Mr Bacon’s “Rover” Brings Home the Sunday Joint (picture)

December 1948

South Yorkshire Times December 11, 1948

Mr Bacon’s “Rover” Brings Home the Sunday Joint

Rover is nine years old. He is an Alsatian terrier mongrel, but he is no ordinary dog. In fact to Conisbrough folk he is “almost human.”

This Rover belongs to Mr John Walter Bacon, 30, Silverwood View, Conisbrough, a collier at Yorkshire Main Colliery, Edlington. The pet is extraordinary because he can do errands all on his own, and, what is more, take home the Sunday joint by himself without stopping on the way to discover whether the butcher is sending beef, mutton, lamb or pork this week.

Mr Baker told me on Tuesday that Rover will accompany shopping in Conisbrough an when he is given a parcel and told “Take this home to mam,” off each trots obediently and does not stop until he has obeyed the order.

He goes to the greengrocers, he has carried home a basic, he takes on the meat in the paper carrier, but, sometimes enjoys more than most things is “saying it with flowers.”

Mr Baker, an expert horticulturist has 500 blooms in his greenhouse now, and Rover makes a delightful sight with a bunch of flowers in his mouth.

“You should see him,” Mr Bacon said, “If other dogs come up to him when he has his flowers he runs off from them and away home.”

Rover is “almost human” because he can understand the intonations of speech. Given the command “Take this to Mrs Haigh’s” and, with no more ado, he takes it Mrs Haigh’s. He requires no more instructions. The word “Haigh” is enough to send him to Mrs Haigh’s Home in Hameline Road, Conisbrough, ¼ of a mile away.

But as I have said, he is “almost human.” Mrs Haigh always gives him a bone or some other canine delicacy!