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Canine Smugglers

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In the Netherlands, they use dogs of a very large and strong breed, for
the purpose of draught. They are harnessed like horses, and chiefly
employed in drawing little carts with fish, vegetables, &c., to market.
Previous to the year 1795, such dogs were also employed in smuggling;
which was the more easy, as they are exceedingly docile. The dogs were
trained to go backwards and forwards between two places on the frontiers,
without any person to attend them. Being loaded with little parcels of
goods, lace, &c., like mules, they set out at midnight, and only went when
it was perfectly dark. An excellent quick-scented dog always went some
paces before the others, stretched out his nose towards all quarters, and
when he scented custom-house officers, turned back, which was the signal
for immediate flight. Concealed behind bushes, or in ditches, the dogs
waited till all was safe, then proceeded on their journey, and reached at
last beyond the frontier the dwelling-house of the receiver of the goods,
who was in the secret. But here, also, the leading dog only at first
showed himself; on a certain whistle, which was a signal that all was
right, they all hastened up. They were then unloaded, taken to a
convenient stable, where there was a good layer of hay, and well fed.
There they rested until midnight, and then returned in the same manner
back, over the frontiers.





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