When I last wrote of dogs, many of you suggested that I buy a copy of Felicity Wigan's book, The English Dog at Home, as you felt it was one of the best books to profile two of our favorite things: dogs and English interiors. Well I did so, and you were right. It's a completely charming book that profiles pampered pooches in posh houses. Forget the life of Riley; I want these dogs' lives!
I admit that at first, the book's occasional dark humor threw me for a loop. In the first chapter alone, Sir Tatton Sykes mentions an uncle who had a penchant for "heroin shooting, lipstick, powder and paint." Then there was Sykes' beloved bull terrier, Lambchop, who despite being loving towards her master was a murderous mother. "She only allowed one puppy to survive as a crippled monster which now lives in the village." I suppose that Lambchop wasn't cut out for motherhood.
But really, this isn't a book that is full of black humor. It's just a little tongue in cheek, that's all. And as any dog lover knows, living with our four-legged friends requires both a sense of humor as well as the patience of Job.
Matthew and Mollie with Mrs. Nutting at Chicheley.
Humphrey with Mr. David Metcalfe. According to the book, "A fascinated crowd has been known to gather in the street below to see Humphrey's daily trick of chasing the blind up the drawing room window."
Mr. Loudon Constantine with Mr. Whistle, Lady, and Puzzle.
Phoebe in bed with Caroline Keith.
The Queen Mother held the rapt attention of her Corgis thanks to a box of chocolate biscuits.
Sir John Wiggin with his pups at Honington Hall.
Mozart with Mrs. Charlie Palmer-Tomkinson
All photos from The English Dog at Home by Felicity Wigan; Geoffrey Shakerley photographer; 1987.