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30 April 2020


‘Our’ author Elizabeth von Arnim wrote a book about all the dogs she had owned called All the Dogs of my Life. It opens: ‘I would like, to begin with, to say that although parents, husbands, children, lovers, and friends are all very well, they are not dogs. In my day and turn having been each of the above – except that instead of husbands I was wives – I know what I am talking about, and am well acquainted with the ups and downs, the daily ups and downs, the sometimes hourly ones in the thin-skinned, which seem inevitably to accompany human loves. Dogs are free from these fluctuations. Once they love, they love steadily, unchangingly, till their last breath. That is how I like to be loved. Therefore I will write of dogs. Up to now I have had fourteen, but they weren’t spread over my life equally, and for years and years at a time I had none. This, when first I began considering my dogs, astonished me; I mean, that for years and years I had none. What was I about, I wondered, to allow myself to be dogless? How was it that there were such long periods during which I wasn’t making some good dog happy?” (It is now fourteen years since the last Persephone dog, Sasha, a Cavalier King Charles, died, and we can’t believe it has taken us so long to decide to get another dog!)

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