Whether our canine friends risk themselves out of a conscious sense of duty, or whether they act out of blind instinct, is a question that dog lovers and animal behaviorists will endlessly debate. It is not an unimportant question. For if it is true that dogs may, under some circumstances, feel the pull of obligation, then it must follow that they are capable of the noblest emotions, and the stirrings of love. This was the question that the following sea-story raised. Buried in a volume of forgotten nautical lore, it describes the heroics of a service dog named King during the wreck of the British transport Harpooner in Newfoundland in 1816.