CAN you spare a dime?

A few years ago, when my daughter attended Penn State, she would bring sorority sisters home for the weekend. Then, on Saturday, they would go canning on street corners or in front of Starbucks. This meant shaking cans to collect money from people passing and donate it to a worthy cause – in this case, childhood cancer.

Recently, while visiting the Museum of the Dog in New York City, I learned that canning for charity wasn’t something new. But, I discovered, adifferent take on it.

In England, during the second half of the 19th century, it wasn’t unusual to run into a collecting dog. They were often employed by hospitals and railways to solicit coins for charity by wearing slotted boxed on their backs. Other collecting dogs were independent and worked for smaller causes or individuals.

In this oil painting entitled Pug and Terrier, done by John Sargent Noble in 1875, the pampered pug seems to be mystified by the four legged stranger at his doorstep wearing a cup for charity.

pug and terrier


Would you be inclined to spare a few coins for this dog?

I think I would I would say yes, I CAN.