From The Terrific Record and Chronicle of Remarkable and Interesting Events, Saturday, February 10, 1849, No. 1, a touching Christmas story:
There were once two families in England who were very close, counting one another among their closest friends. The London family made it a habit each year to spend Christmas at the home of the other family, who lived in Guildford. Every year, they journeyed into Surrey from London, their dog Caesar, a large spaniel, trotting before their carriage.
For seven years the two families would keep the holiday in this manner, the London family arriving on Christmas Eve and departing a few days later–that is, until a quarrel arose between them. Then all correspondence between them ceased and the customary Christmas invitation for that year was withheld.
“About an hour before dinner, on the day before Christmas-day, the Guildford gentleman, standing at his window, exclaimed to his wife–‘Well, my dear! The W_____’s have thought better of it; for I declare here comes Caesar to announce them!’ and the dog came trotting up to the door, and was admitted to the parlour, as usual.”
With joy, the house in Guildford was quickly made ready to receive the London family–fires lit throughout, beds made, Cook bustling in the kitchen to prepare a dinner. However, their London friends did not arrive and the dinner grew cold.
After several days, the exact duration his family always stayed, Caesar left Guildford and returned safely to his home in London.
The sagacity of dogs was well-known, in both London and Guildford. However, this fresh demonstration of man’s best friend’s understanding of time was a remarkable event, such that,
“The correspondence which of necessity occurred, had the happy effect of renewing the intercourse of the estranged friends.”