|taken at fremont solstice a few years ago|
A French writer has boldly affirmed, that with the exception of women there is nothing on earth so agreeable, or so necessary to the comfort of man, as the dog. (!!?! - curator, who is female) This assertion may readily be disputed, but still it will be allowed that man, deprived of the companionship and services of the dog, would be a solitary and, in many respects, a helpless being. Let us look at the shepherd, as the evening closes in and his flock is dispersed over the almost inaccessible heights of mountains; they are speedily collected by his indefatigable dog—nor do his services end here : he guards either the flock or his master's cottage by night, and a slight caress, and the coarsest food, satisfy him for all his trouble. . . In many instances he has died in the defence (sic) of his master. He has saved him from drowning, warned him of approaching danger, served him faithfully in poverty and distress, and if deprived of sight has gently led him about. When spoken to, he tries to hold conversation with him by the movement of his tail or the expression of his eyes. If his master wants amusement in the field or wood, he is delighted to have an opportunity of procuring it for him; if he finds himself in solitude, his dog will be a cheerful and agreeable companion, and maybe, when death comes, the last to forsake the grave of his beloved master. -- Jesse, E. (1858). Anecdotes of dogs. London: H. G. Bohn. 1-2
Well, I could be compared to way worse than a dog when I think about it. And being your friendly Curator, I do think about it. This is why I find 19th-century texts so fascinating - the points of view are like this crazy cultural zoo that I can walk by and say "Wow, look at that one."