My Miserable Hound

Two years ago this splendid dog was small – 6 ins.
He is now 2 ft.
For a fortnight I slept on the floor
with the pooch. 4 times a night he retired
very quickly (me with him) to piddle, etc,
 in the backyard, close to the pig-bin,
bottle-bin or tin-bin.

At that time this lump
was altogether too bold. I remember how he once
jumped from a ledge 6 ft above the yard.      PLOP!

For a second my heart I think stopped. I picked him
quickly up - there was no squawk, & nothing was broken.

Unfortunately he never does a thing
I command him to do. He needs nobody. He's invariably
Captain of his ship & Master of his fate, I suppose.

Cars in the street with visible dislike
rush hooting at him. A multitude of large dogs
contemptuously knock him over in the park.

(Fortunately he's thereupon humble & cringes easily.)

It's difficult to understand what there is to love
in such a creature. Sometimes, pushing onto my bed
he sprawls heavily over my legs or licks my nose.

His breeder described his colour as ‘ruby’. His eyes,
she pointed out, were large & appealing. They recalled,
she said, that excellent advertisement: ‘Don’t forget
the gums, Mum!’

This dog of mine attempts to be friends with everybody
& everything... He never bites & rarely barks. He aims
(feeble like me) at a ridiculous peace, an impossible
happiness - TOTAL NIRVANA!


All true English men & women are devoted to their pets - budgerigars, cats & particularly pooches - & the language they use to them reeks, their enemies insist, of quite appalling sentimentality.

I don't agree. Dogs are kindly creatures; & like the British police they never or rarely carry loaded guns about. Sometimes naturally they go mad like us & bite their friends, but more usually they rescue us from the canal, dig us out of the snow, & continually greet us - dear hypocrites!- as if they genuinely & profoundly loved us.