1 AUGUST 1952, Page 14

Reverting to the Wild

Walking home, I met Dick, who told me that his dog had once gone wild to have her pups and he had had to bring the family back to civilised surroundings. My grandfather had a collie bitch that did the same thing, enlarging a rabbit-hole until it was big enough to take her young. By accounts she was more wild than Dick's dog for she would allow no one to approach the " den." Reverting to the wild state is a common thing with cats and dogs, particularly when they are having their first litter, but once I saw it happen to a large white sow. The sow disappeared about the time she was due to have her litter, and after a search she was found on the fringe of a boggy bit of ground where she had made a sort of nest by pulling up round rushes. The mound of rushes was about eight feet in diameter and three or four feet in height. The sow had crawled into the middle of the heap, but she was discovered and 'brought home in time to have her confinement in clean straw. It was not her first litter, but the first time the wild instinct had taken her.