Snapshot of a Dog

                                        (James Thurber)

“Snapshot of a Dog” is an interesting story by James Thurber. It is a typical piece of writing. It gives us deep insight into the psychology of dogs. It also shows faithfulness of Rex to his masters and the love of writer for his dear dog. It is a vivid snapshot of an adventurous and faithful dog, Rex. The story is both humorous and serious.

Once the writer was going through his old things when he came across an old snapshot of his dear dog, Rex. The writer was lost in the past and life of this stout dog ran before his eyes like a picture. Rex was an American bull terrier. He was gentle by nature and never starts fights. Anyhow, if he were forced to join a fight, he would catch hold of other dog’s ear and hold on for hours. He was as powerful as a wrestler. The writer has described a Homeric fight between Rex and a Negro’s dog.

Rex ran after cats and killed them quickly and neatly. He barked at thieves but never ran after wagons. Swimming was his favorite sport and recreation. He could catch a baseball thrown as high as one could. He was very daring and tenacious. He could climb high fences. If his masters set him to climb over 12 or 16 feet walls, he would go on making attempt. They had to carry him home, as he would never give up. He tested his mettle by pulling and dragging heavy things. One night he found a chest of drawers somewhere and dragged it to home. He brought home a ten-foot wooden rail through the back gate. He accepted challenges and problems. The writer was proud of him.

The death scene of this brave, faithful and adventurous dog is very touching and pathetic. He was badly beaten by someone. When he entered the house, he was dreadfully scarred. He was dying. He licked the hands of two of his masters and waited for the third to come. The third brother came home after one hour. Rex licked his hands and passed away. He died after straight-arming the death angel for more than an hour.

The article tells us that dogs are royal and faithful. They are enemies of cats. The writer understands dogs. He has very skillfully communicated his understanding to the reader. The story flows on easily and smoothly.


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