|Image from Wikipedia.org|
Released in 1904 in Harper's Magazine, according to Wikipedia.org, it became an example against what the treatment of animals by certain types of scientists and, in particular (also according to Wikipedia's article) the antivivisectionist movement. Later it would be revised and become a book.
It is a sad tale of a dog's life. Initially, Mark Twain introduces us to the intelligence of the animal. The animals understand certain words, pretend to understand more complex words, and communicate in somewhat simplistic fashion with each other. They meet, converse, and think, in much the same degree as a regular person. However, there are many things that I felt were relatively similar. That is to say, too often talk about being expert in many things with which they are not. Many people use words and participate in conversations which they do not have the knowledge or intellectual wherewithal to participate in. Though, I am not saying that we should not try to strive above our own abilities.
However, shortly, we arrive at the irony of the man's inhumanness and the dog's humaneness. The dog from whom the perspective is written manages to save the master's child from a fire by dragging it from the nursery. The master, not knowing that there was a fire, struck the dog so severely that she would never completely recover her leg and would forever hobble around on three. Soon it is discovered that there is a fire in the nursery, and that she saved the baby.
No effort is made to help the dog with her injury. What's worse, is that her puppy becomes the cruel experiment of her master in front of his friends. The puppy is cruelly killed in front of the narrator. Then, a servant takes the body of her puppy to the yard to bury her. The dog remembers how a bush grew from a seed, and so expects the puppy to sprout from the earth. This never happens, and it's assumed that the dog dies waiting for her puppy to be resurrected. (Gutenberg.org) It's noted by the servants of the household that while the master's child was saved by the dog, the master killed the dog's puppy.
It is well worth reading this story.