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The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) (about) 9 May 1891

The deerhound Sir Gavin, winner of first prize at the last Birmingham show, who is the property of Major Davis, was (states the Stock keeper) the central figure at a trial in Bath

Police Court on the 3rd March. It seems that last summer an order was made upon Major Davis, of 55 Pulteney-street, to keep the deerbound in question under proper control. It was alleged that the major neglected to do so, and at the instance of Mrs. E. M. Stone, of Caerbadon, Cleveland-walk, a fresh summons was taken out. On Christmas Eve Mrs. Stone, accompanied by a St. Bernard, was walking down Pulteney-street, when she saw Major Davis approaching with two deer- hounds coupled together. Knowing that the dogs had been quarrelling before, Mrs. Stone took hold of her dog by the collar. Notwithstand- ing this, the fawn deerhound sprang towards her, and, jumping on one side to avoid him, she fell in the snow, and the hound seized her twice in the thigh, inflicting, according to the testimony of Dr. Percy Wilde, two circular bruises. It was also stated that had it not been by the protection afforded by her clothing Mrs. Stone would have been severely bitten. Miss Edith Hotham's evidence fully confirmed Mrs. Stone's account of the occurrence. Many witnesses were called who had been attacked by the dog, and, although on several occasions the animal's aggressive habit was only shown by rough play, there were many cases where serious annoyance had been caused. A curious fact in connection with this dog's delinquencies was that he had a penchant for assaulting women, as most of the witnesses belonged to the other sex. It is well known that some dogs have an innate aversion to persons in uniform, and the explana tion which is usually given to account for it is the irritable suspicion aroused in the dog by anything out of the common; but, of course, this will not explain an animosity to women. Mr. Clifton, who appeared for the defendant, minutely cross-examined the incriminating witnesses without being able to shake their testi- mony in the least. He called no witnesses for the defence, but stated that the dog was a docile animal, which lived with children, and this habit of jumping on people was quite harmless. These dogs were ungainly, almost elephantine, in their gambols, and possibly people were frightened when there was no need for it. After a lengthy consultation in private the chairman said the bench had given the oase anxious consideration. They thought that the complaint was proved, and they made an order for the dog to be destroyed. Mr. Titley asked for an order for expenses. Mrs. Stone said, "I'd rather forego the expenses altogether."

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