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It seems strange that with such a modern variety of dog there should be serious doubts about its origin, and there are certainly differences of opinion on the matter. On one side it is stated to have come from the North of China, and that Lady Brassey brought a specimen therefrom when she was touring round the world in her yacht, the “Sunbeam.” Again it is said the breed first sprang up accidentally, it being a “sport” produced in the north of London by one of the working fanciers in that locality, who had a particularly dark-coloured strain of the ordinary pug. Mrs. W. H. B. Warner, of Northallerton, at the close of 1893, showed a little black dog which she had brought from Japan, where it was said to be of a rare and choice breed. This is nothing else than a long-coated pug- i.e., pug in character and shape, but with a jacket such as is seen on a Pomeranian. But there is no reason to doubt that in the East there are as many varieties of the dog as we have here. However, it is only in place that this latest of importations should be mentioned here. In, however, suggesting that our black pugs may have come from some such dog as this, it must not be forgotten that they have very short and thin jackets, the antipodes of this little fellow of Mrs. Warner's.

Personally, I believe there may be truth in both statements, that a black pug was accidentally produced, and at the same time a specimen or two had been brought from the East. Although Lady Brassey makes no allusion to a black pug in her published journals of the voyage of the “Sunbeam,” still I know as a fact that two or three similar dogs were on her yacht, but whether they were then called black pugs is another question. More likely they were known as Chinese pugs. A writer in a recent number of Black and White says: “It is rather unfortunate that the late Lady Brassey should have allowed the origin of the new pug to remain a mystery, but there seems little doubt that it hailed from China, as in a weekly contemporary, only the other day, I saw a copy of an advertisement which had been appearing in the North China Daily News : “Lost, near the Hong Kong and Syezchen Roads, last evening, a small Peking Pug, black body and head, white paws. Anyone finding same will be rewarded on bringing it to Kelly and Walsh, Limited, Shanghai." The white paws were evidently uncommon, and were the lost dog's distinguishing marks. I have also learned that a lady in the West End bought a black pug bitch from a sailor on one of the cargo ships just in the docks from China. Another lady at Willesden also bought

one in the same way. This one was, however,
unfortunately burnt in a fire, and before the
purchaser had bred from her; but it is an undoubted
fact that these pugs came off a Chinese vessel just
arrived in port, and were sold to them as Chinese
pugs. One lady describes hers as ‘very short in
face, good curl tail, and a beautiful jet black'—a
perfect pug in points. Again, I have heard of a
‘Chinese pug" being bought at Portsmouth from a
ship calling there.
“It is, therefore, not improbable that Lady
Brassey's black pugs Jack Spratt and Mahdi were
brought home from China by Lady Brassey, and
were of the breed mentioned in that stray advertise-
ment for a lost pet, viz., a ‘Peking pug.”
That the variety is, at any rate, now quite a
distinct one I do not doubt at all, for the following
reasons. Mrs. Fifield, of Eastleigh, Southampton,
who has some excellent specimens, which originally
came from the Brassey strain, says that when blacks
are mated together they breed true to type and
colour, although in almost every litter a perfectly-
marked grey specimen appears, but Mrs. Fifield
never bred a black one from grey parents. Most
of the blacks have, however, a little patch of
white on the chest or toes, but others are per-

fectly black. Miss “Mortivals" (Miss M. D.

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Robinson), Takeley, Essex, writes in a similar strain, and as these two ladies have had a greater experience of black pugs than any one else, their opinions must be highly valued. Indeed, they, with Mr. Alfred Bond, of Gravesend, appear to be the only persons who have given much attention to the variety, and to them all credit is due for the improvement brought about in the appearance of the animal since it first came upon the scene. The black pug is now a more cobbily and thickly-made dog than was the case three or four years ago; he is lower on the legs, and his head, face, and skull are more characteristic of our own pug dog, and he is likely in the future to breed quite as true to type as any other of our modern varieties; thus in due course he will popularise himself. Although it was not until 1886 that black pugs first appeared at our shows, long before this time Lady Brassey had them at Normanhurst. A pair were given to a lady in Liverpool. Lord Londonderry was likewise presented with a specimen, and later I hear that Her Majesty the Queen took one, amongst her other canine companions, to Balmoral, on the usual royal visit to the Highlands. The royal pug, which bore the name of “Brassey" in honour of its donor, died at Windsor in 1891, and, so T

far as I can learn, not one of these four animals left
any progeny behind.
After Lady Brassey's tragical death in the
Southern seas in 1887, several of her black pugs
were purchased by Mr. A. Bond, already alluded to.
One of these dogs was Jack Spratt, who is said
to be pretty well the progenitor of the present
strains, though of course other blood was introduced.
Mr. Bond had the misfortune to lose Jack Spratt
in 1888, both he and Bessie Spratt falling victims to
that scourge of the pet dog, inflammation of the lungs.
Fortunately, ere this occurred, Mr. Bond had been
successful in rearing Lino, from Jack and Bessie
Spratt, a handsome black dog, which he subsequently
sold to Mrs. Fifield, of Southampton, and which has
since sired the notable Doatie Darling and Black
Gem, two of the best blacks we have had. What
had become of Nap. II.-Lady Brassey's especial
favourite—and his sister Black Bess, no one could
find out, until the Crystal Palace Committee, in their
show for 1891, provided two classes for black pugs.
Then for the first time Normanhurst Nap, who had
become the property of Miss “Mortivals,” met his
brother, the Gravesend Lino, who beat the old
favourite. Singularly, the first prize went to quite an
outsider, believed to have come from the East End
of London, as breeder and pedigree were stated

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