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Paper Monitor

10:46 UK time, Friday, 20 July 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor concurs with the widely-held belief the many defining characteristics of Britishness is a love of animals. Why, this columnist - who never fails to be moved by bad country and western songs about faithful companion dogs - is a prime example.

It's a theme explored by Rachel Johnson in the Daily Telegraph. She describes a pair of speeches given by two distinguished gentlemen - her own father, Stanley, and the historian Robin Lane Fox - during which both were "profoundly moved" when addressing the subjects of owls and horses respectively.

Johnson continues:

So it's wrong to say Englishmen never show emotion. As Anatole France said: "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." Many Englishmen (especially those separated from their mothers at an early age and shipped off to freezing prep schools, as I think were all the ones mentioned here) reserve their displays of deepest feeling for them.

It's not only eminent writers who are are prone to this tendency, as evidenced by the pact that Pudsey, a dancing border collie, bichon frise and Chinese crested cross, managed to claim victory in the show Britain's Got Talent.

Pudsey has also garnered enough fame not just to fly to Los Angeles but also to win a spot in Caitlin Moran's Times Celebrity Watch column:

Flown out on Cowell's private jet, Pudsey's owner, Ashleigh, reported: "Pudsey only got up once to have a mooch around - he seemed to approve of his surroundings." Given that London-LA is a good ten hours, CW thinks it gets what Ashleigh is hinting at. CW's often seen dogs in the park "mooching around", then "approving their surroundings".

However, some Britons remain immune from this affection for all things furry and feathered.

In the Daily Mail, Cosmo Landesman describes how he was dumped by his girlfriend - not for another man, but for his cat, Chloe.

Paper Monitor will not spoil the story of how this came to pass. But Landesman's expression of genuine bitterness towards Chloe - this "smelly, cold-hearted, high-maintenance, neurotic moggy" is a bold move in this of all countries.


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