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A dog’s life

Dogs as household pets were a strange concept in the Eastern Cape platteland where the late Afrikaans author Hennie Aucamp was raised in the ’30s and ’40s. Household dogs belonged in the city, and farm dogs were working dogs, he told me one day while we were chatting about cows and calves and dogs and cats.

This was also the case at Gretna, our farm in the Settlers area of the Springbok Flats in Limpopo, where there was always a commotion of at least six working farmyard dogs. “Pack” doesn’t sound quite right when talking about tame dogs. Nor do some other descriptive English alternatives: kennel, cowardice, cry or litter.

THE BRITISH are indeed crazy about their four-legged friends. Even in the countryside around the

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