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CHAPTER XII.
ENGLISH TOY SPANIELS.

NOTWITHSTANDING recent introductions and popularisations of other canine pets, the toy spaniels appear to well hold their own in favouritism; one even fancies they are increasing in numbers, as they certainly are in quality. The original toy spaniels were black, tan, and white in colour; and orange or red and white, the former known as the King Charles, and later the latter as Blenheims. The King Charles were called after the second monarch of that name, who had so great a partiality and fondness for such creatures; and the Blenheims obtained their designation from the family seat of the Dukes of Marlborough, where at one time they were bred to perfection and kept with great care. However, I imagine that long before the restoration of the Stuarts (1660), toy spaniels were general favourites with the aristocracy. A story is told that James II., on one occasion fleeing from a sinking ship, suddenly discovered that some favourite spaniels had been left behind, for which he would have the boat return, though previously he would not consent to put back to rescue his sailors, some of whom were drowned. One could scarcely believe even a monarch of the stamp of James II., guilty of so cruel and inhuman an action. But toy spaniels have not been fortunate in their connection with Royalty, for Mary Queen of Scots' favourite dog was a little black and tan spaniel, and it was found almost heartbroken, curled up in her royal mistress's gown a short time after her melancholy death at the axe of the headsman. About that time and a little later the toy spaniel became fashionable because he was a royal favourite, docile in disposition, and intelligent withal. Towards the close of the sixteenth century Dr. Caius alludes to him as “the Spaniell gentle, otherwise called the Comforter,” but does not say much in his favour. He, however, alludes to such lap or toy dogs as “good to assuage the sickness of the stomach,” being applied thereto as a preservative plaster, and as being likewise useful when borne in the bosom to keep in “moderate heat diseased and weak persons.” Caius follows with a lot of other rubbish, but in his day the little dogs were pampered and petted much as they are now, and, no doubt because they afforded pleasure to their fair mistresses, who kissed and fondled

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