by Bill Nye

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Public Domain Books

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<h2>My Dog</h2><p style=

I have owned quite a number of dogs in my life, but they are all dead now. Last evening I visited my dog cemetery–just between the gloaming and the shank of the evening. On the biscuit-box cover that stands at the head of a little mound fringed with golden rod and pickle bottles, the idler may still read these lines, etched in red chalk by a trembling hand:


I do not know why he was called Kosciusko. I do not care. I only know that his little grave stands out there while the gloaming gloams and the soughing winds are soughing.

Do you ask why I am alone here and dogless in this weary world?

I will tell you, anyhow. It will not take long, and it may do me good:

Kosciusko came to me one night in winter, with no baggage and unidentified. When I opened the door he came in as though he had left something in there by mistake and had returned for it.

He stayed with us two years as a watch-dog. In a desultory way, he was a good watch-dog. If he had watched other people with the same unrelenting scrutiny with which he watched me, I might have felt his death more keenly than I do now.

The second year that little Kosciusko was with us, I shaved off a full beard one day while down town, put on a clean collar and otherwise disguised myself, intending to surprise my wife.

Kosciusko sat on the front porch when I returned. He looked at me as the cashier of a bank does when a newspaper man goes in to get a suspiciously large check cashed. He did not know me. I said, “Kosciusko, have you forgotten your master’s voice?”

He smiled sarcastically, showing his glorious wealth of mouth, but still sat there as though he had stuck his tail into the door-steps and couldn’t get it out.

So I waived the formality of going in at the front door, and went around to the portcullis, on the off side of the house, but Kosciusko was there when I arrived. The cook, seeing a stranger lurking around the manor house, encouraged Kosciusko to come and gorge himself with a part of my leg, which he did. Acting on this hint I went to the barn. I do not know why I went to the barn, but somehow there was nothing in the house that I wanted. When a man wants to be by himself, there is no place like a good, quiet barn for thought. So I went into the barn, about three feet prior to Kosciusko.

Noticing the stairway, I ascended it in an aimless kind of way, about four steps at a time. What happened when we got into the haymow I do not now recall, only that Kosciusko and I frolicked around there in the hay for some time. Occasionally I would be on top, and then he would have all the delegates, until finally I got hold of a pitchfork, and freedom shrieked when Kosciusko fell. I wrapped myself up in an old horse-net and went into the house. Some of my clothes were afterward found in the hay, and the doctor pried a part of my person out of Kosciusko’s jaws, but not enough to do me any good.

I have owned, in all, eleven dogs, and they all died violent deaths, and went out of the world totally unprepared to die.


Biography of Spartacus  •  Concerning Book Publishing  •  A Calm  •  The Story of a Struggler  •  The Old Subscriber  •  My Dog  •  A Picturesque Picnic  •  Taxidermy  •  The Ways of Doctors  •  Absent Minded  •  Woman’s Wonderful Influence  •  Causes for Thanksgiving  •  Farming in Maine  •  Doosedly Dilatory  •  Every Man His Own Paper-Hanger  •  Sixty Minutes in America  •  Rev. Mr. Hallelujah’s Hoss  •  Somnambulism and Crime  •  Modern Architecture  •  Letter to a Communist  •  The Warrior’s Oration  •  The Holy Terror  •  Boston Common and Environs  •  Drunk in a Plug Hat  •  Spring  •  The Duke of Rawhide  •  Etiquette at Hotels  •  Fifteen Years Apart  •  Dessicated Mule  •  Time’s Changes  •  Crowns and Crowned Heads  •  My Physician  •  All About Oratory  •  A Spencerian Ass  •  Anecdotes of Justice  •  The Chinese God  •  A Great Spiritualist  •  General Sheridan’s Horse  •  A Circular  •  The Photograph Habit  •  Rosalinde  •  The Church Debt  •  A Collection of Keys  •  Extracts from a Queen’s Diary  •  Shorts  •  A Mountain Snowstorm  •  Lost Money  •  Dr. Dizart’s Dog  •  Chinese Justice  •  Answers to Correspondents  •  A Convention  •  Come Back  •  A New Play  •  The Silver Dollar  •  Polygamy as a Religious Duty  •  The Newspaper  •  Anecdotes of the Stage  •  George the Third  •  The Cell Nest  •  Parental Advice  •  The Indian Orator  •  Plato  •  The Expensive Word  •  Petticoats at the Polls  •  The Sedentary Hen  •  A Bright Future for Pugilism  •  The Snake Indian  •  Roller Skating  •  No More Frontier  •  A Letter of Regrets  •  Venice  •  She Kind of Coaxed Him  •  Answering an Invitation  •  Street Cars and Curiosities  •  The Poor Blind Pig  •  Daniel Webster  •  Two Ways of Telling It  •  All About Menials  •  A Powerful Speech  •  A Goat in a Frame  •  To a Married Man  •  To an Embryo Poet  •  Eccentricities of Genius

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By Bill Nye
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