I’m a dog lover. And I enjoy researching family history. Imagine my delight in finding the two passions intersecting!
I’m descended from David Phillips who first purchased the property we now own in West Virginia back in 1833. In reading up on the family, I found a story about David’s brother, Elijah Phillips, and a dog named Lant. I’ve put it down word-for-word, simply because no one writes like this any more. Or, at least, no one should.
“Edwin owned a dog named Lant, which possessed remarkable intelligence as illustrated by the following incident: One night Edwin was awakened by a distant barking of his dog, and supposing that a raccoon had been treed, dressed himself and went into the woods from whence the dog’s voice came. Upon reaching the place, however, he found old Lant walking behind Elijah Phillips, his father, and barking at frequent intervals. This was unusual conduct on the part of the dog toward one with whom it was well acquainted and would indicate the opposite of intelligence under ordinary circumstances; but when it is explained that the aged man who the dog followed had lost his mind and was apt to go wandering from home and become lost explains the act. No possible motive can be assigned to this act of the dog except a desire to warn his master of the danger which attended the wandering of the feeble and mentally helpless old man.”
The story goes on to describe Elijah as being, “Low in stature with dark eyes and hair, inclined to corpulency, full of life, a great talker, a man of good sense.” I think I may have to include such a man (and his dog) in a future book!