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than I used to be, I assure you.'

'But Jip,' said Dora, looking at him with compassion, 'even little
Jip! Oh, poor fellow!'

'I dare say he'll last a long time yet, Blossom,' said my aunt,
patting Dora on the cheek, as she leaned out of her couch to look
at Jip, who responded by standing on his hind legs, and baulking
himself in various asthmatic attempts to scramble up by the head
and shoulders. 'He must have a piece of flannel in his house this
winter, and I shouldn't wonder if he came out quite fresh again,
with the flowers in the spring. Bless the little dog!' exclaimed
my aunt, 'if he had as many lives as a cat, and was on the point of
losing 'em all, he'd bark at me with his last breath, I believe!'

Dora had helped him up on the sofa; where he really was defying my
aunt to such a furious extent, that he couldn't keep straight, but
barked himself sideways. The more my aunt looked at him, the more
he reproached her; for she had lately taken to spectacles, and for
some inscrutable reason he considered the glasses personal.

Dora made him lie down by her, with a good deal of persuasion; and
when he was quiet, drew one of his long ears through and through
her hand, repeating thoughtfully, 'Even little Jip! Oh, poor

'His lungs are good enough,' said my aunt, gaily, 'and his dislikes
are not at all feeble. He has a good many years before him, no
doubt. But if you want a dog to race with, Little Blossom, he has
lived too well for that, and I'll give you one.'

'Thank you, aunt,' said Dora, faintly. 'But don't, please!'

'No?' said my aunt, taking off her spectacles.

'I couldn't have any other dog but Jip,' said Dora. 'It would be
so unkind to Jip! Besides, I couldn't be such friends with any
other dog but Jip; because he wouldn't have known me before I was
married, and wouldn't have barked at Doady when he first came to
our house. I couldn't care for any other dog but Jip, I am afraid,

'To be sure!' said my aunt, patting her cheek again. 'You are
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