Joanna here. The last time I posted it was Cats and Their Writers. I promised to tell the dog's side of the story next.
One thing I discovered when I was looking into this is that writers — and folks in general — talk about their cats and dogs differently.
Can I say there seems to be a closer emotional attachment to dogs? There's a different bond, anyway. For instance, there are many, many elegies to dogs. Somewhat fewer to cats. Dunnoh why.
I've lived with both dogs and cats and am silly fond of them. (They get the expensive brand of dog and cat food, for instance.) In a lifetime of pets, my dearest beloved were one dog and one cat. Oddly, they were my first dog and one of my earliest cats. The third, I think.
Let's see what writers have to say.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Here we we see Doyle, maybe writing, maybe researching, with his dog at his side.
Sherlock Holmes' dog was named Toby. I don't know what Conan Doyle's dog was called.
"A dog reflects the family life. Whoever saw a frisky dog in a gloomy family, or a sad dog in a happy one? Snarling people have snarling dogs, dangerous people have dangerous ones."
Arthur Conan Doyle
An old Beatrix Potter and a young one. The girl Beatrix is holding Kep who appears in several of her stories.
Using a real dog in a story is like the line from Shakespeare;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
Here's the fictive Kep …
“The collie-dog Kep met her coming out, "What are you doing with those onions? Where do you go every afternoon by yourself, Jemima Puddle-duck?"
Kep, making an appearance in Jemima Puddle Duck
Potter was a farmer in the north of England. She raised sheep for a living, as well as herding books. For her, dogs must have been working animals. Partners as well as pets. Kinda a unique view among authors.
"I wish Fly to learn to work sheep. She must learn with hens. this is not as naughty as it looks, she never bites! When she has turned them, she lies down. She sometimes puts them in the hen hut. considering she is quite a baby–she is very promising. But she is frightened of sheep at present."
Her lovely, down-to-earth style shows through in these letters. Here she is leaving a farm where she'd been working and visiting …
"Perhaps my most sentimental leave-taking was with Don, the great farm collie. He came up and muddied me as I was packing…I accompanied him to the stable-gate, where he turned…and gravely shook hands. Afterwards, putting his paws solemnly on my shoulder, he licked my face and then went away into the farm."
O'Neill's dalmatian Blemie left a Last Will and Testament . . .
. . . "Dogs do not fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as something alien and terrible which destroys life. What may come after death, who knows?
"I would like to believe with those of my fellow Dalmatians who are devout Mohammedans, that there is a Paradise where one is always young and full-bladdered; where all the day one dillies and dallies with an amorous multitude of houris, beautifully spotted; where jack rabbits that run fast but not too fast (like the houris) are as the sands of the desert; where each blissful hour is mealtime; where in long evenings there are a million fireplaces with logs forever burning, and one curls oneself up and blinks into the flames and nods and dreams, remembering the old brave days on earth, and the love of one's Master and Mistress."
The Last Will and Testament of Silverdene Emblem O'Neil
George Bernard Shaw
"A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most."
From Orlando: A Biography
"Two things alone remained to him in which he now put any trust: dogs and nature; an elk-hound and a rose bush. The world, in all its variety, life in all its complexity, had shrunk to that. Dogs and a bush were the whole of it."
There are lots of deep-felt praises for dogs in this posting.
Dorothy Parker has her own take on this.
"Whatever is, is good" – your gracious creed.
You wear your joy of living like a crown.
Love lights your simplest act, your every deed.
(Drop it, I tell you- put that kitten down!)
You are God's kindliest gift of all – a friend.
Your shining loyalty unflecked by doubt,
You ask but leave to follow to the end.
(Couldn't you wait until I took you out?)
"The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming majority that rats were comrades. There were only four dissentients, the three dogs and the cat, who was afterwards discovered to have voted on both sides."
George Orwell, Animal Farm
As usual, I have not the least idea what Stein is saying, but it's about dogs.
"If the stars are suns and the earth is the earth and there are men only upon this earth and anything can put an end to anything and any dog does anything like anybody does it what is the difference between eternity and anything. Dogs are dogs, you sometimes think that they are not but they are."
"I am I because my little dog knows me but, creatively speaking the little dog knowing that you are you and your recognising that he knows, that is what destroys creation. That is what make school."
I kinda walk around bumping into things when I try to understand stuff like this so I give up after a while.
Auden (got it right this time) wrote of Kipling;
Time that with this strange excuse
Pardoned Kipling and his views,
And will pardon Paul Claudel,
Pardons him for writing well.
which kinda sums it up.
"When the Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' And the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always an always and always.'"
Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories
The Cat, you remember, Walks By Itself. I don't know whether cats or dogs get the best deal out of Kipling's creation story, but First Woman does just fine.
And we'll end up with
Margaret Wise Brown
who is just the grandest person with whom to say Goodnight to the Moon.
“I like dogs
I like dogs
A dog that is barking over the hill
A dog that is dreaming very still
A dog that is running wherever he will
I like dogs.”