Alexandre Dumas (Pere, I believe) speaks of living and writing in the country. . .
The first necessity to a man who works and works hard is solitude. Society is the distraction of the body; love the occupation of the heart; solitude the religion of the soul.
At the same time I do not love a lonely solitude. I prefer the solitude of the terrestrial paradise that is to say, a solitude peopled with animals. I adore all animals—except those of the human species…
I had—not all at once, but one after the other— five dogs: to wit—Pritchard, Phanos, Turk, Caro, and Tambo. I had a tame vulture—Diogenes. I had three monkeys—one bearing the name of a celebrated translator, another that of an illustrious novelist, and the third—a lady ape—that of a successful actress. The reader will readily understand my motives for not mentioning these names, which had been mostly given in reference to some detail of the private life or some physical peculiarity of the original.
Now, as a great novelist has said,—I would tell you which, but I really am not quite sure, "private life must be held sacred."
So we will, if you please, call the translator Potich; the novelist, the Last of the Laidmanoirs; and the she-monkey, Mademoiselle Desgarcins.
I had, moreover, a big blue and red parakeet called Buvat, and a green and yellow one known as Papa Leverard.
I had a cat named Mysouff, a golden pheasant named Lucullus, and a cock named Caesar.
Such is an accurate enumeration, I think, of all the animals inhabiting Monte Cristo (the rural area in which he was living at this time - Curator).
Add a peacock and pea-hen, a dozen fowls, and a pair of guinea-fowl, creatures I only set down here for the sake of completeness, their individuality being nil or next to it.
--Alexandre Dumas, translated posthumously, My Pets (Alfred Allinson, trans. London: Methuen & Co., 1909)
A little later in the book he discusses the five dogs. That would make for some fun posting, I think.