« ForrigeFortsett »
up the crossing with the King Charles the white disappeared, and at the present time there are sufficient Ruby dogs and Ruby bitches to breed from Ruby parents on both sides—so long as neither parent has Blenheim blood in its veins. Thus easily has this choice and handsome variety become perpetuated. The tri-colours have always been, but by continual in-breeding with the darker coloured black and tans the latter are usually born free from white, although many of the best specimens even now have a few white hairs sprinkled up and down the coat and on the chest. Mrs. Forder is of my opinion, that the short noses are the result of in-breeding, which by that process, like any other deformity, can be accentuated. Blenheims and tri-colours are sometimes bred together, with a result that you obtain the two varieties from the one litter; but when the black and tan and the Blenheim are crossed the most probable result is not the two varieties, but King Charles with white on them in the shape of a patch on the breast, on the forehead, or on the feet. There is no doubt that at the present time, with the material at command, there is not the slightest reason to make any crosses between the varieties; all are sufficiently distinct and representative, thus by freedom from
breeding between relatives, and by judicious mating, there is no reason why the toy spaniels in their four varieties should not increase, multiply, and improve.
Within the past two or three years the abnormally short nose and the protruding, lolling tongue have certainly not been encouraged, and anyone attending the periodical exhibitions arranged by the Toy Spaniel Club cannot fail to be charmed with the pretty dogs that are there benched. These lovely specimens are not always from the homes of the noble and the wealthy, for in the. East End of London, where the labourer dwells, many of our best toy spaniels have been produced. Such little dogs are well adapted for cottage homes, as they take up less room than the bigger terrier, and are kept in good health with less exercise. Our English toy spaniels have for generations been favourites with the working man fancier, and his wife will attend to their comforts when she has put the children to bed. On the Saturday night, when his work is over for the week, this working man has a show of his own at his favourite “public round the corner,” where, on the parlour table, his little beauties are placed to compete against those of his neighbours. The prize is generally a useful article of small value, given either by the landlord or by a friend. At such shows as these the choicest toy spaniels originally appear, and a good “ stock '' Blenheim or King Charles will bring in quite a little income to his owner. These working men often enough refuse £20 and £30 apiece for their favourites, and it is indeed a moderate specimen that will not bring more than a five pound note. I believe to the working classes of the East End we are indebted for the present excellence and popularity of the toy spaniels. Few are bred of any note whatever either at Blenheim Palace or in the neighbourhood of Marlborough. The Dukes of Norfolk have not taken any interest in them for a generation or two, and they are no longer favourites in the royal home at Windsor. Still, the breed survives, and under the fostering care of the specialist club will no doubt continue to improve. At their shows now, over a hundred specimens may be exhibited, and if such do not bring sums so exorbitant as the more fashionable collie and fox terrier, not long ago £80 was given for the King Charles Spaniel Laureate, and I know one or two Blenheims which are worth quite as much—Mr. Garrod's May Queen II., for instance. Retracing our steps a few years, we find in 1871 Mr. C. Dawson's Frisky, Mrs. Lee's Jumbo, and Mr. Garwood's Hyllus, all animals of high stamp, and three years later Mr. Forder brought out a King Charles called Young Jumbo, which beat all before him for a time. Mr. Buggs succeeded not long after with Alexander the Great, then came Bend Or, Bend Or II., and Mrs. Forder's Jumbo, all of which attained to the dignity of champions. The following came later, and take us up to the present date, Mr. Arnold's Grace Darling; Mrs. Graves' Little Gem, Golden Ben, and Sunbeam ; Mr. Yates' Minerva; Mrs. W. H. B. Warner's Queen of the Toys and Laureate ; Mr. R. Spencer's Olivette; Mrs. Collis' Donovan; and Mrs. Pestell's Paymaster. The best Blenheims are Duke of Bow; Mrs. Jenkins' Bowsie and Flossie ; Mr. Collis' Pompey and Ermine; Mr. Garrod's Excelsior and May Queen II.; Mrs. Blamey's King Stormy of Homerton; Mrs. Graves' Tiny Tots; and Mrs. Forder's Haidee. In addition to the above, which have taken the leading prizes of late, from Mrs. Leeke's Sweet May Blossom I. and II. and her Lola, which run back as direct descendants from the Duke of Bow, have been produced many of the best Blenheims of the present day. Nor must Mr. J. W. Berrie's (afterwards Mrs. Booth's) The Earl, and Mr. J. H. Dawes' Prince, and Charlie be forgotten. The most successful tri-colours or Prince Charles up to date are Mrs. Jenkins' Prince of Teddington, Day Dream, Mozart, and Zingra II. : Mrs. Collis' Scamp ; Mrs. Graves' Mother Bunch; and Miss Young's Lady Vivian. Before tri-colours were called Prince Charles, Miss Violet Cameron showed successfully a pretty little dog called Conrad. The Rubies are yet in few hands, but several particularly choice specimens have appeared on the benches lately, and I rather fancy that of all the toy spaniels my admiration has been mostly extended to Mr. S. J. Thompson's exquisite Ruby Princess, and to Mr Garrod's equally choice Blenheim, May Queen II., neither of which would scale 7lb. weight, and are almost perfect in other respects. Mrs. Jenkins and Mrs. Woodgate own the best strains of the Rubies, and the former's Ruby Prince and Golden Phiz, and the latter's Jasper, England's Best, and Carbuncle, with Mr. Knight's Turret Queen, are examples of a lovely variety of dog which anyone must feel proud in owning. Many persons have decried these pretty toy spaniels of ours because it is said they are dirty, snappish, strong smelling, and generally disagreeable as house dogs and ladies' pets. This is not at all the case, and when there is any foulness from the breath or skin such arises through ill-health and neglect. The Blenheim, as already hinted, is the most sprightly and lively of the breed of toy spaniels, sweet in disposition, sensible, cleanly, and an admir