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White, T.H. (ed.) / The book of beasts

I. Beasts,   pp. [5]-99 ff.

Page 67

always drive away the wiles of the trespassing Devil with
admonishments-and by doing the right thing-lest he
should steal away the treasury of God, i.e. the souls of
  The tongue of a dog cures a wound by licking it. This
is because the wounds of sinners are cleansed, when they
are laid bare in confession, by the penance imposed by
the Priest. Also the tongue of a puppy cures the insides
of men, because the inside secrets of the heart are often
purified by the work and preaching of these learned
  The dog is said to be very temperate in its diet,
because that man only is truly on his guard who excels
others in wisdom and studies: and that is the fellow who
must shun all satiety-for Sodom perished of surfeit.
Indeed, by no entry can the Enemy take possession of
man so quickly as through a voracious gullet.
  The fact that a dog returns to its vomit signifies that
human beings, after a complete confession, often return
incautiously to the crimes which they have perpetrated.
  Because it leaves the true food in the river out of greed
for the shadow, it symbolizes those silly people who often
leave that which is peculiarly of the Law out of desire
for some unknown thing. Whence it comes that, while
they are not able to obtain what they hanker after, what
they had before floats uselessly away to loss.
Some dogs are called LICISCI the Wolf Hounds,1 be-
cause they are born of a wolf and a dog (licus-canis), when
  'Baxter and Johnson translate 'licisca' as 'greyhound bitch', but Pliny
them wolf-hounds. One of the dogs of Acteon was named Lycitus. Mrs Piozzi
wrote to Sir James Fellowes in 1821, to say that the most interesting circumstance
of Parry's polar voyage had been 'an account given by one of the officers,
his Irish setter, a tall smooth spaniel, attracted the attentions of a she-wolf

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