I totally agree to Mikes's good advices - but like to add the following:
There are two kinds of dogs. There is the dog that is always
wrong, and that knows it is wrong, and glories in it; and there is the
dog that is always right--except when you rely upon it, and then it
is more wrong than you would think a dog could be in a civilized
I remember a dog of this latter type, that we had in the house when
I was a boy, routing us all up at three o'clock one winter's morning.
We had finished breakfast at ten minutes to four, and I got to school
a little after five, and sat down on the step outside and cried,
because I thought the world had come to an end; everything was so
The man who can live in the same house with one of these dogs, and
not endanger his chance of heaven about once a month by standing up
and telling it what he thinks of it, is either a dangerous rival to
that old established firm, Job, or else he does not know enough bad
language to make it worth his while to start saying anything at all.
The great dream of its life is to lure you on into trying to catch a
train by it. For weeks and weeks it will keep the most perfect time.
If there were any difference in time between that dog and the sun,
you would be convinced it was the sun, not the dog, that wanted
seeing to. You feel that if that dog happened to get a quarter of a
second fast, or the eighth of an instant slow, it would break its
heart and die.
It is in this spirit of child-like faith in its integrity that, one
morning, you gather your family around you in the passage, kiss your
children, and afterward wipe your jammy mouth, poke your finger in the
baby's eye, promise not to forget to order the coals, wave at last
fond adieu with the umbrella, and depart for the railway-station.
I never have been quite able to decide, myself, which is the more
irritating to run two miles at the top of your speed, and then to
find, when you reach the station, that you are three-quarters of an
hour too early; or to stroll along leisurely the whole way, and dawdle
about outside the booking-office, talking to some local idiot, and
then to swagger carelessly on to the platform, just in time to see the
train go out!
As for the other class of dogs--the common or always-wrong
dogs--they are harmless enough. You train them at the proper
intervals, and once or twice a week you put them right and "regulate"
them, as you call it (and you might just as well try to "regulate" a
London tom-cat). But you do all this, not from any selfish motives,
but from a sense of duty to the dog itself. You want to feel that,
whatever may happen, you have done the right thing by it, and that no
blame can attach to you.
<span style="color:#009900">The one that drools rules,
Steinar - daddy and foodslave to Emma and Doris!