Notebook

In Charge?

This afternoon, on the pier in Tromsø, I was intrigued to find this cast-iron dachshund. It looks out over the bay as if surveying its domains. I have no idea what it is supposed to symbolise, but it made me think of an observation by Jerry Seinfeld. Cited in En Liang Khong’s TLS review of Chris Pearson’s Dogopolis, it voices a quandary that must have occurred to many of us at the sight of dogs, increasingly wearing designer clothes, out for a constitutional with their attendants:

‘If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?’

I probably shan’t read this study of ‘the emergence of a new kind of canine cosmopolitanism’. Life is short.