Misc smg

Smugglers' dogs

"In Belgium Poodles were systematically trained to smuggle valuable lace, which was wound around their shaven bodies and covered with a false skin. These dogs were schooled to a dislike of all men in uniform, and consequently on their journey between Mechlin and the coast they always gave a wide berth to the Customs officers." Leonard W. Crouch, LL.B., "The Poodle", chapter xii, vol. 1, Cassell's New Book of the Dog, by Robert Leighton (London: Cassel, 1912; first published as The New Book of the Dog by Cassel in 1907); reprinted in Poodle Variety, October/November 1994 - December/January 1995, pp. 174-180; p. 176, col. 1 (please see Rare..., Crouch).

We require a primary reference for widespread smuggling practices of this nature. Our best (and only) previous reference is specific: "A Poodle As Smuggler. A man hit upon the unusual idea to use a Poodle as a means of bypassing the very high tarifs imposed on the importation into Germany of Flemish lace. He had the dog shorn, and the hair made into a loosely-fitting coat. He would wrap the lace to be smuggled around the dog's body and cover it with the coat. In this manner the man amassed the sizeable amount of 3,000,000 MK. Unfortunately for him the scheme was eventually betrayed. The dog when shot by border guards was found wrapped in 15,000 MK worth of lace." Der Deutsche Pudel (Munich: The German Poodle Clubs, 1907), translation/summary by HB, 8/'97. We would very much like to pin this item down closely, perhaps with a newspaper article or an affidavit. Mechlin, for which a filmy lace is named, lies in the southeast, only a few miles from the present-day border between Belgium and Holland. Fascinatingly, this is the Valkenswaard area; see Falconry.... The richest source of data for smugglers' practices is always in prosecution records; we note a promising source of information: Palliser, History of Lace.

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