292 DOGS AND ALL ABOUT THEM
The Pekinese bitches are excellent mothers, provided they are not interfered with for the first few days. This was discovered at Goodwood years ago by the fact that, on two or three occasions, one Celestial lady, who had been given greater attention than she considered necessary, revenged herself by devouring her own family of puppies ! One thing seems from experience to be especially advisable-as far as can be arranged, to breed in the spring rather than autumn. The puppies need all the open air and exercise that is possible, and where rickety specimens are so frequently met with it is only natural that a puppy who starts life with the summer months ahead is more likely to develop well than one born in the autumn. Great attention should be paid with reference to the frequent-almost certain-presence of worms, which trouble seems more prevalent with Pekinese than with any other breed. Wherever possible, fish should be given as part of the dietary ; some Pekinese devour it with relish ; others will not touch it, but there is no doubt it is a useful item in the bill of fare. Bread well soaked in very strong stock, sheep's head, and liver are always better as regular diet than meat, but in cases of debility a little raw meat given once a day is most beneficial.
It would not be fitting to close an article on Pekinese without bearing testimony to their extraordinarily attractive characteristics. They are intensely affectionate and faithful, and have something almost cat-like in their domesticity. They display far more character than the so-called " toy dog " usually does, and for this reason it is all-important that pains should be taken to preserve the true type, in a recognition of the fact that quality is more essential than quantity.
As their breed-name implies, these tiny black and white, longhaired lap dogs are reputed to be natives of the land of the chrysanthemum. The Japanese, who have treasured them for centuries, have the belief that they are not less ancient than the dogs of Malta. There seems to be a probability,