Buster's Diaries: The True Story of a Dog and His Man
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In 1996, Buster, a half-German Shepherd mutt, was attacked by a goose in a public park. He defended himself-much to the detriment of the goose-who, unfortunately, was owned by the Queen, and Buster was brought up on charges. Grossly misrepresented by the media, he became an instant celebrity. Eager to present his side of the story, he dictated his diaries to his Man, the lord who had adopted him a year earlier. The result is a delightfully funny, sometimes touching romp through Buster's triumph over adversity, some dog psychology, the odd training rituals the Man performs, the pain of his puppyhood, and, ultimately, a dog's joy at owning a human.
wolf baying at the moon. I expect the Man to react violently, for he has no ear for the true music of the wild. But his complaint makes no sense. Instead of objecting to what he hears, he raves on about something that I can’t even see. “For God’s sake, Buster!” he cries. “It’s happening again. Worse than ever. We’re going to walk it off.” I am then dragged down the road at what he calls “light infantry pace.” Strangely enough, at first I do not want to stop at the usual lampposts and garbage
a bit, but I did not try to bite him. I never try to bite the Man. He said, “It will be all right, Buster. It’s just a way of taking your temperature.” The young lady with red hair must have realized that the Man was worried about something, for she said, “There’s really nothing to worry about. He won’t even notice, and if his character changes, it will be for the better.” I am not sure what she was talking about. It could not have been me. My character is beyond improvement. “Can I have some
Anson used to work for the Man in the Foreign Office, but now he talks to newspapers for the Queen. So he had read about my prosecution. “I want you to know,” he said, “that your monarch is totally on your side. If it’s dog versus goose, she’s for the dog.” The Man asked, “Will she come to court as a character witness?” Charles Anson said that he seriously doubted it. I blame Anson for giving him the idea of fighting the case. First we went to St James’s Park to look at the notices. The Man got
of the rockery. They smell quite nice, but when I got one in my mouth, it was hard on one side and wet and slimy on the other. I began to think all the little animals in Derbyshire are wet and slimy somewhere. But they are not. There are small things that fly about which are hard to catch, but I was clever enough to get one. It buzzed about inside my mouth, so I spat that out too. Coming home last night, I smelt an animal next to the water trough where the Man tries to make me wash my feet when
bits. This morning, however, I was sent for and given a substantial piece of Stilton cheese. Admittedly the Man had rolled it into a ball. But I have absolutely nothing against the taste of human sweat and I gobbled it down with my usual enthusiasm. For the next two hours the Man followed me round the house. I had only to get up from the sofa or go into the kitchen for a bit of water for him to ask me, “Do you want to go out, Buster?” I always want to go out. But I have got used to the routine