I am a big brown and white collie. My name is Gyp, and I am really very handsome. My young master brushes me every day, and every member of the family loves me.
We are a big family: there are six children.
Babs, the youngest, is two, and Miss Ethel, the eldest, is sixteen. She seems quite young and lively, in spite of being such an age; but I suppose human children live longer than dogs. My mother lived to be fifteen, and everyone thought it to be a great age. "Poor old thing, don't worry her, she’s very old." That’s what master used to say to say when the children tried to get her to play with them.
But though I love the family, I must own that there used to be some things that they were very obstinate about. I did my best to train them, but they only misunderstood me and said I was s spoilt dog. I say ‘used’ because things are better now tell you.
There were two things I wanted more than anything else in the World. The first was to be allowed to sit by that hot-red thing that people keep in a cage in their rooms, I think it's called a fire (I expect you know the thing I mean). But my family always said: "No, Gyp, we can't have doggies in the dining-room. You must lie in the hall." So in the hall I had to stay, cross, cold, and uncomfortable.
The other thing I always wanted was a collar like Miss Ethel's.
It was silver, such a pretty crinkly pattern; but it was too big for her neck; so she wore it round her middle. She called it a belt. However, names don't matter, it was the collar itself I liked so much. But I couldn't make any one understand that I wanted one, so I had to go on wearing my shabby old leather one.
Well, one day was out for a walk by the river with Nurse and the four youngest children. We were romping and playing and having such a jolly time, when suddenly Babs slipped and fell into the water.
You never heard such a noise as there was!
Nurse and the children screamed and screamed, and instead of swimming to the bank, as any ordinary little puppy would have done, Babs simply began to drown.
Of course I could see at he was a little duffer, but I was fond of him and couldn't let him drown; so I just jumped in and fetched him out.
I laid him at Nurse's feet she began to cry with joy, and then she threw her arms round my wet neck and kissed me.
We all raced home to tell Mother and Father and the other children what had happened.
Such a fuss! There was every one running from Babs to me and then back to Babs again.
“Oh, the darling!” they cried, “he's saved the angel’s life. Come and dry your dear wet coat by the drawing-room fire.” I was to sit in front of the red thing in the drawing-room.
No one said, “Go out at once, sir! Your place is the hall.” No, only nice, lovely things. They even seemed quite pleased when the water ran off my coat on to the best pink carpet. “How wet the poor dear is,” said Mother, when she brought me a basin of warm milk. Then Jimmy, my young master, said, “Gyp must have a real silver collar, in memory of having saved Babs' life.” They all agreed, and in a day or two it came.
It was such a beauty, quite as good as Miss Ethel's, and it fitted me, too; I don’t have to wear it round my middle as she does hers.
I often say to dogs who are friends of mine, how funny that such an ordinary thing as that should make such a difference to people. I am treated quite differently now! I have a silver collar, and don’t have to lie in the hall any more. In fact, I am allowed to do pretty well what I like.