration of a hardhaired Scottish terrier which he is fain to call a Skye terrier. Perhaps the learned writer, Hugh Dalziel, is not so much to blame for this as the person who led him into the error, which was, of course, rectified in later editions. I mention this in order to show that even in modern times it were possible for confusion to be caused between the Skye terrier, which is quite a recently manufactured variety, and the Scottish terrier, which I have said in an earlier chapter is probably the oldest of all varieties of Scotia's dogs. Between 1870 and 188o a number of letters appeared in the Field newspaper, in which interested writers, as they did later on, tried to make out that there were several strains of these Skye terriers; but again they mixed up the die hards, and the more they wrote the more confusion was caused. Nor did

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