KING EDWARD’S DOG CAESAR NOW COLLECTS FOR A HOSPITAL
London, July 20. “Caesar,” the late King Edward’s famous terrier, who figured so prominently in the royal funeral, is now working for his living. He is an official collector for the king’s hospital fund in London. Every day he goes about with a box on his shoulder, gathering charitable doles for the support of the London hospitals in which his late master took so keen an interest. Wherever “Caesar” goes, especially among the aristocratic upper classes—he has the entrée as a matter of course—he is met by a golden shower of coins.
The popularity of “Caesar” among the English people is something astonishing. When the little dog appeared in the royal procession it was the one touch of nature that made the British crowd kin. Tears flowed abundantly at the sight of “Teddy’s terrier,” as “Caesar” is affectionately called. Even at the door of Westminster hall, where the body was laid in state, the queen mother bent down and caressed “Caesar.” And now the dog is enshrined in the hearts of the animal loving Britishers.
In fact, it is this peculiar love for domestic pets that has helped to endear the English reigning house to the people. Queen Alexandra has a great fondness for King Charles spaniels; while King Edward preferred the more common breeds. “Caesar” is a very ordinary looking terrier, such as many a workingman possesses, and this fact alone has greatly added to the fame of this particular dog. Never before, perhaps, has any dog become so overwhelmingly popular as “Caesar.” The toy shops in London and elsewhere are selling thousands of copies of “Caesar” made in wool and cloth, and his effigy has even supplanted the “Teddy bear” in the hearts of English children.
It is not exactly a new role that the king’s dog is playing in becoming a collector for charitable purposes. Many dogs in various parts of England are following his occupation. The London Fire Brigade has a dog collector who—not “which,” as these dogs are so human—gathers large sums of money for the widows and orphans of firemen. Several British regiments also have dog collectors for similar functions.
At nearly all the big London railway stations dog collectors are to be seen running in and out among the passengers, jumping on trains and gathering from willing travelers pennies, sixpences and shillings—sometimes even gold pieces—which go toward the upkeep of homes of rest, orphanages and hospitals for railway employes.
At Waterloo Station—whence most of the American boat trains start from Southampton—there is a famous dog, “London Jack,” whose collections have run into thousands of dollars. His average takings are somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000 per annum. There have been several “London Jacks” at Waterloo station; but the one first to establish a record was “London jack, Number 1.” Even though now deceased, his good work still goes on; for he is “stuffed” and set up in a large glass case, bearing the legend: “This is ‘London Jack,” who for many years collected large sums of money for the widows and orphans of railway employes. Please give him a contribution.”
You may still donate money on behalf of “London Jack’s charitable institutions by putting coins into a slot running down into a money box beside the remains of the defunct animal. Thus it is that “London jack,” though dead, still continues his good work. Of course, the “takings” of the dead dog do not amount to anything like what he used to earn as a living entity, but none the less they still total a substantial figure yearly. In this case, at least, a dead dog is better than a live lion.
“London jack” has a successor in “London Jack, Number 2.” This dog has not as yet made a record in money collecting equal to that of his predecessor, but his popularity is rapidly growing. “London Jack No. 2’ is a great favorite among Americans. He jumps on and off the “boat trains” and does a roaring trade among American visitors.
“London Jack II” has learned many little winning tricks that often bring him a shilling or two from many an unwilling passenger. When he comes into a compartment and finds a passenger absorbed in reading, he gently places one paw upon the lap of the passenger and looks up so pleadingly that it is almost impossible to resist the mute appeal. He can discriminate between the “flop” of the big flat penny piece—value 2c—and the silver tinkle of the nimble sixpence—12c. When you drop a penny into Jack’s money box you get a somewhat indifferent bow of thanks. When, however, you put in a silver piece, Jack gives you an elaborate handshake with his paw. Many passengers who know the dog’s tricks often give him money just to see the difference he makes between those who give pennies and those who give silver.
Another immensely popular London dog collector is known to the world of passengers as “Paddington Tim.” His field of operations is Paddington Station, one of the greatest west end termini. “Tim” is quite used to royalty, for it is at Paddington station that the trains from Windsor arrive, and “Tim” is always on deck and very much in evidence whenever a royal train pulls into the station.
The ticket collectors always give “Tim” free access to royal trains. He does not wait on ceremonial, but rushes up to the real coach and generally manages to pick out the king, queen or other eminent personage. It is the invariable custom of English royalty to contribute something to these begging dogs at railway stations, and “Tim” is never overlooked. In fact, he has come into very close contact with various members of the English ruling family. He is a particular favorite with little Princess Mary, who never fails to give him a half sovereign—a gold piece equal to about $2.50 in American money. “Tim” is also a great friend of Queen Alexandra, and the late king frequently noticed him.
Another famous money maker at a railway station is “Southampton Jack,” whose earnings during some years have almost equaled those of “London Jack” and “Paddington Tim.” “Southampton Jack” was trained for his profession by the ticket collector at Southampton. This dog has a number of engaging tricks which always interest passengers, and, of course, attain the object of raising money. “Southampton Jack” is an immense favorite among soldiers and sailors, Southampton being the port of embarkation for most of the troops going to South Africa, India and other British possessions beyond seas.
This dog has picked up many little tricks that endear him to the trooper and will go and fetch tobacco, newspapers and books from the newsstand at the station. “Southampton Jack” is very expert in jumping on and off trains, and seems to delight in the exercise. He will run alongside a moving train a long way in the expectation of obtaining a penny contribution to the Southampton railwaymen’s orphanage. During the South African war, “Southampton Jack” and other dogs at the seaport devoted their efforts toward raising money for suffering soldiers and sailors, and this fact has endeared these animals to the British fighting man. The earnings of “Southampton Jack,” considering they nearly come up to those of “London Jack,” are all the more remarkable in view of the fact that “Southampton Jack” only collects in pennies, whereas his metropolitan coworker frequently gets silver and even gold.
“Wimbledon Nell” is another dog whose earnings have contributed largely to the upkeep of railwaymen’s charities. Nell is an extremely intelligent Newfoundland retriever and a very beautiful specimen. She is very popular among children and collects considerable money from the little ones.
The training of these various collecting dogs is not an easy task, and most of the dogs—except “Caesar”—have been, as it were, raised in their peculiar callings. London Jack II” underwent nearly a year of training under W.D. Wickens, a railway mechanic, while Southampton Jack was “brought up” by E. West, a ticket collector. All the railway collecting dogs have been trained by railwaymen, the trainers devoting their spare time to the task. The dogs must become used to the immense traffic at the great stations and learn how to keep out of the way of passengers and their baggage. A belated passenger running to catch a train could scarcely be expected to pause for a dog collector, so when these dogs see running passengers they always make themselves scarce.
So successful have the collecting dogs been at the big London stations that many small towns throughout the country are adopting the system as a regular source of revenue for orphanages and other charitable institutions. Besides being employed at Waterloo, Paddington and most of the big London stations, collecting dogs are now at Wimbledon, Southampton, Barnstable, Andover, Woking, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Eastleigh and other places. It is estimated that dog collectors in England annually raise for charity close on to $15,000.
Most of the dogs plying this novel profession are Newfoundland retrievers, collie sheep dogs and Welsh collies. These breeds are said to take naturally to the “profession.” This is due mainly to the fact that these special dogs have been more accustomed to “mixing in” with crowds and have become more used to man than perhaps other classes of dogs.
It is doubtful if this manner of collecting money would succeed in other places than England. The British are a very animal loving people; and in addition are greatly given to charity. Not less than $10,000,000 is raised in England each year by public subscriptions for charitable purposes alone. All the great London hospitals are supported entirely by voluntary contributions, freely given by the general public. The hospitals are exclusively for the poor, and no charge whatever is made for admission. They are attended by the most distinguished physicians, even the king’s doctors giving their services for nothing.
It is rather flattering to British honesty that no attempt has ever been made to tamper with the money boxes of dog collectors, even at stations frequented by the roughest elements of the population. The money boxes rest on saddles strapped around the dog’s body, and there would be no great difficulty in removing the box from the animal should anyone be so inclined. The dogs jump into trains and mingle freely with passengers, but no one has ever tried to remove the boxes or extract any of the funds they contain. Perhaps the fact that these dogs are so conspicuously in “the public eye” affords them ample protection.
San Francisco [CA] Call 14 August 1910: p. 12
Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Caesar was a wire fox terrier belonging to King Edward VII, who was amused by his mischievous nature; courtiers were less entertained. His collar read: “I am Caesar. I belong to the King.” His image appeared on postcards and in the newspapers, as well as in a stuffed toy by Steiff and in hardstone by Faberge. Caesar, as befitting his imperial name, took precedence over nine kings at the King’s funeral procession in 1910, greatly annoying Kaiser Wilhelm. He died in 1914 and is buried at Marlborough House. See this blog post for images of most of the dogs referenced above.
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You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.