Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kate Atkinson and Going to the Dogs Again

The last time I started a Kate Atkinson novel, I got a dog.  I just started reading her new novel, Life After Life, and once again, I'm thinking about dogs.  (And food. There is a lot about food in this book.  Strange food, I think: Egyptian pudding, beef collops, scrag-end, ham and pickles, beef tea, picalilli, sweat meats, meat pies, herring roe on toast, bloater paste sandwiches, lemon curd sandwiches, seed cake, pork pie, steak pie, Rose Madder, Jewish dietary restrictions, Hitler and pastries, and a lot of other stuff.  I guess I don't know much about what the English ate in 1910 but I have a hunch the food in this book is not normal.  Or that that way of eating has died out.  Or that it is supposed to tell us something.)

Early on, the Todd family get a dog to live with them at their house, Fox Corner, in the English countryside.  A French mastiff.  So I put down the book (Kindle in this case), and started Googling French mastiffs because I didn't know what they looked like.  Turns out, they are beautiful.
If I didn't live in downtown Washington, this would be the dog for me.  Instead, I will keep this guy:

In a bit of a coincidence, my dog and I watched the second night of the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show tonight.  We missed the toy dog category (the one with Shih Tzus) but got to see the working dog group and the terrier group.  The French mastiff in the competition - or the Dogue de Bordeaux - was a handsome fella but he did not win his category.  The Portuguese Water Dog did.  I also learned that the Great Pyrenees, another member of the working dog group, was declared the "Royal Dog of France" by Louis XIV in 1675.
I know just the person who could use one of these.


Louis XIV, "The Sun King" (Nick Jones) said...

Don't: we have enough trouble at the moment with a stray cat. He belongs to the former owners of our house, who moved half a mile away, and he's been making his way back to our house periodically for months. Unfortunately he doesn't seem to be able to find his way back to his new home, so they have to keep coming to get him. It's a situation worthy of a Kate Atkinson novel – which, by the way, I'm extremely jealous you're getting to read already.

Sassy's Grooming said...

Hi Can you please tell me where you got that pic of the French Mastiff.

Book Glutton said...

Hi Sassy -

I found that pic via Google Images. I do not know who took the photo. I tried to find the original image but can't locate it. Sorry.