Hi, Pearl here! As promised in my last post, here are my thoughts on The Picture of Dorian Greyhound, which I have just finished reading.
I immediately fell in love with Dorian, a beautiful and innocent young Greyhound who has his pawtrait painted by the renowned artist Sir Basil Basset. While Dorian is sitting for the pawtrait, Sir Basil’s friend Lord Henry Wooffon comes to visit. Impressed by Dorian’s youthful beauty, Lord Henry urges him to make the most of it as dogs grow old only too soon. When Dorian sees his finished pawtrait, he wishes he could stay young forever and the picture would grow old instead of him.
Sir Henry is a thoroughly bad dog, and under his influence Dorian does a lot of naughty things. Dorian’s wish comes true and he never grows a day older, but the pawtrait ends up looking horrible and hideous as it becomes a record of all his bad behaviour. The ending of the story is very sad and it made me cry. Dorian should have gone to dog training classes instead of listening to that wicked Weimaraner.
I wish I had a pawtrait like Dorian’s. We dogs do grow old too soon – I’m 11 now, and on medication for arthritis already. If I had a magic picture, I wouldn’t be naughty; I would enjoy my eternal youth in happy, healthy ways. Thank goodness we dogs never really lose our innocence!
What Annabelle thought
This book is based on Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Grey, which has always been a favourite of mine. The abridged canine version stays faithful to the original, a dark tale of the corruption of innocence with a harrowing ending – all the more harrowing in this case, because it happens to a dog. The Greyhound is the perfect canine vehicle for the elegant beauty of the young Dorian, and the illustrations of the characters are stunningly true to canine life, worthy of the great Sir Basil Basset himself.
” ‘Oh, there is no such thing as good influence, Mr Greyhound,’ declared Lord Wooffon. ‘Every dog must explore his own sins, and not borrow those of others.’ ”
“It was a poisonous book, which described within it the life of the senses – of the rejection of obedience and training, which is artificial, and the pursuit of natural rebellion, which society calls “mischief”. It troubled one’s tiny brain.”
“It was almost nine o’clock when Dorian finally arrived at the club and found a very bored Lord Wooffon sitting alone, idly contemplating a squeaky ball.”
And, of course, the famous Wilde witticism: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”
The Picture of Dorian Greyhound by Oscar Wilde and Eliza Garrett. Illustrated by Pastiche Pastiche. Published by Wildfire. Hardcover, 64 pages.
Other books in the Classic Tails series are Pugs and Prejudice, The Great Catsby and Romeow and Juliet.
Pearly’s pawtrait Debra Allen Photography