Monday, May 14, 2012

The English Dog at Home

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.


  1. This is one of my all time favorite books. I collect antique dog paintings as well. Love this post!

  2. I love this book and bought it at the bookstore when it first came out, and I think I even did a post on it too. When I find it in second hand shops, I snap it up and wrap it up as a gift for another dog lover. Thanks for writing about it.
    xo xo

  3. Have not heard of this book however will keep my eye out for this one + looks grand.

  4. I love this! Didn't know about it, but it's on list to get ASAP!

  5. I love this post, it brings so much joy to my morning!

  6. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post! If you're a dog lover but don't own this book, consider buying it. It's a wonderful addition to one's library!

  7. Oh, I love this book. It's one of those titles that is so of its time. You could never get those people to feature in it if it was published today.

  8. One of my all time faves! I don't want to skyte but I can jump as high as Humphrey.

  9. Anonymous5:58 AM

    Thanks so very much for posting this - I've ordered my own copy. (Abebooks and Amazon have quite a number of them.)

  10. Dear Jennifer,
    I love this post! Thank you! With grace and style, it always seems that those with fabulous houses prove that dogs are our family members and yes, are supposed to be on good furniture and in bed with us! Thanks to you I now have the book from Amazon!