25 APRIL 1931, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

SIR,—Some years ago, I with my sister and brothers bought an absolutely new house in the North of England.. As the elder sister I had the privilege of choosing my bedroom first. I wandered from room to room, my collie dog, Hero, close at my heels. The room I felt most closely drawn to he walked round and round as if seeking for something, as he does in the garden for a hidden bone. I noticed that he soon left me and stood outside the door, looking at me with most appealing eyes. When I left this room and went to another, he eagerly followed me and showed great pleasure, but when I went back to the room I had just left he would not enter it. He stood at the door his face a picture of pathos and earnest pleading which at the time more than puzzled me. I finally chose this room for my bedroom, chiefly because it was the most quiet and also it got the morning sun, which I love. The first night we slept in the house, Hero, instead of going to his mat, which he always had under my window, stayed outside my door. I called to him to come in, but he seemed afraid of something. After much persuasion he came a few yards inside the door, sniffed loudly and then gave the most piteous howl I have ever heard, and rushed downstairs. I could not understand Hero at all and hoped it was just the strangeness of the new house that was disturb- ing him and that he would soon settle down and consent to sleep in my room as usual.

I was doomed to disappointment, nothing would induce Hero to go into my room and often when I was going there he would try to prevent me entering it, catching hold of my skirt and giving it a gentle pull. Failing to stop me, he would lie down on the mat outside my door and wait for me, and while we were in this house he continued to sleep there. At first I would not give him his mat because I thought he was naughty and that he ought to obey me. In time I relented and put his mat outside at night, and the first time I did this he thanked me with his eyes and kisses as he has never done before or since.

After we had been in the house for some months the builder came to see about some small repairs. I told him about my dog's objection to enter my bedroom, and the man then told me that one of his best workmen had committed suicide in that particular room, on hearing that a much loved only son had been knocked down and killed by a motor car. The sad accident had happened scarcely an hour after a happy little family meeting during the man's dinner hour. The meal had been eaten in my room and the child had played there while the parents talked. Can any readers explain this strange intuition of my dog. From the beginning he evidently felt something which was hidden from me and my