Saturday, February 05, 2005

In Praise of the British Dog

Moving from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to the more tranquil and sensory enriching English village that is now our home, it is difficult not to observe certain things that either didn't exist in El Lay, or were just not as evident as they are here. The importance of the dog in British society, to name just one.

On our almost daily walks to the village high street, we have had the opportunity to exchange pleasentries with many of our local neighbors. We have become good friends with Jasper, George, Hattie, Spike, Griffin, and Daisy, amongst others. And through them, we have become acquainted with the humans who belong to them. Dogs abound where we reside. Be they working dogs who keep an ever-vigilant eye upon the sheep herd grazing upon the fells and moors; a foxhound participating in the weekend hunt; the handyman's "helper" providing company and a neat (if slightly wet) tool pile; or most importantly, the most loyal of family members, who happily and lovingly greets your return to home. Dogs seem to have always held a place of importance and esteem in this little corner of the world. Gaze upon a portrait or landscape painting by an English artist. How often can we find a dog, either prominently displayed or making a Where's Waldo? appearence?

During a dinner conversation with a pair of our human neighbors the other evening, we were discussing the current real estate market in the area. There had apparently been a recent advertised rental listing which specified "No Smokers. No Children. Dogs Permitted." Who said the British don't have their priorities in order?

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