June 14th Tuesday. The most glorious sunny day for the start of Ascot week. M came for the afternoon, and I took her into the sitting room for tea and to watch the second part of it on TV. (Having taped the first part for watching after supper). Thought she would never go! Barny seems quite over his bad patch. Quiet and sleepy but no more so than he always is in hot weather.
Posts Tagged ‘dogs’
June 13th Monday. Ray took Barny down for his second injection. Mr Skelton very pleased with him. He seems rather sleepy but quite at ease, and thoroughly enjoying his food again. Agnes, new chiropodist lady came to do my toes. Knows her job and seems a nice soul.
Today’s diary entry about her dog Barny put me in mind of the little book Rosemary Sutcliff published a years earlier, in 1987, A Little Dog Like You. Kirkus reviews wrote at the time of publication in the USA in 1990:
After Pippin, a beloved Chihuahua, dies, he begs St. Francis to let him go back to his beloved mistress, Mammie–who, hoping that her faithful friend will return, manages to puzzle out the time and place of their joyful reunion. Though the plot sounds trite, Sutcliff’s skillful pen turns the story to gold–an unsentimental portrait of an affectionate bond that will be familiar to any dog lover, while the difficulty posed by the painful discrepancy between the life spans of dog and human is resolved with a reincarnation that is both metaphorical and realistic: the new dog is not precisely Pippin–he has new markings and is given a new name–but he does represent a continuation of love. The format is as engagingly diminutive, as Pippin himself; Johnson’s precise, gentle illustrations add just the right touch. A well-wrought charmer.
June 12th Sunday. Completely uneventful, except that Barny had a bad night & was so groggy today that (Ray mothering him to take him down to the vet) I rang the vet & asked him to come out. Mr Skelton, bless his heart, came out and gave him two injections & instructions to take him in for more tomorrow. He seems a good deal better this evening, but I, having been keyed up to expect the worst, am now feeling completely zonked.
And thus, given Rosemary Sutcliff’s love for her dogs, not really “completely uneventful” at all!
June 5th Sunday. Barny’s 13th birthday. Sheila made him a really beautiful chocolate coloured cake with 13 candles, and Geraldine came to help eat it.
Rosemary Sutcliff loved her dogs dearly. Barny was a chihuahua.
May 26th Thursday. Hazel looked in this morning. Ray gave Barny and Basty a bath.
Barny and Basty (Sebastien) were Rosemary’s two chihuahuas at that time.
April 17th, Sunday. Ray has put in an enormous day’s work in the garden aided and abetted by Sheila. Barny not terribly well.
© Anthony Lawton 2012
Barny was one of Rosemary Sutcliff’s two chihuahuas. (The other was Sophie).
April 7th, Thursday. Ray doing the lawn with combined weedkiller and fertiliser, so the dogs won’t be able to go out on it for two days, which will be hell for all of us. Geraldine looked in for tea. My head so muzzy I simply don’t know what to do with it.
© Anthony Lawton 2012
Thinking of both historical fiction and dogs put Katherine Langrish, author of fantasy novels for young adults, in mind of Rosemary Sutcliff. Katherine believes that dogs in books are a “Good Thing”. She also believes that Rosemary Sutcliff ”must easily win the title of Britain’s most loved writer of junior historical fiction”.
… Rosemary Sutcliff, whose books I devoured as a child … loved dogs, and there is a noble dog in many of her books: Whitethroat in Warrior Scarlet, Argos in Brother Dusty Feet. But for me the most iconic is Dog in Dawn Wind, the young war-hound that the boy Owain finds by moonlight on the ruins of the battlefield:
Like Rosemary Sutcliff, E B White loved his dogs! At the intriguing Letters of Note website, is a wonderful letter of his, in response to their complaint that he was harbouring an unlicensed dog. It starts:
I have your letter, undated, saying that I am harboring an unlicensed dog in violation of the law. If by “harboring” you mean getting up two or three times every night to pull Minnie’s blanket up over her, I am harboring a dog all right. The blanket keeps slipping off. I suppose you are wondering by now why I don’t get her a sweater instead.
It continues at: Letters of Note: She doesn’t answer the phone.