has interested me since the death of my own dog. How I (or rather we, my wife and I) loved him! We were never bored by, with or in his company. We had to control ourselves when people came to visit, in case they should see our extravagant love for him. ‘Remember,’ we would say to each other, ‘we have to pretend for a time that he is only a dog. We can make it up to him afterwards.’ We were ashamed, in case people thought we were psychological cases or emotional cripples, that we loved our dog so.
Dalrymple and his wife
were not alone in our shame, of course; speaking confidentially, almost all people with dogs will confess to it. They too have to behave sometimes as if their dogs were mere animals. And how many people have I met who have said, after the death of a dog, that they could never have another because they could not tolerate the grief again!