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Man Ray

Greetings, my fellow port-swillers!  No doubt you are waiting with bated breath to find out the answers to the great literary dog challenge posted below!  Well, I will, ah, curtail the suspense by giving you the animals, their owners and the books from which they come (where applicable):

1.  Ponto – Laura Fielding from Treason’s Harbor by Patrick O’Brian.

2.  Krak – “Stiva” (Stepan Arkadyich Oblonsky, Anna’s brother) from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

3.  Pilot – Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

4.  The White Boys – Mr. Flurry Knox from Some Reminiscenses of an Irish R.M. by E.Œ. Somerville and Martin Ross. (The original “White Boys” were an outlawed secret society in 18th Century Ireland seeking an end to English rule through terrorism.  The dogs of this particular story are terrible renegades themselves.)

5.  Bartholomew – Miss Stephanie “Stiffy” Byng from The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse.

FDR and Fala

6.  Pug – Lady Bertram from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.

7.  Man Ray, Fay Ray and Chundo – William Wegman (popular photographer of these same dogs doing strange things.)

8.  Blondi – Adolph Hitler.

9.  Sandy – Little Orphan Annie (Arf! Arf!) from the comic strip of the same name.

10.  Muggs – The family of James Thurber from “The Dog That Bit People” in My Life and Welcome To It.

11.  Jack the Bulldog – The Ingalls Family from Little House in the Big Woods (et al) by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

12.  Fala – Franklin D. Roosevelt.  (As an aside, do you say “Rose”evelt or “Rooz”evelt?)

13.  Blanche, Trey and Sweetheart – King Lear from the play of the same name by William Shakespeare.

14.  Laska – “Kostya” (Konstantin Dmitrich Levin) from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

15.  Keeper – Emily Bronte.

16.  “..the nicest little black bitch of a pointer…” – Mr. Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.

17.  Grasper – Emily Bronte.

18.  The pet [or little] dog (a Pomeranian) – Anna Sergeyevna von Diedrichs, the Lady with the Little [Pet] Dog in the story of the same name by Anton Checkhov.

19.  Checkers – Richard M. Nixon.

Lord Byron and Boatswain

20.  Moretto (a bulldog) and Lyon (a Newfoundland) – George Gordon, Lord Byron.¹

21.  Tricki Woo – Mrs. Pumphrey from All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

22.  Freda – Ivor Claire from Officers and Gentlemen by Evelyn Waugh.

23.  Tigger – Joseph Broz (aka Marshall Tito), found by me in Eastern Approaches by Fitzroy Maclean.

24.  Reilly – Squadron Leader Rex from Piece of Cake by Derek Robinson.

25.  McIntosh – Aunt Agath from Very Good, Jeeves! by P.G. Wodehouse.

And so there you are.  Feel free to use any of these to make yourself the star of your next cocktail party! And kudos to the lovely and talented Sarah G. for her winning entry in response to the port-swiller challenge!  Woof! Woof! indeed.

Finally, I’ll leave you with one more doggy quote:

“God bless Your Majesty!  But God damn your dogs!” –

– Attributed to a “loyal gentleman” in the suite of Charles II, who had just been bitten by one of H.M’s spaniels.  Royal Charles by Antonia Fraser.


¹  Byron had another dog named Boatswain, whom he supposedly nursed back from a case of rabies without fear of being bitten.


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November 2010