MARCH 5, 1948
NEW YORK, Thursday—It is a long time since I have written a column about my little dogs, and while Fala is no longer a public character, he still seems to have a great many friends. I haven't had a chance to thank the many people who have written him letters and sent him presents in the past few months, so instead I think I shall write a report on Fala and his grandson, Tamas McFala.
Though Tamas was kindly received by Fala when he came to live with us at Hyde Park, at first he was somewhat ignored. Now, if anything makes the two little dogs feel particularly happy, Tamas can make his grandfather dash around the house and upset all the rugs better than half a dozen children. They remind me very much of people—they have so many traits that we find in ourselves.
When I'm up in the country, I take them walking three times a day—once before breakfast, once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. The snow shows signs of all the little animals that have run around—squirrels, birds and rabbits—and the dogs dash from this scent to that in great excitement. When I call them and only one comes back to keep me company while the other stays away, the virtuous one looks up at me and wags his tail as much as to say: "See, I'm here—don't call that other naughty dog. Just pay attention to me."
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If it is near dinner time, I can be pretty sure that they will come straight to the door and come in. But if there is no such attraction in the offing, they may come as far as the circle in front of the house and then suddenly dart away, to be gone for an hour. They return very tired and, lately, very muddy, but completely self-satisfied.
Tamas, being still quite young, has not acquired the good manners which come with age, so I have to stand guard during meals or he gobbles his dinner and then goes after Fala's. Fala is much too dignified to fight over anything as trivial as food, and so he puts his nose in the air and walks away. No amount of coaxing will bring him back to finish his meal.
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At 10 pm, their own clocks tell them that it is time to go to bed. They come and look at me longingly, as much as to ask: "Aren't you ever going to take us out so we can go to bed?" So I take them out. Then I put Tamas on a chair in Miss Thompson's room and turn the light out. Fala goes solemnly up to my room, and gets into his bed and expects no further attention, except that just before I put out my light I must pat him. He gives me a last wag of the tail to say: "Good night—another day is past."
Wouldn't it be wonderful if one's world consisted only of hunting and eating and sleeping and being devoted to one's family. But I suppose that, when we go off and leave the little dogs, as we did the other morning, their world falls to pieces in much the same way that we sometimes fear ours may tumble around our ears!