Rover and his Little Master
by Timothy Shay Arthur
"Come, Rover!" said Harry, as he passed a fine old Newfoundland dog which lay on a mat at the door; "come, Rover! I am going down to the river to sail my boat, and I want you to go with me."
Rover opened his large eyes, and looked lazily at his little master.
"Come! Rover! Rover!"
But the dog didn't care to move, and so Harry went off to the river alone. He had not been gone a great while, before a thought of her boy came suddenly into the mother's mind. Remembering that he had a little vessel, and that the river was near, it occurred to her that he might have gone there.
Instantly her heart began to throb with alarm.
"Is Harry with you?" she called up to Harry's father, who was in his study. But Harry's father said he was not there.
"I'm afraid he's gone to the river with his boat," said the mother.
"To the river!" And Mr. Lee dropped his pen, and came quickly down. Taking up his hat, he went hurriedly from the house. Rover was still lying upon the mat, with his head upon his paws and his eyes shut.
"Rover!" said his master, in a quick, excited voice, "where is Harry? Has he gone to the river? Away and see! quick!"
The dog must have understood every word, for he sprang eagerly to his feet, and rushed toward the river. Mr. Lee followed as fast as he could run. When he reached the riverbank, he saw his little boy in the water, with Rover dragging him toward the shore. He was just in time to receive the half-drowned child in his arms, and carry him home to his mother.
Harry, who remained insensible, was placed in a warm bed. He soon, however, revived, and in an hour or two was running about again. But after this, Rover would never leave the side of his little master, when he wandered beyond the garden gate. Wherever you found Harry, there Rover was sure to be — sometimes walking by his side, and sometimes lying on the grass, with his big eyes watching every movement.
Once Harry found his little vessel, which had been hidden away since he went with it to the river, and, without his mother's seeing him, he started again for the water. Rover, as usual, was with him. On his way to the river, he saw some flowers, and, in order to gather them, put his boat down upon the grass. Instantly Rover picked it up in his mouth, and walked back toward the house with it. After going a little way, he stopped, looked around, and waited until Harry had got his hand full of flowers. The child then saw that Rover had his boat, and tried to get it from him; but Rover played around him, always keeping out of his reach, and retreating toward the house, until he got back within the gate. Then he bounded into the house, and laid the boat at the feet of Harry's mother.
Harry was a little angry with the good old dog, at first, but when his mother explained to him what Rover meant, he hugged him around the neck, and said he would never go down to the river again any more.
Harry is a man now, and Rover has long since been dead; but he often thinks of the dear old dog that saved him from drowning when he was a child; and it gives him great pleasure to remember that he never beat Rover, as some boys beat their dogs, when they are angry, and was never unkind to him. Had it been otherwise, the thought would have given him great pain.