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If you believe that a dog is man's - and woman's - best friend, this is the anthology for you: six hundred years of reflections on the virtues (and some of the vices) of canine kind. Within these pages you will find a large selection of animals and an even larger variety of poets, some big and cuddly, others small and well-equipped with teeth. Dame Juliana Berners anatomizes a good greyhound, Lord Byron laments his best friend, Louis MacNeice describes an afternoon walk, William Wordsworth watches the hunt, Thomas Hardy imagines his favourite companion speaking. They are joined by Anne Sexton, Siegfried Sassoon, Alexander Pope, Rudyard Kipling, Dorothy Parker, Geoffrey Chaucer and a pack of others in hot pursuit of the same objective: the essence of dog.