S e c r e t s
The local hounds are enjoying some Christmas cheer, their carol singing fuelled by a keg of ginger beer. The bloodhound has donned a Santa Claus hat and the Dalmatian a bunch of ornaments to get everybody in the mood. A “Heinz 57” variety of mongrel and a beagle tuck into a bowl of “ciao” (“chow”). Alfie guzzles beer straight from the tap and sports a sticking plaster on his backside, perhaps from an overly enthusiastic encounter with the poodle. A friendly husky leans on the Dalmatian’s shoulders and an English gentleman of a bulldog smokes a Churchillian cheroot. At bottom left, the St. Bernard looks a little squiffy after drinking the unknown contents of his own barrel. The aforementioned poodle sits atop the piano in a pose made familiar by RCA’s dog Nipper. Signs read “Carols at Ye Old Dog & Duck” and “AVA Taxis of Stroud.” A falling bottle, partially concealed, contains “The Dog’s Bollocks,” which is a local brew of some strength, we’re told. The moon is visible through the open front door and in the rafters a bird and a mouse look bemusedly at the goings on below.