Magazine article The Spectator

I Beg to Differ. Dogs

Magazine article The Spectator

I Beg to Differ. Dogs

Article excerpt

It was a little guy called Matthew who transformed my attitude to dogs. Before he entered my life more than a decade ago, I thought that I had a preference for cats, having had them as pets during my Belfast childhood. But Matthew, an exuberant young Jack Russell terrier with the undaunted spirit of an RAF flying ace, showed me what I had been missing through my anti-canine prejudice.

He belonged to the London-based American who became my wife soon after we met thirteen years ago. And from the moment he came into our new home, he showed me nothing but devotion, loyalty and generosity.

There was not a hint of jealousy from him, despite the upheaval in his domestic arrangements and the introduction of new man on the scene.

Like almost all dogs, his love was unconditional. He never sulked or brooded, even when we had left him on his own for ours. Unlike cats, who so often exude suspicion or reproach, Matthew just seemed to be in a permanent state of happiness when he was with us, a broad grin playing on his face, his eyes sparkling, his tail moving like a wind turbine in a gale. …

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