Canine Austen: romance novel for dogs?

I was a grumpy old cow this morning, when I boarded the 6:11 a.m. train to London. I grouched my way into a seat and grumpily slapped on my slap while sipping strong coffee and reading the Indy.

You can probably tell I’m not my sweetest early in the morning. So when a large ‘country’ chap in a diamond-stitched jacket plonked down next to me, I was tempted to growl ‘get out of my space’.

It was this kind of jacket

Barbour Jacket..you know the type.

…but bigger and filled with a pink-cheeked man.

But I’m a nice, well-mannered person so I continued with the paper and the coffee. A quick glance at the book he had laid on the table changed my mood from growl to woof. ‘Gundog Sense and Sensibility‘ was the title that greeted me.

Being an Austen fan, the imagination gets to work.

‘In Stephen Wilson’s charming tale of two dogs Eliza, a black lab puppy, falls for the  dastardly but great-smelling Brutus, when he rescues her in the park from a surprise hailstorm. Unknown to her, loyal retriever Edgar is waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces when Brutus’ true character is revealed. Meanwhile, older sister Janty is pining for pedigree pointer, Henry, whose owners have forbidden him to be with her. Will Janty ever find her true mate?’

Okay, so it’s less Austen and more Mills & Boon but you can see where I was going at 6.20.  It cheered me up no end – maybe I’ll even write a short story on the theme at some point…yeah, maybe not.

Alas, I can see from the image on Amazon that although the book purports to be about the ‘inner nature’ of gundogs, it is really about getting them to fetch things. Good old Wilson Stephens, I wonder if he’s ever read any Jane Austen?

Gundogs - they're sensible, you know.

By Carole Scott

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