Huddersfield Chronicle (12/Mar/1870) - The Policeman's Dog

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.

The Policeman’s Dog

Tom,” the policeman’s dog, who has been connected with the Borough Police Force several years, is now no more, and many of his admirers are suffering from melancholy and grief. “Tom,” who was of the hound species, entered the force under circumstances as painful nearly as the agonies of his death. About four years ago, this humble, rejected, but faithful member of the canine order, presented himself, as a candidate for constabulary favours, at the Borough Police Station. Having no character as to the stock from which he descended, or his antecedents, nor even a single recommendation — for his form was anything but prepossessing, while his demeanour was uncouth and repulsive—accompanied with all these disadvantages, of course, his application — “personal” application, by the way — for admission into the force was refused, and peremptory orders given for his forcible ejectment from the premises. The dog, however, despising kicks, and returning good for evil, clung to the Police Office with irresistible tenacity ; and, at length, defying the violence used towards him, won the attachment of various members of the force, and subsequently obtained shelter at the station, which he hereafter recognised as “head quarters.” Adopted as “one of the force,” it was thought necessary to find him a name, and, therefore, he was called “Tom.” Singularly sagacious, “Tom” could distinguish a policeman from an ordinary citizen ; and when his appetite pinched him, he could also find the way to their respective places of abode. He selected favourites, and oftentimes paid extended visits to some of those who catered for him in a liberal spirit. But, besides being the “pet” of the force, he had a wide circle of friends who were ever ready to “stand treat” for him. So accustomed did this dog become to official duty and hours, he rarely neglected attending parade ; and, as he “turned out” with the men, so he usually returned with them at the appointed time in the morning. He was docile and companionable, but, among other virtues, he could raise such an alarm as would scare the basest of nocturnal street prowlers ; and, if his detections never came to light, his “promotion” sprung from a most courageous “apprehension” a few months ago. A prisoner escaped from the Police Station ; and Tom went out with the officers in pursuit. Overtaking the truant, the dog seized him by the trousers, and held him securely until an officer arrived. The prisoner, when tried at the sessions on the charge for which he had been locked up, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment ; and, after that time, Tom’s collar bore the word, in large letters, “Inspector.” Unfortunately, it was thought he had been bitten by a dog alleged to be under the influence of the distemper, and, alas, his fate was sealed. His death was accelerated by a dose of poison, administered in the early part of the week; and thus terminated the career of “Tom, the policeman’s dog” — a faithful, kind, and intelligent animal.