Howell’s Code: The Joy and Duty of Dog Ownership

| February 1, 2014

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Howell's Code: The Joy and Duty of Dog Ownership: A Ten-Step Guide to Happy Companionship

With Howell’s Code, Christian Howell introduces us to the ‘fabulous’ political activist and ‘distant relation’ Venetia Howell.

Miss Howell re-homed dogs in London more than a hundred years ago. But she was a force to contend with among London’s political classes – not to mention the social glitterati, including the likes of Oscar Wilde and Lily Langtry.

Venetia wrote ‘codes’ about all manner of things. Handbooks to good manners, essentially. But always with a view to promoting equality and fairness in society. Like women’s rights. Fair wages for the working poor. Freedom from slavery. But also how to behave at a picnic. Or on a tram. Riding a bicycle. Visiting a department store. She wrote. A lot.

But her writings got lost. Until now. Through old papers that Christian inherited from his grandfather. Papers that were thought burned in the fire that destroyed Venetia’s house, and her life, in Chelsea, West London, in 1941.

The following pages are loaded with sensible advice for responsible dog ownership today. Including how to select the right breed for you, your lifestyle, your dog. The key factors when choosing a vet. An insurance company. A dog walker. Or pet groomer. The right thing to do across a range of scenarios. Like training your puppy. Taking your dog for a walk. Choosing the right food. Respecting your old dog. And more. Lots more.

The foundation for all this lies within Venetia’s startling and controversial concept of the Real Joy of companionship with our dogs. It starts with Duty. But when you discover Venetia’s lost code, it will move you to another level. You will be intrigued. You will be inspired. You will not look at your dog the same way again.

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