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He began the day badly. He took me out and lost me. It would be so much better, would he consent to the usual arrangement, and allow me to take him out. I am far the abler leader: I say it without conceit. I am older than he is, and I am less excitable. I do not stop and talk with every person I meet, and then forget where I am. I do less to distract myself: I rarely fight, I never feel I want to run after cats, I take but little pleasure in frightening children. I have nothing to think about but the walk, and the getting home again. If, as I say, he would give up taking me out, and let me take him out, there would be less trouble all round. But into this I have never been able to persuade him.

He had mislaid me once or twice, but in Sloane Square he lost me entirely. When he loses me, he stands and barks for me. If only he would remain where he first barked, I might find my way to him; but, before I can cross the road, he is barking half-way down the next street. I am not so young as I was and I sometimes think he exercises me more than is good for me. I could see him from where I was standing in the King's Road. Evidently he was most indignant. I was too far off to distinguish the barks, but I could guess what he was saying—

"Damn that man, he's off again."

He made inquiries of a passing dog—

"You haven't smelt my man about anywhere, have you?"

(A dog, of course, would never speak of SEEING anybody or anything, smell being his leading sense. Reaching the top of a hill, he would say to his companion—"Lovely smell from here, I always think; I could sit and sniff here all the afternoon." Or, proposing a walk, he would say—"I like the road by the canal, don't you? There's something interesting to catch your nose at every turn.")

"No, I haven't smelt any man in particular," answered the other dog. "What sort of a smelling man is yours?"

"Oh, an egg-and-bacony sort of a man, with a dash of soap about him."

"That's nothing to go by," retorted the other; "most men would answer to that description, this time of the morning. Where were you when you last noticed him?"

At this moment he caught sight of me, and came up, pleased to find me, but vexed with me for having got lost.

"Oh, here you are," he barked; "didn't you see me go round the corner? Do keep closer. Bothered if half my time isn't taken up, finding you and losing you again."


Writers and Their Dogs

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