And an old dog is generally in their company


My title comes from the closing chapter of Dombey & Son. Dickens realised after sending the manuscript to his proof-reader that he had left a loose end, and he wrote to him: “I suddenly remember that I have forgotten Diogenes.  Will you put him in the last little chapter?”

That chapter now includes this sentence:

Autumn days are shining, and on the sea-beach there are often a young lady, and a white-haired gentleman. With them, or near them, are two children: boy and girl. And an old dog is generally in their company.

It is 28 years or so since we first came to the beach at Daymer with our children and a dog – Mary Ann had done so for many years before that. Only one of our children was with us this year, but “Autumn days are shining, and on the sea-beach…an old dog is generally in our company”.

Saxon is 14, a fine age for a labrador. His pleasure on the beach is more sedate than in his youth, but he still enjoys a paddle in gentle waves. My pictures are of him and Mary Ann on a sunny Autumn afternoon.




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