PRACTICAL MANAGEMENT 311
Collies Southport Perfection and Ormskirk Emerald Mr Megson paid a thousand sovereigns each. Size is no criterion of a dog's market value ; Mrs. Ashton Cross is said to have refused two thousand pounds for her celebrated Pekinese Chu Erh, and there are many lap--dogs now living that could not be purchased for that high price. These are sums which only a competent judge with a long purse would dream of paying for an animal whose tenure of active life can hardly be more than eight or ten years, and already the dog's value must have been attested by his success in competition. It requires an expert eye to perceive the potentialities of a puppy, and there is always an element of speculative risk for both buyer and seller. Many a dog that has been sold for a song has grown to be a famous champion. At Cruft's show in 1905 the Bulldog Mahomet was offered for ten pounds. No one was bold enough to buy him, yet eighteen months afterwards he was sold and considered cheap at a thousand. Uncertainty adds zest to a hobby that is in itself engaging.
Thanks to the influence of the Kennel Club and the institution of dog shows, which have encouraged the improvement of distinct breeds, there are fewer nondescript mongrels in our midst than there were a generation or so ago. A fuller knowledge has done much to increase the pride which the British people take in their canine companions, and our present population of dogs has never been equalled for good quality in any other age or any other land.
The beginner cannot easily go wrong or be seriously cheated, but it is well when making a first purchase to take the advice of an expert and to be very certain of the dog's pedigree, age, temper, and condition. The approved method of buying a dog is to select one advertised for sale in the weekly journals devoted to the dog. A better way still, if a dog of distinguished pedigree is desired, is to apply direct to a well-known owner of the required breed, or to visit one of the great annual shows, such as Cruft's, Manchester, The Ladies' Kennel Association, The Kennel Club (Crystal Palace, in October),